This process involves gradually introducing different music elements like volume changes, introducing new instruments, and varying rhythms, allowing individuals to adapt to diverse auditory experiences. In the same way, music therapy improves the social skills of children with ASD due to the decreased link between their visual and hearing brain parts. Music therapy decreases their sensitivities to both lights and noises, and it allows them to concentrate on social situations without getting distractions by brightness or loud sounds. Research suggests that using musical cueing, you can improve a child with autism’s ability to recognize words. There is also evidence that indicates that pairing reading and song rehearsal from song sheets is far more effective at improving literacy than other forms of learning. Musical activities can also be an effective way to build a child’s vocabulary as music is such a powerful reinforcer.
Read more about music therapy for autism here. Through rhythmic entrainment, individuals with autism can improve their motor skills, enhance their ability to follow instructions, and regulate their responses to sensory stimuli. The effectiveness of music therapy for autism lies in its ability to tap into the inherent musicality of individuals and leverage it as a tool for growth and development.
What is Music Therapy?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social communication and interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior. Individuals with autism may exhibit challenges in social skills, communication, sensory processing, and emotional regulation. This approach emphasizes the importance of music-making in developing skills, a sense of self, and a capacity for social interactions. Nordoff and Robins both believed that all people, regardless of pathology, illness, disability, or trauma all have the ability to make music. Due to Robins’ history with teaching children, this specific approach is well known for its work with children and adults who have learning disabilities or difficulties.
Effectiveness of music therapy in ASD
Music therapy can open doors, especially to combat neurological conditions like ASD. Music therapy can be considered a safe intervention in pediatric health care to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. For neurological disorders like ASD, music therapy should be considered in conjunction with other established therapy approaches. Music therapy is very easy to implement into clinical practices and should be considered a treatment option for people with ASD. However, it is important to note that beneficial music intervention requires many criteria that cannot be exploited. There must be specialized academic and clinical training for the music therapy administrators. Also, there must be a careful selection of music intervention techniques that fit the needs of the child.
If you can find a way to integrate music therapy with other types of evidence-based therapy, like ABA therapy, you may get some coverage while paying some of the costs out of pocket. Some insurance companies are beginning to offset the costs of some creative therapies, such as music therapy, so inquire with your specific provider regarding any potential coverage. Music therapy should only be conducted by a licensed, certified music therapist, just like other types of behavioral treatment including ABA therapy. The music therapist may choose one or two of these tasks as part of the overall treatment plan, or they may use several of these approaches across different therapy sessions. Lastly, goals are created and sessions are scheduled for regular intervals. Your music therapist will take data at every session and update goals regularly to meet your child’s needs in the moment. Depending on where your child receives music therapy, for example at school vs a private clinic, the costs of treatment vary.