Skip to main content

Tag: music therapy for autism

How Music Therapy Can Help People with Autism

Music therapy is a well-established method to bring together autism and music. At Lexington Services, we utilize musical engagement to assist our members with a broad variety of cognitive and emotional issues to improve their capacity to function. There really isn’t any risk of using music for autism therapy. We provide expert musical therapists who know how to best use sensory music for autism. 

This autism therapy can enhance someone’s abilities, reduce anxiety, and even create new communication skills by engaging with adults and children on the autism spectrum.

It’s crucial to understand that music therapy is not the same as musical training. If you want your loved one to develop vocal or instrumental talents, you’ll need to locate a teacher instead of or in addition to a music therapist. Cultivating autism and music can serve as a beneficial way to treat daily stressors. 

Music Therapy for Autism

Who is Your Music Therapist?

A practicing music therapist has a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from one of around 70 AMTA-recognized university programs. Certain applicants have further education.

Along with the academic requirements, the bachelor’s degree requires 1200 hours of clinical training, including a supervised internship. Music therapy graduate degrees place a focus on advanced clinical practice and research.

Individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree in music therapy are eligible to sit for the national board certification exam and acquire the title MT-BC (Music Therapist – Board Certified.)

The MT-BC credential is issued by a separate, accredited organization known as the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT.) Music therapists who demonstrate the competence, ability, and skills necessary to function at a professional level get their degree.

If the state in which they work has developed a state licensure/registry procedure, music therapists may also be licensed or registered.

Why It’s a Great Option

Music therapy can help those on the autism spectrum improve their communication, social abilities, behavior, cognitive, sensorial difficulties, motor abilities, and self-reliance or self-determination. Keep reading to learn about how therapists use sensory music for autism during treatment.

  1. The therapist seeks to create a musical experience that resonates with a specific client, establishing trust and fostering personal relationships. 

A meta-study took a deep dive into results. They “reported benefits included, but were not limited to, increased appropriate social behavior; increased attention to task; increased vocalization, verbalization, gesture, and vocabulary comprehension; increased communication and social skills; enhanced body awareness and coordination; improved self-care skills; and reduced anxiety.”

  1. Autism and music may show more benefits when the rest of the family is involved. The same research effort revealed that music therapy in a family-oriented environment might help strengthen parent-child connections. Music tends to evoke interest and engagement in those with autism. Music is motivating and engrossing, so therapists help their students achieve desired reactions by using the sounds as a natural “reinforcer.” 
  2. Music therapy may also assist those who have sensory aversions to specific sounds. The treatment can help our members deal with sound sensitivities or individual variances in auditory processing.

If you or your loved one already seems to love and react to music, it may be worthwhile to explore some of our music therapy providers.

Music Therapy Affects People With Autism

First, your therapist will get to know their members. After analyzing each person’s abilities and requirements, they can then create a treatment plan. The plan will vary per student but typically includes a variety of objectives and goals. Once all of this is covered, we can give the appropriate therapy. 

Music therapists use a range of music and approaches to lead one-on-one sessions and in group settings. Professional music therapists can devise solutions that their members adopt in their daily life. We encourage members and their families to bring music therapy practices into the home setting. 

Where Do I Find Care?

Music therapists work at Lexington Services. Check out our website for more information on which locations we offer music therapy for autism. You can also find music therapists throughout the ASD public school systems. 

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), music therapy is recognized as a related service that provides “significant motivation and/or assistance” in the achievement of Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and objectives.

Music therapists may also deliver services in the home, early intervention centers, Head Start programs, daycare centers, specialized programs in collaboration with other professionals, day treatment facilities, group homes, supportive employment locations, and other community settings.

Research Backs It Up 

There is substantial research on the advantages of music therapy with persons on the autism spectrum. Many peer-reviewed publications exist such as the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives. There are also numerous pieces in journals outside the field. The clinical outcomes that have been researched have mostly focused on the use of music to address:

  • Communication
  • Cognition
  • Behaviors(Problem/Repetitive/Stereotypic)
  • Emotional Regulation 
  • Social Skills 

The following are targeted areas and explanations for providing music therapy to those with ASD.

  • Music has a worldwide appeal. It acts as a non-threatening connection between people and/or between individuals and their environment, promoting relationships, learning, self-expression, and communication. 
  • Music catches and keeps people’s attention. It is very motivating and may be utilized as a natural “reinforcer” for desired reactions.
  • Music therapy may help people minimize negative and/or self-stimulatory reactions and improve engagement in more suitable and socially acceptable ways.
  • Music delivers real, multisensory stimulation (auditory, visual, proprioceptive, vestibular, and tactile.)
  • Music therapy focuses on strengths, which may then be used to treat each individual’s areas of need. Many persons with ASD have intrinsic musical abilities; hence, music therapy gives a possibility for rewarding encounters.
  • The rhythmic component of music is particularly organized for the sensory systems of people with autism. As a consequence, music therapy may improve auditory processing and other sensory-motor, perceptual/motor, gross, and fine motor abilities. Musical components and frameworks create a feeling of comfort and familiarity in the music therapy context, helping persons with ASD to try new activities in a predictable yet pliable framework.

Music therapy may help persons who do not speak to interact, engage, and express themselves nonverbally. Music therapy is often used to aid in the development of verbal communication, speech, and language abilities.

Music therapy for children and people with autism augments interpersonal timing and reciprocity in shared play, turn-taking, listening, and reacting to another person in order to adapt and address their communication methods.

Sensory Music for Autism

On a Final Note

Music therapy assists people with ASD in identifying and effectively expressing their feelings.

Because music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain, it may increase cognitive functioning and may be utilized to remediate certain speech/language abilities. 

If you are looking for music therapy to treat autism, contact us and learn more about our services.