Music Therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses.
They go on to list several possible uses for music therapy, and they address some common myths and misconceptions on their FAQ page. Some students from Utah State University have also created a series of videos about music therapy, and the first one talks about what it is and what it is not.
There is an interesting article titled Music Therapy and Autism that is worth reading if you are wondering whether this therapy could be beneficial for your child (or adult - it is for any age person). They are careful to stress that you need to use a trained and knowledgeable provider who can assess the positive or negative impact of the treatment for a particular individual. Potential outcomes include:
Interrupt patterns of isolation and social withdrawal and enhance socio-emotional development
Facilitate communication, both verbal and nonverbal
Decrease behaviours characteristic of disturbed perceptual and motor functioning, and enhance appropriate and integrated perceptual and motor development
Facilitate creative self-expression and promote emotional satisfaction
In the state of Pennsylvania, children with autism or other disabilities who have Medical Assistance can often obtain this service through their mental health coverage. There are several other types of therapy that can also be used to work toward similar goals; it is just a matter of finding out what works for your child and your family situation.
In my next post, I will talk about our personal experience with music therapy.
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