Autism and Music Therapy

An increasing number of children are being diagnosed with Autism and fall somewhere on the Autism spectrum. With a growing number of children dealing with this disorder, many different forms of treatment have become available. Traditional therapy for Autism includes floor time and applied behavior analysis. Alternative treatments are also available. Not all alternative treatments are credible and many have not had as much research conducted on them as traditional methods. However, some of these unique therapies may actually help a lot. One such alternative treatment for Autism is music therapy. Using music therapy to treat Autism is becoming increasingly popular.

Music therapy has shown to be helpful for many symptoms of Autism. Music can connect with some children with this disorder in a way that no other therapies have been able to do. For example, some Autistic children who do not speak may connect and respond to music. Music is an excellent treatment for children with Autism because it is composed of patterns. Autistic children respond well to patterns and rhythm which they can feel. A different part of the brain is used with music than the part used for verbal communication. They also do not have to try too hard to interpret music, and it may help them express emotions that they would otherwise not be able to release.

One advantage of using music as a treatment for Autism is that it does not require any verbal skills. Verbal skills can be a challenge for children with Autism and activities that require verbal skills may discourage them from trying. Children can shake cymbals, beat on a drum, play with the keys on a piano, or ring a bell, without actually needing to speak. They will begin to use music and different sounds to actually communicate with others. Music therapy doesn't necessarily mean learning to play a specific instrument. Instead, music therapy creates experiences for children through the use of tools, knowledge, and instruments, in which they feel comfortable and can express creativity using their own abilities.

Other advantages to using music as a treatment for children with autism are that it can help them maintain attention. It fosters motivation and engagement. Some activities may be difficult for children with Autism because they cannot hold their attention for long periods of time or they become distracted. Music is fun and creates a lot of feelings. The child will want to participate and respond because they feel comfortable with this type of communication. Music is a universal language which is great for those unable to communicate through normal conversation. It also gives children a way to express their emotions. Sometimes children with Autism have a difficult time identifying and getting out their emotions. Without the use of music, they might not otherwise be able to release these built up emotions. Finally, music can bring great pleasure to most people, not just Autistic people. Music has been shown to reduce anxiety and bring a sense of calming security. This can be very beneficial to children with Autism as well and help put them at ease.

1 Response

  1. Music can also be a very important key to taking part in community activities as well. Many people with autism who may have communication challenges and/or social skills are more than capable of playing an instrument in a band or ensemble, singing in a chorus, or taking part in a handbell or vocal choir in a religious setting!

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