Music Therapy – An Alternative Treatment for Autism
When you are parenting an autistic child, there are so many autism treatments that you need to consider. There are so many different possible autism treatments out there, from the traditional to the alternative to ones that seem just plain crazy. One therapy that has been getting attention from parents of late as an effective autism treatment is music therapy.
Music Therapy as a Treatment for Autism
Parenting autism successfully requires that parents stay abreast of effective autism treatments that successfully treat their children with autism. Music therapy may not be exactly what you think it is. It is not focused on learning to play instruments so much as it is focused on using music to engage the mind and emotions of the autistic child, and helping autistic children to communicate.
Music is a more primal, some would say more natural, more patterned way of communication. Autistic children with no abilities to communicate whatsoever have been shown to actually respond and connect to others with music therapy.
Most people with autism like patterns, and music is full of patterns. Also, music has rhythm. It is something that children with autism can feel, rather than have to think about. Parenting an autistic child can be overwhelming and keeping abreast of autism treatments can be difficult. But for some children with autism, music as an autism treatment has been successful.
Music therapy is not instruction in music. A good music therapist will employ a variety of tools, information and creative methods to create musical environments where an autistic child will feel comfortable. The music therapist will create these environments based on each child's specific needs.
Music therapy does not require children with autism to have verbal ability, which is great for those with autism. Someone can ring a bell, bang a piano, or shake cymbals without having to talk – and by doing this, they can begin to communicate with other people through music. Many people will say that music is an ancient form of communication, maybe even our oldest form of communication.
Music therapists can build relationships with autistic kids others might have thought unreachable by using music to reach them. They can help those with autism build communication skills, decrease their anxiety and increase their overall functioning ability. Parenting an autistic child requires the ability to communicate. And if music works as a treatment for autism then let's use it.
Why does music therapy work well with autistic people?
- Music is a universal language…even for children with autism.
- Music captures the attention of children with autism. Music motivates a child to respond and participate.
- Music makes it possible for children with autism to express and identify emotions that they might not otherwise have been able to. And this can be very rewarding for the parents of autistic kids.
- Music can help increase an autistic child's cognitive skills, and even improve auditory processing, gross and fine motor skills. This is because it acts as a kind of sensory integration therapy (another type of autism treatment).
- Music can reduce anxiety in children with autism. Using the same piece of music over and over again can create a sense of security and familiarity, which can make an autistic child more comfortable and more ready to learn. And parenting autism recognizes this need for routine.
There are many different autism treatments for kids that parents with autistic children have to sort through. Music therapy can be one viable autism treatment to add to the mix.
Many effective but somewhat lesser known autism treatments also exist. Parents' autism tips and suggestions have helped many parents learn about alternative treatments for autism. Most parents feel that tips from other parents and professionals can be extremely valuable. The Autism Survival Guide is a great source with tips and suggestions to help parent a child with autism.