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Vacaville Music Therapy is touching young lives

in Vacaville CA 36 views
Music therapist, Brianna McCulloch (left) uses sign language to communicate with Rayna Neff, 13 of Vacaville during a recent session. McCulloch uses the rhythm of the music to help Neff learn words by regulating her speed and to help form syllables.Ê (Joel Rosenbaum -- The Reporter)

Sometimes when 13-year-old Rayna Neff sees her music therapist, Brianna McCulloch, she gets so excited that she can’t get her words out.

Rayna was born with Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome, a rare disease that appears in just one out of 50,000-60,000 people. The syndrome, which prevents the body from making cholesterol, has also caused Rayna to be on the moderate to severe spectrum for autism. Her body cannot make cholesterol.

“It really affects her brain,” said her mom, Nicole Neff. “Her neurons do not fire properly. It causes intellectual disability.”

Rayna is at the developmental level of a toddler. She is so happy when she sees her therapist that the words won’t come. But McCulloch knows how to help.

Continue Reading on The Reporter

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