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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

D.A.D.: Drum Therapy Offers Hope for Many

Feb 07, 2014 08:57PM

Drums and Disabilities, better known as D.A.D., is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that pioneered the use of drum therapy in treating a wide range of mental and physical impairments. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Department of Education commissioner Lucille Davy helped celebrated drum virtuoso Pat Gesualdo launch D.A.D. as a pilot program in New Jersey and New York City schools in 2004.

Since then, D.A.D.’s  groundbreaking intervention has become an essential tool used by a wide variety of professionals, includingpsychologists, therapists, teachers, doctors, parents, and law enforcement agencies, around the world. Among those who’ve benefited are children and adults with autism, dyslexia,multiple sclerosis, ADD/ADHD, cerebral palsy, dyspraxia, and many other physical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

Drum therapy combines visual, rhythmic, auditory, and verbal approaches in helping participants to improvesocial andfine motor skills, coordination, self-esteem, sensory integration, conflict resolution, and physical and cognitive functioning. Special-needs children and adults both benefit from itsenjoyable and nonthreatening format,and program modalities are tailored to meet the specific needs of each participant, who needno specialmusical skills or talent.D.A.D. classes are held in group or private sessions, schools, health facilities, community centers, and private residences.

A major benefit of the program is the trust forged between therapists and participants, who are eager to return to drum therapy sessions as their physical and cognitive abilities grow. This trusting relationship opens the door to communication, which becomes the foundation for behavior modification and emotional healing to begin.

Among the celebrities, sports stars, community leaders, and major corporations that have joined forces with D.A.D. are the Morris County Park Police, TD Bank, Xerox, the YMCA, the New York Giants, the WWE Superstars, the New Jersey Devils, Pepsi-Cola, Hasbro Toys, the JCC,the New Jersey Education Association, Live Nation, and Modern Drummermagazine.

For more information, email [email protected] visit

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