Autism Breakthrough – Can Music Therapy Speed Up Learning in Autistic Children?
Autism music therapy has been the topic of great recent interest due to its surprising yet positive effects on autistic children. For autistic toddlers and young children between the ages of 3 to 6, music therapy seems to help connect the dots in terms of emotional and physical behavior and learning.
Abbey Monroe, age 4, is a shining example of what happens when music therapy is introduced to a child with autism.
Abbey’s mother Sarah Monroe, often sings to her and chants short rhythmic phrases to get Abbey to comply and play along while she moves throughout her day from one activity to the next; activities ranging from changing her clothes, to eating a meal, to taking a bath.
Autism Music Therapy at Work in the Classroom
Abbey, who previously lacked verbal skills due to severe autism, is now able to talk and communicate much more effectively after being enrolled in Crenshaw Elementary School where she gets special attention from a highly specialized staff of autism experts and educators. Abbey has been able to overcome many social and behavioral issues thanks to Mrs. Linda LeFante, a veteran autism specialist and strong advocate of music therapy.
“All children with autism respond to music, and Abbey’s no different. I believe you can teach your child basic life skills using music as a tool to help make things easier, both for you and your child,” Mrs. LeFante explains.
“Abbey, like all the other children in my classroom, need to learn the basics for living like changing her clothes, brushing her teeth, and adjusting to different social situations. And music makes the entire learning process much easier and more enjoyable.”
Mrs. LeFante’s confidence in music therapy is based on 14 years of teaching children with autism. Parents of children under Mrs. LeFante’s care attest that her methods are undeniably effective. There are over 60 children with autism enrolled at Crenshaw Elementary where Mrs. LeFante teaches. The children are divided into classrooms of 7 to 8 children with a special education assistant assigned to each child.
Although a huge support staff is on hand, the overwhelming success of the students at Crenshaw Elementary can mostly be attributed to Mrs. LeFante’s music education program which follows the core curriculum. This ensures that every student with autism gets what they need in terms of a complete education.
Music Therapy for Autistic Children – Approved by Parents and Professionals
Judy Morrow, mother of 5 year old Albert Morrow who is also a student at Crenshaw Elementary, recently shared her thoughts on the impact of music therapy, “My son Albert had the toughest time learning due to autism. But now he’s able to recite the alphabet. He also learned to say the names of his favorite animals. He’s even counting which totally caught me off guard. I’m thrilled at how quickly he’s learning. Linda LeFante is an absolute miracle worker.”
To shed further light on the topic, Mrs. LeFante responded by saying, “Music can be the anchor to help your child stay grounded while they learn. I never pressure my students. I never force anything on them. All of the children in my care just naturally gravitate towards music therapy when they witness me and other students enjoying the process. Furthermore, I believe music therapy belongs in the home as much as it does in school. I believe you can teach literally anything using music as a tool.”
The Future of Autism Music Therapy
While there is still much research ahead in the field of cognitive neurology (brain sciences) and the effects of music therapy on children with autism, there is substantial real-life data pouring in from parents and teachers alike in regards to the impact of music therapy in the classroom and at home; positive reports that music unquestionably helps children with autism learn much more effectively, and efficiently, while enjoying both the outcome, and the process.
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Victoria_Goodwin/792073