Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs

Music can have a powerful impact on the vitality of those who hear it. Music has served as a healing method for physical illnesses for generations. Music has the ability to neutralize negative feelings and enhance the body's natural stress tolerance level. Some therapists have specific training and expertise to help people with music. People of all ages are candidates for music therapy. Children suffering from a variety of medical illnesses or issues can receive important benefits when a treatment program includes music therapy.

About Music Therapy

Music has a surprising ability to evoke strong emotions when people hear it. An upbeat style of music can be instrumental in lifting people up and energizing them. More sedate music can comfort people and help them relax. Music therapists have special training that enables them to use music to help people with healing and symptom alleviation. Music therapists work in hospitals, clinics, and schools. Music therapy sessions can involve both groups and individuals, depending on the program.

Music Therapy and Special Needs

A variety of special needs can be positively impacted by music therapy. People with autism spectrum disorder have some degree of difficulty with cognitive, social, and verbal function. Therapists have discovered the dramatic power that music can have on people with autism. Because music can stimulate both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, a therapist can use it to improve cognitive activity and self-awareness at the same time. With increased self-awareness, someone with autism can interact more effectively with others. Even the lyrics of songs can help people with autism because they can provide valuable keys for social interactions. People with cerebral palsy can receive important cognitive benefits from music that can lead to improvements in dexterity, fine and gross motor function, concentration, alertness, and the reduction of muscle tension. Individuals who struggle with ADD or ADHD can benefit from music in important ways, too. Impulse control is a common issue with ADD and ADHD. Listening to classical music can have a profound effect on concentration and focus. Even just playing classical music quietly in the background can improve symptoms for many people.

How Music Therapy Can Help Kids

Music has the power to stimulate the senses. This stimulation can be exceptionally effective for helping with children's developmental skills. The joy and vitality that typically come with listening to music can spur greater learning success in children. This can be especially beneficial for kids experiencing cognitive delays. Whether a therapist uses upbeat music to increase motivation or sedate music to calm, this form of therapy can have a profound impact on children. Children experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of an illness or injury may feel calmer and more relaxed when they listen to music. Even premature babies struggling to survive and grow can benefit from music. When these little ones listen to lullabies or children's songs, they tend to respond with improved heart rates, sleep patterns, and sucking ability.

In addition to listening advantages, children may also experience important benefits from using instruments to create music. Simple instruments such as recorders or kazoos can provide youngsters with the opportunity for oral motor exercises. Kids playing simple instruments in a group setting can have positive exposure to happy social situations. The self-expression that occurs as children make music can elevate moods and reduce stress. Children can also experience positive feelings of self-worth and pride. Children undergoing a medical procedure might bang on a drum or sing a song to distract them from an unpleasant process.

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Burt Cancaster, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

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