What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy for autism uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, social needs of children with autism. This can be done mostly by simulating the senses.
The sensory stimulation and playful nature used in music therapy for autism can help to develop a child’s ability to express emotions, communicate and develop rhythm. There is also evidence to show that speech and language skills can be improved through the stimulation of both hemispheres of the brain via music therapy for autism in children. Children who undergo music therapy for autism also experience improved self-esteem. Moreover, music is known to encourage communicative behavior and interaction with others where they may bond first with an object and then open up to others interacting with their instruments as well. This leads to development of social behaviors which is something that children with autism find difficult to work upon otherwise.
It is also believed that music therapists incorporate a range of music making methods within and through a therapeutic relationship. Music therapy differs from music education and entertainment as it focuses on health, functioning and wellbeing.
Moreover, music therapy provides an enjoyable and fun way for children with autism to learn communication and social skills. It has proven effective at improving autism symptoms in both children and adults. Using music therapy in addition to other forms of therapy for children with autism may improve symptoms while enhancing the results of other therapies.