Music Therapy for Autism

Share this post

Music plays a basic role in our identity, culture, heritage and spiritual beliefs. Music moves and can affect us far beyond we realize; a powerful song can change our heart rate, affect blood pressure, change the metabolic rate, and even help us reduce stress and fatigue.

Music therapy

Music therapy is the planned use of music to help with the healing process and the personal growth of people with emotional, intellectual, physical or social needs. According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), “clinical music therapy is the only professional, research-based discipline that actively applies supportive science to the creative, emotional, and energizing experiences of music for health treatment and educational goals”.

Music therapy uses music and the interactions between teachers and children to teach specific skills, from helping newborn babies develop healthy bonds with their parents to offering vital, sensitive and compassionate palliative care at the end of life.

Music Therapy for Autism

Music therapy for autism is the functional use of music to achieve special education goals. There is an important body of research that supports the use of music therapy to encourage developmental and educational goals in children with autism or special needs.

Autistic Children can benefit from music therapy in the following areas:

1.- Music therapy improves behavior:
A study of 41 children with autism over a ten-month period, found that weekly music therapy sessions seemed to improve overall behavior, with the most improvement seen in inattentive behaviors.
Children in this study experienced 1 hour-long session of music therapy once a week, and their conduct was monitored against a checklist of target behavior like restlessness, aggression, and noisiness. After the therapy sessions, more than half of the group improved by one or two points on the scale.

2.-Music reduces anxiety:
According to a 4-week study conducted at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, children with autism can highly benefit from music therapy in the reduction of stress and anxiety. After 16 sessions of classical/rhythmic music, of 20 minutes each, the children highly decrease anxiety-related behaviors such as swimming, sweating, and muscular tensions among others.

3.- Music improves communication:
Up to a third of children with autism are non-verbal and music therapy can be a great answer to improve child’s communication skills by connecting the auditory and motor sections of the brain, which may help improve understanding of verbal commands.

4.- Music therapy improves your bond with your child:
Music therapy is a fun way to engage and interact with your child. In many music therapies, parents are allowed to participate along with their children, which increases the bond on fun, stress-free activities.

Give you and your child the opportunity to try on new things and experiment on new enjoyable experiences. At the end of the day, your child will grow happier and healthier, and there is nothing more important than this.

At World Stem Cell Clinic, we believe that that having an informed parent –in an effort to empower him and his family– is the only way to for us to deliver optimal healthcare. Visit our website to find out more about our services and let us be part of your journey.

Sources:
https://www.musictherapy.org/faq/#267
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219140100.htm
https://www.autismspeaks.org/expert-opinion/managing-anxiety-children-autism
https://raisingchildren.net.au/autism/therapies-guide/other/music-therapy