Some types of music believed to be beneficial to address the health problems, including autism.
One of the advantages of music therapy is that there is no need for verbal communication.
In addition, music therapy also serves as a natural reinforcement.
Here’s how the music therapy in helping people with autism.
- Learning Expressing Yourself
Children with autism are not interested in being involved in social activities like a normal person. Therefore, the use of music as therapy can work well.
When autistic children have therapy sessions with a variety of music, they will get a chance to learn to express themselves.
Although it is not known how it works exactly, but music therapy is promising.
For example, music can be combined with a ball toss game.
While doing throwing a ball game, the therapist asks the child to catch or throw the ball as a response to the music that is being played.
- Maintain and Focus Attention
Another goal of music therapy is to help children with autism maintaining and focusing attention.
The therapist can play a chord between the tone, note, or a particular musical pitch and see the effect on the child.
One example is to play the instrument near the child’s face.
In addition to helping improve attention span, music can also encourage eye contact with the child who is one of the important goals of treatment.
Music therapy is a combination of sensation auditory, visual, and touch. It is these factors that help stimulate the sensory organs of a child with autism.
- Improving Speech
Language is one important area that is problematic in the development of children with autism. Music therapy helps children improve speech mainly involving conceptualization, symbolization, and comprehension.
According to experts, the music is processed in both hemispheres. Therefore, music therapy can help autistic children improve cognitive function and their language skills. While following the activities of singing or dancing, children with autism are believed to begin communicating even if it is done only through song.
This makes the music therapist aware of the fact that autistic child is easier and faster to welcome the sound of music rather than verbal command or physical approach.
By conducting vocal music, speech therapists can enhance the ability of children with autism.
The therapist can write songs with simple words or phrases repeatedly to sharpen language skills of children. When the music lessons are presented with visual and tactile cues, the result could be more promising.
- Build Non-verbal and Not Threatening Relationships
Children with autism typically not responsive to the feelings of others, avoid physical contact such as hugging, and ignoring the social approach.
Music therapy gives children the opportunity to build relationships that do not threaten the non-verbal through musical instruments. This may be because of the sound, the look and shape of the instrument helps children make the initial contact.
With the instrument as an intermediary, the therapist can gradually get into the “world” of children with autism.
After successfully establishing trustworthy relationship with the child, the therapist can apply various techniques of music to pull the child out of his world that ignores social contact.
However, the researchers also said there is a possibility of music therapy lead to undesirable results. In some cases, it was found that music aggravates behavior “withdraw” and “self-isolation” in children with autism.
If not done carefully, controlled and structured, music therapy can actually encourage autistic children to go deeper into their world.
Experts agree that the benefits of music therapy for autism involve a long and difficult process, so that both parents and therapists sometimes feel hopeless.