Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) individuals are often especially interested and responsive to music. Music therapy is a well-established technique for using musical interaction to help individuals with identified emotional, intellectual, physical or social needs.
Music therapy may help autistic children build skills in areas like behaviour, communication sensory issues and may lower anxiety. It can be used as a natural reinforcer to achieve desired responses.
Following are some of the benefits of music therapy for children on the spectrum:
Autistic children may tend to better express themselves through music than any other form of expression. Music therapy may also enable those without verbal language to express themselves and communicate nonverbally. For autistic children, singing may be an alternative to speech.
Music may help improve a child’s behaviour. It may help children on the spectrum find inner peace and calm. This will then help them in easing anxiety, aggression, and tension.
Help with sensory issues
Music therapy may also help children on the spectrum with sensory aversions to cope with sound sensitivities or individual differences in auditory processing.
Music may be utilized as a tool to enhance social skills among autistic children. These skills may include taking initiative, making eye contact and verbally and non-verbally communicating.
Music therapy may help encourage self-expression in autistic children. Through music therapy, an autistic child may have an easier experience of conveying his thoughts and emotions. They may play music, dance, or sing to express their emotions.
Family-centered music therapy may help build stronger parent-child bonds. Music therapy may benefit the parent-child relation through improved communication either verbal or non-verbal. This leads to the feeling of closeness and understanding.
Music therapy may help increase fine motor skills of an autistic child. It may help build a child’s fine motor skills when he is playing the guitar or other instruments.
Although the results vary from child to child, there are several positive outcomes when music therapy is used with children on the spectrum.