SPECIAL NEEDS & AUTISM
MUSIC THERAPY IS MULTI-SENSORY WHICH ACHIEVES MULTIPLE GOALS SIMULTANEOUSLY.
Music therapy is especially beneficial as music is processed in all areas of the brain. Also, music therapy is multi-sensory and can enable us to work on multiple goals simultaneously.
Music therapists who work with children with special needs or on the Autism Spectrum use evidence-based music therapy interventions to address developmental, social-emotional and educational goals in the following areas:
Speech and communication development
Music therapy can help isolate speech sounds though singing in a repetitive manner to help children with speech, articulation and language development. It supports children who are non-verbal to access and develop communication through improvised rhythms on piano, drums or other percussion-based instruments. The interplay between the music therapist and child is done in a non-threatening way, opening up many channels of communication.
Music therapy can help support and modify children's behaviors through music and act as positive reinforcement to increase target goal-wanted behaviors. It also can be reinforced in original songs and stories helping children recognize, sing and act out positive behaviors in particular social situations.
Music therapy helps children identify and understand their feelings through songs, sounds and social interactions in either individual and group sessions. It provides structure and social exchanges where they can learn to interact more effectively.
Imitation, turn-taking, joint attention, shared affect and empathy are all intertwined in the music therapy process. Most children with special needs and on the Autism spectrum often communicate more effectively through music than through words. Music therapy can give the child space to express themselves and make them feel like they've truly been heard.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM MUSIC THERAPY?
Anyone can benefit from music therapy but children with the following diagnoses have most benefited from music therapy:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyper-Active Disorder
Attention Deficit Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder