How Can Music Help With Early Intervention?
For children with autism, understanding and accepting that they may faceat some characteristic developmental delays is necessary before looking out for unique ways to help them overcome developmental challenges. This makes it easier for parents to identify their child’s needs and seek the right professional help accordingly.
As most educators and professionals would agree, early intervention is a significant step in a child’s life – it ensures that developmental care and guidance is available during the golden period, a critical age for a child’s growth and development, at a pace the child is comfortable with.
There are many developmental outcomes to work towards in an early intervention programme and they can be achieved through a systematic and tailored pedagogy supported by a range of tools. One way to help children with their development is to introduce them to, the world of music.
Learning with music can offer amazing results for children with autism, yet many often underestimate its power in development. We dive into the details below:
What Is Music Therapy
Music therapy is a therapeutic approach towards early intervention, in which various music properties are employed for psychological and behavioural treatment. Among other outcomes, music therapy can help aid social and communication skills in children with autism.
Since these children are typically better at recognising pitch, memorising tunes and mapping their emotions onto various forms of music, it’s no surprise that they can master instruments like the piano and violin before they start to speak. Therefore, the impact music has on developing children is telling, and an avenue both parents and educators should cater to in any early intervention programme.
Benefits Of Music In Early Intervention
1. Improves Self-Expression
One way to get a headstart is to have the child explore musical improvisation – the child plays any instrument the way they like and is encouraged to express themselves through the marvel of melodies. Having the platform to do so, in turn, helps the child build confidence and, at the same time, understand their unique talents or traits. For children who find it difficult to express themselves through speech, music, therefore, offers them an alternative.
2. Enhance Verbal Communication
Since speech can be a challenge for children with autism, teaching them speech skills by just repeating what an adult is saying may do little to help them with this skill. We may be able to better empowering them with words by introducing them to songs where they can learn the lyrics and sing them. With careful facilitation, this can also help improve their pronunciation and enunciation. In fact, the act of crafting and verbally performing these lyrics can then later increase their confidence and help with self-expression.
3. Facilitate neural performance
Studies have shown that music intervention among children with autism helped facilitate social communication behaviour and positive engagement of neural circuits that are important for emotion and memory processing. In other words, combining the two aforementioned points together, the impact music has on the brain helps to facilitate both expression and communication, lending music an important interventive tool. Music also helps the child learn how to focus their attention as they are taught how to play an instrument.
4. Reduce stress and anxiety
Music is known to be a medium to calm children with autism down when they are upset. Since they tend to focus on specific external stimuli at any given time, music helps to lower any stress or anxiety they may be facing, eliminating any overwhelming feeling that prevents them from thinking or communicating coherently.
5. Trains motor skills
Learning with music can involve a range of activities, from dancing to touching and playing musical instruments. There are also instances where educators can mobilise the children to create their own music through specific actions, by clapping, walking, stomping, clicking their fingers and more. This multi-sensory activity, therefore, supports the growth of fine and gross motor skills in these children.
Help Your Child Early For Better Outcomes
Music is one of the many early intervention techniques that helps children with autism meet their developmental goals. With a tailored approach, our educators at MindChamps Allied Care can help your child find their footing and work towards outcomes more holistically. Why not book an appointment to meet us at our therapy centre and learn how we can help your child?