Music and Autism

Millions of families struggle with autism in this country. There are a multitude of therapy options available for families, with one of the more progressive approaches, music therapy, becoming quite popular. Music therapy and autism is a great mix because music is a non-threatening form of communication. Many children on the autism spectrum need a non-threatening form of communication in order to gain trust and feel comfortable in different settings.

Music therapists are trained to work with children with autism. Whether a child has a mild form of autism, or is completely non-verbal, music therapy can help draw out a child’s ability to communicate with the outer world.

There are many reasons why music and autism go hand in hand. Many children with autism tend to avoid eye contact. One of the benefits of music and autism is that music can help people learn to make eye contact. Musical games, songs and instrument playing can help teach individuals with autism how to make and keep eye contact. Experts who have studied music and autism agree that music therapy can enhance a child’s social, emotional and intellectual skillset.

Children with autism tend to be overly sensitive to external stimulus, but often show a strong desire to listen to and play musical instruments. Music therapy and autism are linked in many ways. Music can help people who are non-verbal speak, and many autistic children who are non-verbal have used music therapy to begin speaking in full words and sentences. Music therapy with children with autism can be performed individually or within a group setting.

Besides the benefits mentioned above, music therapy and autism therapists have found that autistic children learn to pay better attention, learn self-control and can learn to regulate their emotions in a more positive manner when music is used. These are all great reasons to start a music therapy program for children with autism. An autistic child can improve their ability to communicate and socialize with peers through music therapy interventions and activities.

Besides in-office and school-based sessions, there are many ways that families can learn to use music within their own homes to enhance the music therapy process. Simply by ordering a musical instrument kit, such as The Rhythm Tree Music and DVD Package (http://www.therhythmtree.com/store), a family can learn to play music, sing and play musical games with their children. Involving the whole family will not only help the autistic family member, but will enhance everyone’s relationship with one another. Music can be a relationship builder, and building a relationship with someone who has autism can be quite magical.

 

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