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Music Therapy for Autism

Learn about music therapy for children with autism from pediatrician and child development expert Asma J. Sadiq, M.D. in this Howcast video.


So is there a role in music therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder? Absolutely. Music has been healing and transcendental for all of us but particularly for children with the autism spectrum, it can be very calming, and it’s a way of actually increasing social engagement as well. You can have engaged with other children, playing music. It is something that has been used, in new nettle nurseries for example, with all children but particularly with kids with autism.

There is a lot of interesting data coming out. Sound and music is very calming and actually can be also stimulating to get them to be engage more. We have a breakage music therapy department and music therapy is actually is something I recommend and parents are actually naturally using. I have parents using certain sounds which will help their child sleep. Kids naturally like to respond to nursery rhymes and can dance and move.

So movement and music is actually very engaging and is used therapeutically with children in autism or with symptoms of the autism spectrum disorder. So music therapy and even movement therapy is really very helpful for children with an autism spectrum disorder. It helps them with self regulation which is one of core symptoms and issues that children have. Using music, whether it's at a slow calm listening to music or playing an instrument or moving to music is all beneficial and you have to tailor it to your child.

There are music listening systems that are available for children because some kids actually can have hyperacusis and are very sensitive to sound, so you need to do it on a gradient and see what suits your child and tailor it to his or her particular needs and actually, music is something you can enjoy with your child. So it becomes a parent-child thing as well as something that can be used for social interaction and communication because kids can play together with music and that's a very important part of childhood, because a child's job is to play. While they play, they learn and music is a great way to do that.

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