Music Therapy Benefits People With Autism Spectrum Disorders

3239087070 2055daa793 m Music Therapy Benefits People With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Where is the flaw in a drug-free therapy that has been scientifically proven as very beneficial for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders? Music Therapy is just that – a drug-free therapy that is making strides in the world of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy “consists of an interpersonal process in which a trained music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their health”.

A recent trial involving 4 children with Autism Spectrum Disorders being treated using Music Therapy had glowing results. Why?

Very simply put, Music Therapy helps ASD sufferers to express themselves in ways they may not be able to linguistically. Health lecturer Stuart McLaren commented that music is an area that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to excel in, so it is no surprise that Music Therapy is such a boon to them developmentally.

McLaren acknowledged that many children with ASDs even have perfect pitch and made an excellent point: “They (the children) might even have a special strength in music – so why not use such strengths to help them?”

How is Music Therapy helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Interestingly, the rhythm, structure, and predictability of music seem to be great for those with ASDs. Being exposed to music with therapeutic benefits (i.e. “calming” music) tends to have a tranquilizing effect upon people irrespective of whether or not they have an ASD.

In particular, Music Therapy has several noted, proven benefits for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Concerning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Music Therapy:

– “Promotes mental flexibility to reduce the rigid need for sameness”

– Boosts the development of language skills

– Advances communication skills

– Encourages “turn taking” and social interaction

These benefits sound similar to some promised by drug companies. How good to know there is a drug-free option!

Have you ever considered using Music Therapy to help your loved one with an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Below are some links to help you find a qualified Music Therapist and become even more educated on the subject of Music Therapy.

– Canadian Association for Music Therapy (http://www.musictherapy.ca/)

– Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (www.bethabe.org/Resource_Center97.html)

– Music Therapy World (www.musictherapyworld.de)

– National Coalition for Creative Arts Therapies Associations (NCATA) (www.nccata.org)

– Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund (www.musictherapytrust.ca)

– International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research
(www.brams.org)

– Low Frequency Sound Research Forum
(www.lowfreqsoundresearch.net)

We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this drug-free therapy that is helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Sources:

http://www.metaphoricalplatypus.com/ArticlePages%20Music/Music%20Autism.html

http://www.musictherapy.ca/musictherapy.htm

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2004/07/10/3216.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_therapy

http://www.autismcanada.org/treatments/othertherapy/musictherapy.html

Image provided by James Jordan on Flickr through Creative Commons License

*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources.  Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for NBC and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

Let’s Talk About It

Do you personally use music for therapeutic reasons? Why do you think it helps you?

Would you ever consider Music Therapy as a drug-free option for your loved one with an Autism Spectrum Disorder? Why or why not?

 

 

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