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How Does Music Therapy Benefit Children with Autism?

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

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There are many ways in which Music Therapy benefits children with Autism. This video illustrates that music therapy can help with:

  • Improved Communication including:

    • Speech

    • Articulation

    • Sign Language

    • Use of Electronic Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices such as a Yes/No app on an iPad or something more complex like a Dynavox system

  • Social Skill Development such as greetings, turn-taking, joint attention and eye contact.

  • Self-Expression - This can be particularly powerful with a child who is non-verbal. Music Speaks Where Words Fail!

  • Behavioral Skills – Creating songs and musical stories about appropriate behavior.

  • Social-Emotional Skills– Singing songs that teach a child how to identify feelings and how to cope with “big” emotions.

Other ways that Music Therapy benefits children with Autism include:

  • Motor Skill Development - These can be gross motor movements such as jumping or fine motor movements such as a two or three finger pinch (pincer grasp)

  • Academic Goals - Putting academic information into a song format so that recall is improved.

  • Sensory Regulation - Calming music, the use of rhythm, and instrument play can all help a child feel organized and grounded.

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