The Power of Music: Using Music As a Therapy to Treat Autism
The benefits are many and uplifting when music is used to interact with the autistic child. If the child has Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism, the verbal communication skills that already exist can be enhanced. In some cases just singing a conversation instead of speaking normally will have the child’s attention. In some autistic children music is a major breakthrough key into their world. In a group of children music can be made into a marching game by stopping and starting the music as in musical chairs, though without the chairs. The power of music can be just as exciting to autistic children as with children in a normal classroom or music lesson.
When a parent is out of options or just not knowing what else they can do to communicate with their child, music therapy should be given a try. It is a relatively new approach and teaching method and from the results really shouldn’t be overlooked. There has been great improvement noted in temperament, learning skills and communication. For a child that is having trouble communicating it is the perfect therapy as it connects to the non-verbal area of their brain.
Music transcends all areas throughout our life and with autistic children it is effective when used with the learning of social skills and behavioural skills. When music is played either by an instrument or singing it encourages eye contact which in turn breaks down individual social barriers. Music therapy would help in the development of speech even if the child can only grunt or hum or a simple echo word or phrase. However skilled or non verbal an autistic child is something is connecting, it could be babbling nonsense or putting together a few words to communicate with you and the world, but they are communicating. Clapping your hands in time to the music while singing words will get their attention as autistic individuals are known to be particularly good at music.
A music therapist can use music to bring together different kinds of abilities to other areas of autistic development. For many autistic individuals music is a natural ability and with very little instruction can play some instruments with perfect pitch. A hard to manage autistic person may use music to communicate and become calmer, or in another it may be the best of their other abilities. It seems to be a link to many developments, behavioural development, communication, emotions and even develop memory.
Treating autism is an ongoing therapy which seems to change as new treatments and discoveries are available and tried. What works for one may not work for another. Music therapy is using new techniques, which when used in conjunction with other therapies show great progress. To communicate with a child in a non verbal way can be taught by trained professions using music. What a wonderful way and an easy way to learn to communicate with your child. This musical therapy option is one which you should research and try.