Music Therapy for Autism: Setting Rhythms, Creating Spontaneity

Happy-child-with-bouquet-of-flowers-750x350Autism is a condition where a person has impaired social skills and communication, as well as having a tendency for extremely compulsive and repetitive behavior. This compulsive behavior makes it difficult for you to be able to deal with the person, since any deviation from the routine will cause an adverse reaction.

Music therapy may help an autistic person get over his condition and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with it. They do this by using music’s quality of having a rhythm and at the same time variety, allowing the autistic to adjust gradually

Setting Rhythms

Rhythm is one of the main elements of music. This is one element which creates a certain periodicity and routine to it. This differentiates ordered music from disordered noise. This is definitely something which autistics can pick up and appreciate. It is nearly instinctive for them to be comfortable in set rhythms and patterns, in order to make them feel comfortable. They would definitely understand that order and, in the end, tend to seek that order, enabling them to communicate.

Since they can pick up rhythms easily, it may be a good choice for them to pick up simple yet rhythmic instruments, like drums or other percussions. They may be able to be virtuosos here, allowing them to express themselves more fully and more easily for their audience. This helps them bridge the social divide, allowing them to become more productive members of society while ensuring that they will be able to have some semblance of independent living later on. They can also be very good composers and players for other instruments, like piano or, surprisingly, violin. Their compulsive behavior is actually a boon in this field, since they will definitely want to have a set practice time.

Creating Spontaneity

Music can also help the autistic be guided into understanding spontaneity and the fact that there will always be variations in things. Since there is a rhythm to back him up, he will make the transition more comfortably and more easily, especially due to the fact that there are still patterns in music, albeit used in a more varied manner. It will stimulate the mind of the autistic if he or she will seek the patterns in music. This spontaneity will also help him adjust to situations which are stressful, since he or she can just tune in to the music and “be on familiar ground”.

This spontaneity is also an essential part of communication. This distinguishes them from each other. Music can help the autistic communicate due to its structured yet spontaneous structure. The variety of tunes he or she can produce is extremely high. Thus, he or she will never tire out of learning these things.

Here are other advantages of music therapy for autistics:

· Improving language comprehension

· Encouraging the desire to communicate

· Making creative-self expression possible

· Reducing non-communicative speech by decreasing echolalia (incessant repetition of the words spoken by another)

Bay Area Music Therapy strives to help a variety of patient types live stronger and happier lives through music therapy. Find out how we can help you with music therapy in the Bay Area.

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