Worker’s Comp & Music Therapy: A Case Study

Nate, age 18, and his parents Kyle and Jody faced a long road after he was injured on the job, and by enlisting the expertise of our team he’s back to work.

Injured On The Job

The first day on his job a with a moving company, Nate was T-boned by a semi-truck and experienced a severe traumatic brain injury. He was referred to our team by a speech therapist at Craig Hospital, and with his treatments covered by worker’s compensations, he began working with our team one year after his accident.

Nate’s Goals

After the accident, Nate had trouble walking,  had a very flat speaking voice, and experienced difficulty with a number of tasks such as staying on task and planning. We targeted our treatment plan around improving his gait, prosody (speaking intonation), and overall cognition.

Individual Sessions & Co-Treatment With Physical Therapy

In seeking treatment from our team, it was important to Nate’s parents Kyle and Jody that his experience care that was not only the very best it could be but also completely customized to Nate’s needs. For about one year, we worked with Nate during individuals sessions where he used his voice, used instruments during cognitive interventions and even had the chance to work on his planning skills by writing a song about his life. We also paired music therapy with his physical therapy when we saw that one of his goals was to walk on his own. Pairing the two therapies was essential to Nate’s success because we were able to address his gait deficits with the best evidence based techniques available.

Music therapy was totally new to all of us.” explained Jody. “Nate never complained about music therapy but he complained about going to other therapies.”

Back To Work

After several sessions with us, Nate saw improvements with his prosody. “It was nice to hear the inflection in his voice and to hear him singing because he used to sing a lot,” shared Kyle. Nate could also walk farther and his walking became more rhythmic. Today Nate now lives alone, has been working part-time for Vail Resorts for two years, and is a frequently tapped speaker for Cherry Creek high school drivers ed classes and with Johnson & Wales University.

“We had so many doctors say ‘he won’t walk or talk again’ and music therapy helped with those things. It was an exceptional experience!” — Nate’s Father