Autism is a complex neuro-developmental disorder that affects how a person communicates and interacts with others.
While there is no cure for autism, there are several treatment options available to help manage its symptoms.
One of the most promising alternative treatment approaches for autism is music therapy.
What is Music Therapy and How Does it Work?
Music therapy is a form of therapy that uses musical experiences and relationships to enable communication and expression, helping to address some of the core problems of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Music therapists are trained professionals who observe clients’ behavior and interactions, assess their behavioral, emotional, and psycho-social needs, and develop individualized treatment plans, according to American Music Therapy Association.
Research Studies That Support the Effectiveness of Music Therapy for Autism
Research has shown that music therapy can be an effective treatment approach for children with autism.
As explained in this study, music therapy can help children with ASD develop or improve skills such as shared attention, communication, play, sensory issues, behavior, cognition, and motor imitation.
Another study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that music therapy improved the communication skills of children with autism.
The study found that children who received music therapy had better communication skills than those who did not receive music therapy.
A review of studies on the effectiveness of music therapy for autism published in the Journal of Music Therapy also found that music therapy can be an effective treatment approach for children with autism.
The review found that music therapy can improve communication skills, social interactions, and emotional regulation in children with autism.
How to Find a Qualified Music Therapist and Get Started with Music Therapy
Here are some steps to help you find a qualified music therapist and get started with music therapy:
Ask for referrals.
Your doctor or other healthcare providers may be able to provide you with a referral for a qualified music therapist.
They may also be able to recommend local music therapy clinics or organizations that can help you find a qualified therapist.
You can also find a qualified music therapist by searching online for music therapy clinics or organizations in your area.
For example, if you live in New York, just search “music therapy clinic NY” and you’ll be able to all your nearby clinics.
Many music therapy clinics and organizations have websites that list their therapists and their qualifications.
Contact your local autism society.
Your local autism society may also be able to provide you with a referral for a qualified music therapist or information on local music therapy clinics or organizations.
Once you have a list of potential therapists, it’s important to check their credentials.
A qualified music therapist should have a degree in music therapy and be certified by the American Music Therapy Association.
Schedule an assessment.
Once you have found a qualified music therapist, schedule an assessment to determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
This will help the therapist to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your child’s specific needs.
Communicate with the therapist.
During the therapy, it’s important to communicate with the therapist and provide them with any feedback on your child’s progress or any concerns you may have.
Music therapy is a continuous process, it’s important to be consistent with therapy sessions and practice music at home to maintain the progress.
In the end, finding a qualified music therapist and getting started with music therapy can take some effort, but it’s worth it to help your child with autism improve their communication, social skills, and emotional regulation.
In fact, every alternative therapies for autism treatment is worth trying as long as you don’t find the right one for your kid! Good luck!