Music Therapy for Children With Autism

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How does music therapy work for autism? There are so many benefits of music. Let's look at how music therapy for autistic children works

How does music therapy work for autism? There are so many benefits of music. Let’s take a look at how music therapy for autistic children works:

Autism is a developmental disorder. It affects individuals’ behaviors and communication skills. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.

As rates increase, so does the search for appropriate therapies. In today’s post, we discuss the benefits of music for autism.

Music Therapy for Children With Autism

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions. These are characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is the clinical, evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship.

Music therapy while new has already found to have lasting impacts on patients. It has quickly become a great outlet for Autistic children. This is mainly because it involves the use of both hemispheres of the brain. Music provides a supportive environment and creative outlet that has more advantages you might not have considered.

How does music therapy work for autism? There are so many benefits of music. Let's look at how music therapy for autistic children works

What are the Benefits?

Music has long been a resource to benefit children in many ways. These include the development of language and social interactions when children engage in music lessons. 

The advantages of music therapy have also been shown to help children with Autism. Music helps with both social and behavioral development. This is especially true the younger music therapy begins. However, it can music therapy is good for all ages.

There are many ways that parents can utilize music to aid their children. You can include music by listening to music, learning an instrument of interest, or having a music therapist come to your home or practice in a comfortable environment.

Music therapy for Autism is beneficial when used as a way to communicate. It helps with socializing with others, to express feelings, and even create a strong bond in a parent-child relationship.

Communication and Social Interaction

Since music introduces children to language, it’s important to note that for children with autism, language delays are common. The therapist uses music therapy to relate to the child at their level. Doing this helps them find commonality in music to make a personal connection, build trust, and increase social skills. 

According to a study done utilizing music therapy in children with Autism, the reports showed improved behavior with increased social awareness and communication. This study is an exceptional breakthrough since communication is key to identifying feelings and emotions and something that children on the spectrum struggle with portraying. Music can bring out more interaction and communication since those on the spectrum have an increased response to music in particular. 

Engaging in Private Lessons and Self Expression

Self-expression has been an acquired reward from children being subject to private music lessons. The freedom to express oneself without judgment is a great way to encourage more self-care and decrease anxiety. There have even been parents who have found that their children have an innate musical talent. All by introducing them to individual instruments by taking private guitar lessons or piano lessons.

Children can increase fine motor skills when playing an instrument. However, even the music itself can help children with simple tasks because it helps with focus and concentration as well. Check out this video to see just how that happens!

music therapy for autism

Brain Responses and Coping

Music helps as a natural way to reinforce responses since it ignites those cognitive triggers within the brain. Increases in brain activity due to music is a solid reason why autistic children can be successful with Music Therapy.

Music triggers different reactors in the brain, which includes auditory and motor skills. Improved behavior, social communications, expressions or responses, and increased brain function are all positive advantages!

Coping is something that parents strive for with autistic children. Music has been successfully utilized to help those with aversions to sounds to cope with those sensitivities. Music, in this sense, becomes both engaging and motivating to children with autism.

How does music therapy work for autism? There are so many benefits of music. Let's look at how music therapy for autistic children works

Improvements With Family Life & Bonding

Music is a universal language. So, it’s safe to venture that Music Therapy can help children with autism become more socially adept. Music triggers a wide variety of feelings and emotions. Once children tap into this, it becomes easier to communicate on this musical level.

Nothing bonds a family faster than engaging in a creative project together. Working with one another challenges you to engage your brain and makes you cooperate with your family, thus increasing your empathy. 

Parents who utilize music within the home for their children have increased bonding and connection. Families will benefit from the ability to have a stronger relationship thanks to Music Therapy for autism.

Focus & Concentration

Music easily provides background noise to assist your child with focus and concentration on a task. It can even help gauge a child’s fine motor skills by playing the guitar or other instruments.

Autism Music Therapy

Music therapy for autism is not at the forefront of therapies. The primary therapies are ABA, Occupational Therapy, and Speech-Language therapy. More natural approaches such as Art therapy, Equine therapy, and music therapy for autistic children are coming to the forefront.

While music therapy for autism is still new, there have has been clear conclusions to the benefits. Make sure to check out our autism parenting archives for more great tips and information!

TheMomKind

Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families.  She is featured in the "Amazing Moms" coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho.  She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.