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The Power of Music: Musical Therapy to Treat Autismfrom: Maxx Family Life
A relatively new treatment method for autism patients is musical therapy, a treatment that that shouldn't be including in the treatment options you may be considering. Patients who receive musical therapy often show great improvement in temperament and learning skills. One reason is that music connects to the non-verbal part of our brains, making it an ideal therapy for disorders where the patient has trouble communicating, including autism. You should consider researching this innovative treatment method if you're looking for some help dealing with autism and haven't had any success to date.
The reason musical therapy can be effective is because it's often used along with with learning social skills. Music is a very non-threatening medium for patients, and many games can be played using music to help improve social and behavioral skills. By encouraging eye contact while singing or playing an instruments that needs to get close to the face, musical therapy helps autistic individuals break social barriers.
The number one way that musical therapy can help children, as well as older autistic patients, is helping develop speech skills. Music is a way to connect the verbal and non-verbal functions in the brain. Those with autism often have various forms of speech problems. Some can only hum, grunt, or make other non-word noises, while others babble nonsensical phrases or cries.
Still others gain the capability to put together phrases and sentences to communicate with the world, although these usually lack emotion. Autistic people are known for monotone voices. However, no matter how skilled the individual is at speech, he or she can participate in musical therapy by clapping rhythms, humming along, or doing simple echoing songs.
Autistic individuals are often quite good at music. Some even have perfect pitch while others play a particular instrument very well, with little instruction needed. Even if there is no genius musical ability by normal standards in the individual, you may find that a particularly difficult to deal with autistic person has abilities in music that exceed many of his or her other abilities. A musical therapist can use music as a way to link this kind of learning with other types of learning, not only as speech development and social behavioral development as previously discussed, but also as a way to communicate emotions and develop memory.
Using all of these techniques together will prove how well musical therapy can work for people who are autistic. Trained professionals can use music to teach children and others how to communicate in nonverbal ways, making it easier for patients to learn. Research a musical therapy option as a way of providing you or your child with another choice when treating autism.
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