Music has been proved as an effective medicine to cure many problems. It has been seen in most of the cases that music fulfills mental, emotional, physical and social needs better. There are lots of benefits of music. You will be surprised to know that music affects your unborn baby also. Music therapy is also used to cure the problem of autism.
It is a fact that everyone responds to some kind of music and hence the music can be utilized to treat various disorders. Even serious medical disorders like autism can be treated through music. Experts say that music therapy has the potential to reinforce among the listeners attention towards music. It does not require any verbal communication and it naturally treats autistic patients.
Since, the autistic children have nothing to do with this treatment, it is non-threatening for them and hence they give positive response to music. Music therapy is a successful tool to treat autistic patients.
Effects of music therapy on children who are autistic
Children who suffer from autism do not exhibit any kind of interest in the social activities and the people nearby like the normal ones. They stay isolated and withdrawn from the happenings near them. They do not respond to any activity which takes place around them.
To treat them is not so easy. However, music therapy can be adopted by the therapists to treat them. The benefits of music therapy on such people are as follows:
Exposing autistic children to music sessions teaches them to express their feelings. Music helps these children realize how to express things, although they do not express things in a brilliant way but they are capable of doing it. For example, an autistic child can be taught to play a game which involves moving the ball front and back on listening to a particular music. There are other musical games in which the autistic children get a chance to interact with other students. Hence, these activities develop an autistic child socially. It teaches them how to behave and interact with society.
Music helps them channelize and maintain attention
By playing the music, the note, or the chord which an autistic child is familiar with, a therapist maintains or channelizes his attention.
Just like playing a musical instrument in front of the autistic child. The attention span may not increase however the eye contact between the therapist and the child is created. This was the goal of this experiment. Through music therapy the visual, tactile and auditory sensations in a child are provoked. Therefore, this therapy proves to be helpful in stimulating the sensory responses of an autistic child.
Autistic people often face severe problems to understand any particular language. To overcome language problems, music therapy is given to them. Music therapy improves the ability to speak in such people, it involves proper symbolization, comprehension and conceptualization of the language.
Another important factor of music is it needs both hemispheres of our brain to be processed. Thus, an autistic person can improve the cognitive function of his brain through music therapy. They can improve their grip on the language skills.
Involving autistic children in dancing or singing helps them to communicate with others. These activities break the isolation of the autistic child and he starts interacting with the society. This fact can be utilized by the music therapists that the autistic people perceive the sounds and the music better than the commands given to them verbally. Hence, music can break the iceberg of isolation and it can motivate communication among autistic children.
Therefore, if people suffering from autism are comfortable in expressing their feelings through singing, then they can be taught language or speech with the help of music only. Music can be used to improve learning abilities in children.
The music therapists can compose songs which have simple words in them so that the child learns those words and is able to use them in real life also. Use recurring phrases in songs so that it sharpens the child’s language. The results are promising if the music therapist includes tactile and visual cues while teaching music lessons to the autistic children.
Music helps such children to build relationship with others
Autistic people stay isolated from others, they prefer staying away from others in their own world. Hence, for such children, the term relationship building is alien. They lack the ability to interact with society properly.
The feelings which normal people have, they never respond to them. Any physical approach taken by anyone like hugging, cuddling, ignoring or loving them does not have any effect on autistic children. Hence, through music therapy such children are taught to build a non-threatening and non-verbal relationship with the instruments. The researchers of CAMT Weifrid Laurier University after several studies found this technique useful to treat autistic patients.
The look of the instrument is the first thing with which these children make a contact. The sound and the feel of the instruments also enable them to recognize the instrument. After these things, the therapist who plays the instrument can easily get the door to enter into the world of autistic patients. A therapist through his music can establish a contact with his patients. Once the autistic patient recognizes him, he can adopt various musical techniques to pull such patients out of their own world.
On the other hand, this technique may also have negative impact on some other autistic patients. Therefore, one must not completely rely on this technique. For example, it has been found by the experts that in cases of few autistic people music intensified the self-isolation behavior. Hence, they withdrew themselves more from the society.
Experts say that the reason behind the negative outcome may be due to the carelessness in the music therapy given to them. If the therapy is not conducted properly in a structured manner it may push autistic people more into their own world.
Treating an autistic patient is not so easy since it requires lots of patience and control. It has been agreed by various medical experts that even conducting music therapy on such people is not that simple. The procedure of music therapy is very slow and laborious.
Since this therapy is extraordinarily slow, at one point the therapist and the parents may feel like stopping the treatment. They may feel that there is no importance of teaching their child to behave socially.
However, few instances may give the teacher and the parents the happiness and assurance of getting successful. Like if the child sings the phrases which are taught to him or if he speak few meaningful words. When the child follows any basic social etiquette, it is like a reward for the teacher and the parents.
Music Festivals Happening around World also gives much pleasure and experience to the music lovers. If the music in the festival is of the taste of your child, take him to such events. He will enjoy with others and will also learn new things in life.
Hence, music therapy has the power to cure an autistic child.