How Music Treats Kids With Autism


Autism in children may begin as early as infancy and is established by the age of three. An autistic child has limited interests, impaired social and communication skills and engages in repetitive behavior.

Many autistic people are unable to care for themselves even in adulthood. Those children or adults who are autistic may be unable to interact with others and may suffer with anxiety or be restless, noisy or aggressive. They may have difficulty with understanding and following verbal commands.

Music therapy has been found to have a positive influence on autistic children. Music therapy has long been used in cancer centers and hospitals to help patients deal with pain and illness. Music therapists are employed to determine the proper music needed for a particular situation. Now music therapists are developing music therapies to benefit children with autism.

Autism is a disorder which can hinder a child’s development. It is important that the music therapy be developed by a therapist who understands the needs of the autistic child. Treating an autistic child with music therapy requires patience and a long term commitment. Improvement happens gradually and not quickly.

However, there can be positive benefits from this treatment for the child. Autistic children have been taught to play a musical instrument. It can be easier for the autistic child to engage with the musical instrument rather than engage with people.

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Music therapy may aid some autistic children in developing some communication skills. Music can give the autistic child an outlet for some emotions while he is dancing or possibly singing. Sometimes the child will sing the same note over and over. The music may help the child to be more responsive to things around him.

In fact, some autistic children are later able to participate in a band playing an instrument they have learned.

Music therapy may help improve the behavior of the autistic child. The child may show less signs of aggression or restlessness. Music therapy has also been shown to reduce anxiety in some children. Music with a steady rhythm or classical music appears to work best on the child’s anxiety.

Most important is the fact that music therapy is enjoyable for the child and since the child enjoys it he will be better able to work with the music therapist. It is almost like playing, but in reality the music therapy has been found to achieve better results for the autistic child than play without the added benefit of the music. Music therapy appears to be a positive way to reach and help autistic children.