0

Your Cart is Empty

The Benefits of Music Therapy for Kids with Autism

by Curtis Dean February 18, 2019 2 Comments

Music Therapy for Autism

Music has always had a therapeutic effect on people, and even more so for individuals diagnosed with autism, especially children. Its calming effects have been well established within the medical community, helping to ease their integration into society.

child playing music

Music is often used as a supplement when they are learning verbal communication skills, as it provides an entirely different way for children with autism to express themselves.

Having another channel of communication can sometimes be vital to increasing the intimacy between parents and their children with autism. Also, kids on the autism spectrum are exceptionally responsive to musical stimuli, and it can be used to reinforce desired responses from them.

The surprising connection between music and autism

Decades of research have shown that music and autism are closely linked. While autistic individuals are slower to develop speech communication skills, they are able to understand music equally well, if not better than individuals who do not have autism.

While autism can affect an individual to different degrees, music therapy is consistently beneficial across the entire spectrum of autism.

To be specific, autistic children have an enhanced ability to recognize pitch, memorize tunes, and map emotions onto musical pieces. In some specific individuals, they have been able to master playing the piano fluently even before they can speak complete sentences.

Why might music therapy be a good choice for your child?

Music has been shown in schools to improve responses in autistic children. Studies reveal that autistic kids respond much more frequently than usual during music lessons. Music not only motivates them to respond more often but also helps them to enjoy the process of expressing themselves.

music therapy for autism

If we look closer at how a musical band works, it can reveal exactly why music therapy can be beneficial to autistic children. A band involves different instruments working and coordinating with each other to produce a unified tune, yet only requires an individual player to focus on one instrument at first.

The gradual coordination between different instruments is not unlike how normal individuals coordinate their senses in their everyday lives. This is exactly what an autistic child finds hard to do, so learning through music can gradually help them understand and improve their cognitive coordination skills.

How is music therapy used for kids with autism?

One of the common ways to include music in learning is for autistic kids to engage in musical improvisation, where a therapist demonstrates how to use an instrument, followed by allowing autistic kids to play the instruments in any way they like. As there is no such thing as a mistake in improvisation, therapists can continuously encourage and build their confidence in expressing themselves through a musical instrument.

Another way to use music in therapy is to let them memorize and repeat simple songs, which can be much easier for them to master than speech. Studies have also shown that simple classical tunes have the best effect in calming autistic kids, and eventually through playing these in the background in their daily lives, can improve their control on their own mood and temperament.

The benefits of music for autism

Music can confer many benefits to autistic individuals. First among these is improved communication. Parents and caregivers have found that autistic children are able to communicate and express themselves much better through music than any other forms of expression. This can sometimes be in the form of singing, as an alternative to speech.

Music can also improve a child's behavior, as it has a calming effect on them. This has been shown to result in reduced anxiety, aggression, and tension. This connection is rooted in neuroscience, where hearing and motor functions are controlled in the same parts of the brain. While autistic kids experience external stimulus differently from most people, music therapy trains them to separate and focus on specific stimuli, which can even improve the way they communicate verbally.

Music is also a multi-sensory activity, which simultaneously requires one to listen, watch and touch a musical instrument, and this creates an opportunity to train and fine-tune their motor skills.

Finally, music can help in social interaction, as children communicate through passing and sharing musical instruments, listening and singing.

Closing thoughts

Music is an engaging and enjoyable activity that can bring about positive behavioral changes over a long period of prolonged music therapy sessions. Just like most other forms of play learning, music therapy for autistic children can be engaging without being tedious. It is an extremely effective way for parents to reach out and communicate with their autistic kids, even when nothing else can. Most of all, music is fun!

Always bear in mind that consistency is key, and perseverance with any particular therapy, including musical therapy, is vital to yielding good results.

If your child has benefitted from music therapy, we’d love to hear from you!

  

This is a guest post by Sage Music. Here are their social media profiles:

https://www.facebook.com/SageMusicCo/

https://twitter.com/sagemusicco

https://in.linkedin.com/company/sage-music

Curtis Dean
Curtis Dean

Curtis Dean writes on behalf of Sage Music School where they base lessons on the science and research of the psychology of learning. Their effective teaching methods create confident and capable students who enjoy the happiness of making music. Social media links: https://www.facebook.com/SageMusicCo/ https://twitter.com/sagemusicco https://in.linkedin.com/company/sage-music


2 Responses

Nicole
Nicole

May 07, 2019

Glad you found the article useful, Mya!

mya klya tun
mya klya tun

April 04, 2019

The article was relly giving alot about music for autistic children.
thanks for the article.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Special Needs

Serotonin & Autism Blog Post
Is There a Relationship Between Serotonin and Autism?

by Molly Shaw Wilson MS OTR/L BCP November 14, 2019

Did you know that serotonin is one factor that researchers link to about 25% of autism cases? Learn about the connection between serotonin and autism, recent research, and potential treatments.
Read More
5 Best Teaching Strategies for Autism
The 5 Best Teaching Strategies for Autism

by Shea Brogren, MOT, OTR/L November 05, 2019

Children with autism have unique learning needs. It's important to be aware of these so that teaching strategies can be adapted and be most effective. In this article, we'll explain the most common challenges and best strategies to help teach kids with autism.
Read More
Everything You Need to Know About ABA for Autism
Everything You Need to Know About ABA for Autism

by Shea Brogren, MOT, OTR/L October 28, 2019 2 Comments

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a common intervention used for children with autism. It focuses on how the learning process and environment affect behavior. In this article, we will provide an in-depth overview of ABA therapy and discuss how this field of study applies to children with autism and their families. 

 

Read More