MUSIC THERAPYStudies show that there are connections between speech and signing, rhythm and motor behavior, memory for song and memory for academic material. It has also been proven that music enhances the information exchange process between the left and the right brain hemispheres, which helps bring the brain of an autistic child back to synchronization
(See "Brain imbalance as a possible cause of autism").
Music Therapy is especially effective in developing communication and speech. Music is considered a "universal" language that links the children with autism and their environment by making it easier for them to communicate and express themselves. For instance, musical games like passing a ball back and forth or playing sticks and cymbals with another person might be used to enhance social interaction. Eye contact might be encouraged with imitative clapping games and with activities that focus attention on an instrument played while positioning for eye contact.
Reported outcomes of the music therapy sessions include the following:
- Increased Attention
- Decreased Self-Stimulation
- Enhanced Auditory Processing
- Improved Cognitive Functioning
- Improved Verbal Skills
- Increased Socialization
- Improved Behavior
There is more information about music therapy at: www.musictherapy.org.
Also, a link below contains information about music therapy for people with autism: http://www.musictherapy.org/assets/1/7/MT_Autism_2006.pdf
If you want to find a registered music therapist you can use http://www.musictherapy.ca/ to get access to the list of music therapists registered with the Canadian Association for Music Therapy. Furthermore, you may try the music programs at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital or at Blueballoon Centre
"We have been doing the Music Therapy for our son for about four months now, and I can definitely notice a significant improvement in his attention span and focus. I got reports from his teacher at school that he now listens to the teacher during the circle time and enjoys listening the stories during the school library visits. Also, I noticed that now he can repeat a sentence consisting of four or even five words (before music therapy it was three words at most), so his auditory processing has also improved.
We have been using services of a private music teacher Tatiana Baika, who has an extensive experience of working with autistic children. Below is her contact information." - Natalya