As we celebrate the holidays and the end of the year, I would like to thank those people in Monmouth and Ocean Counties who have made an impact on my life, the life of my family, and so many others here at the Jersey Shore.

(photo by liz jeressi)

Today I would like to express my gratitude for an amazing person who has been a miracle worker for many children, teens, and adults in our area.

Jon Scheick (MA, MMH, MT-BC, CBIS), of Mosaic Music Institute provides music therapy to help those with physical, emotional, cognitive, and social issues through a therapeutic relationship to music. Mosaic is on Atlantic Avenue in Manasquan, next to Silton swim school.

Whether your child likes to listen to music, likes to sing to his favorite song, plays an instrument, wants to try to play an instrument, or just can't relate to a traditional talk therapist, Jon at Mosaic has found the key to treating special-needs kids and so many others.

If your child is on the autism spectrum, has emotional issues, is anxiety-ridden, has been bullied, suffers from peer pressure, or could just use someone who can help them find the coping skills they need to get through life, Jon at Mosaic is a Godsend.

I have never met someone with such a  gift of finding that hidden voice within a child that is silently screaming for help, and then figuring out just the right tool to help that kid.

If you, as a parent, are worried that your teen is exhibiting changes and withdrawing to a place that you can't reach, if your middle schooler is having panic attacks because school is a place they can't cope with, if your elementary school child has been diagnosed with a cognitive disorder and can't express himself in a way that allows him to get the help he needs...and for so many other issues too numerous to list, if nothing else is working for that precious person in your life, music therapy could be the answer.

If you think about it, music is so much a part of all our lives. Sometimes I use it to wind down in the car after a long day, sometimes I play it in the background while entertaining friends to add to the mood, sometimes I sing along to a song that brings back powerful memories of happy times, sometimes a quiet song helps my headache go away, sometimes dancing to a loud song makes me laugh out loud, sometimes I can walk for a long time as long as there is a great beat in my headphones, sometimes classical music helps my boys study easier. I could go on and on and on. I think we take music for granted, when it really could be the key to finding every great emotion inside of us and using that to get through life in a positive way when other ways have failed.

So thank you, Jon, for introducing me and my son to a future filled with hope due to the skills you have taught him to cope with the mountains of challenges that a pre-teen has to face.