Use Your Words

Music Therapy behavior song for special needs individuals.
Goal: Client will refrain from inappropriate physical behavior by instead using an appropriate verbal phrase.
Domains: Behavior, Social, Language

Inappropriate physical behaviors are of serious concern for special needs parents and teachers. Beyond the immediate bodily harm, there is also the potential for future exclusion from classrooms, residences, and employment. These videos teach replacement verbal strategies that can be used in place of physical violence.

Four problem behaviors are targeted:
– hitting
– grabbing
– pushing
– running (really eloping… but only special education professionals call it that)

Four verbal requests are taught as replacement strategies to those behaviors:
“I need help” instead of hitting
“I want a turn” instead of grabbing
“Give me space” instead of pushing
“I need a break” instead of running

In the first video, Use Your Words (all), there is a chorus that presents the idea of using words instead of violence, followed by a verse that pairs the four behaviors with four suitable phrases most likely to achieve the outcome desired based upon the behavior. Each chorus and verse is repeated three more times, with deep breathing interludes between. This video is suitable for a child with multiple behaviors or a classroom of children who exhibit these various behaviors.

The pairing of phrases with behaviors was done with the most reasonable hypothesis of why the behavior is occurring. Kids often hit when presented with a difficult task and they need help. Grabbing frequently takes place when a child wants a turn. A student who pushes may feel their personal space is being invaded. Running (eloping) is an escape that can more properly be accomplished by asking for a break. Of course, the most reasonable explanation is not always the correct explanation. This problem is addressed in additional videos.

If the student or class you are working with primarily exhibits only one of these behaviors, this can be focused on with alternative videos. For example, the video Use Your Words (don’t hit) sings “Don’t hit, use your words” in all four choruses and each verse teaches a different phrase:
Verse 1: “I need help” instead of hitting
Verse 2: “I want a turn” instead of hitting
Verse 3: “Give me space” instead of hitting
Verse 4: “I need a break” instead of hitting
Additional videos Use Your Words (don’t grab), Use Your Words (don’t push), and Use Your Words (don’t run) are included and follow this same song structure.

These full-length, four-chorus, four-verse videos are meant to be used prior to behaviors as a deterrent. However, after the situation has de-escalated, a parent or teacher has the opportunity for a teachable moment to review the behavior that occurred and the applicable phrase that could have been used. For this purpose there are 16 short videos (one chorus and one verse) that pair each of the four behaviors with each of the four phrases. An instrumental version of the song is also included to allow you to address additional behaviors or teach alternative phrases.


Download includes:

  • 21 videos [mp4 video files]
    • Use Your Words (all)
    • Use Your Words (don’t hit)
    • Use Your Words (don’t grab)
    • Use Your Words (don’t push)
    • Use Your Words (don’t run)
    • Use Your Words (hit-help)
    • Use Your Words (hit-turn)
    • Use Your Words (hit-space)
    • Use Your Words (hit-break)
    • Use Your Words (grab-help)
    • Use Your Words (grab-turn)
    • Use Your Words (grab-space)
    • Use Your Words (grab-break)
    • Use Your Words (push-help)
    • Use Your Words (push-turn)
    • Use Your Words (push-space)
    • Use Your Words (push-break)
    • Use Your Words (run-help)
    • Use Your Words (run-turn)
    • Use Your Words (run-space)
    • Use Your Words (run-break)
  • 22 songs [mp3 audio files]
    • Use Your Words (all)
    • Use Your Words (don’t hit)
    • Use Your Words (don’t grab)
    • Use Your Words (don’t push)
    • Use Your Words (don’t run)
    • Use Your Words (instrumental)
    • Use Your Words (hit-help)
    • Use Your Words (hit-turn)
    • Use Your Words (hit-space)
    • Use Your Words (hit-break)
    • Use Your Words (grab-help)
    • Use Your Words (grab-turn)
    • Use Your Words (grab-space)
    • Use Your Words (grab-break)
    • Use Your Words (push-help)
    • Use Your Words (push-turn)
    • Use Your Words (push-space)
    • Use Your Words (push-break)
    • Use Your Words (run-help)
    • Use Your Words (run-turn)
    • Use Your Words (run-space)
    • Use Your Words (run-break)
  • 5 lyrics [PDF]
    • Use Your Words (all)
    • Use Your Words (don’t hit)
    • Use Your Words (don’t grab)
    • Use Your Words (don’t push)
    • Use Your Words (don’t run)
  • 5 lyrics & chords [PDF]
    • Use Your Words (all)
    • Use Your Words (don’t hit)
    • Use Your Words (don’t grab)
    • Use Your Words (don’t push)
    • Use Your Words (don’t run)

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