Music an Alternative Communication Strategy for Autism

As reported yesterday, human voices does not trigger pleasure for many individuals on the autism spectrum.

While loud sounds can cause a severe negative reaction, music can be a helpful education intervention if specifically design for the child. Music therapy has proved effective in helping the people with serious diseases like cancer and depression as it effectively helps them to cope with the situation.

Music is indeed a wonder drug as it has the unique powers to soothe and heal the mind of stress and can relieve the soul but it has also been scientifically researched and proved that music also has unique properties to cure physical ailments and to some extend treat genetically caused abnormalities like autism. It has been found out that a particular tone or pitch of music has the magical property of having powerful effect on the living body and this can help a person to regain the lost psychological and physiological health conditions.

Many hospitals in the world also hire expert music therapists to better the psychological state of patients suffering from serious ailments. These music therapists also help people with patients whose ailment calls for special attention and also help those who find it a trouble to easily communicate with the people around them. Problems like sensory impairment, psychiatric disorder, drug abuse and developmental disabilities and even cases like autism. Autism is a neurological disorder and it affects children and it can be found out at a very early age by the people who majorly interact with the child. Symptoms shown by autistic kids are basically that they fully tend to avoid social interactions and usually behave in an extremely clumsy manner and they often show a lack of interest in the activities that normal kids of a comparable age enjoy.

Music therapy has proved itself very effective in the treatment of autistic children and it mainly focuses on making the autistic children socially interactive by making them dance in the various beats of the music, making them sing together or singing to them some melodies that can improve their psychological health. Soon after the therapy progresses, the children begin to communicate with the therapists and also enable them to develop their social skills and begin to respond to certain notes and also tend to sing along and learn to communicate through music. They also begin to show specific interest in any instrument and play them effectively and there have been many music maestros who have been autistic. Music therapy is generally useful to such children as they can communicate effectively and lead a better life.

After carefully assessing a person suffering from autism, the music therapist makes a schedule and syllabus suiting the person and to improve that child in the area it needs help in. There are certain rules the music therapists have to abide by:

According to the National Autistic Society, a therapist must:

1)    Use simple songs that suit the child who has to be treated. The therapist should be one who must be able to effectively respond to the cry and words spoken by the child.

2)    Rely on the spontaneous musical improvisation and should use tuned instruments that suit the client.