Monday, October 17, 2011

Parents With Autistic Children Should Consider Music Therapy As an Alternative Treatment for Autism

When you are parents with autistic children, there are so many autism treatments that you need to consider. There are so many different possible therapies out there, from the traditional to the alternative to ones that seem just plain crazy. One therapy that has been getting attention of late for an autism treatment is music therapy.

Music Therapy

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 person, and helping them to communicate.

Music is a more primal, some would say more natural, more patterned way of communication. People 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 people with autism can feel, rather than have to think about.

Music Therapist

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 person will feel comfortable. The music therapist will create these environments based on each person's specific needs.

Music therapy requires no 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 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.

Why does music therapy work well with autistic people?

  1. Music is a universal language.

  2. Music captures people's attention. Music motivates a person to respond and participate.

  3. Music makes it possible for people with autism to express and identify emotions that they might not otherwise have been able to.

  4. Music can help increase cognitive skills, and even help with auditory processing, gross and fine motor skills. This is because it acts as a kind of sensory integration therapy.

  5. Music can reduce anxiety. Using the same piece of music over and over again can help create a sense of security and familiarity, which will help make an autistic person more comfortable and more ready to learn.

There are many different autism therapies for kids that parents with autistic children have to sort through. Music therapy can be one viable option to add to the mix.

Many interesting and somewhat lesser known therapies are also available. Parents should learn as much as you can about alternative treatments for autism. Tips from other parents and professionals can be extremely helpful. A great site that has tips and suggestions for additional treatments is the There you can sign up for their FREE newsletter with tips and info on autism.

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