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The following statements represent the rationale for using music therapy with individuals with ASD:
Music holds universal appeal. It provides a bridge in a non-threatening way between individuals and their environment, facilitating positive and meaningful relationships, learning, self-expression, and communication.
Music is highly motivating and may be used a natural reinforcer for desired responses. Music therapy can stimulate individuals to reduce negative and/or self-stimulatory responses and increase participation in more appropriate and socially acceptable ways.
Music therapy can enable those without verbal language to communicate, participate and express themselves non-verbally. Very often music therapy also assists in the development of verbal communication, speech, and language skills.
The rhythmic component of music is very organizing for the sensory systems of individuals diagnosed with ASD.
Music therapy focuses on strengths, which in turn may be used to address each individual's areas of need.
Musical elements and structures provide a sense of security and familiarity in the music therapy setting, encouraging individuals to attempt new tasks in a predictable but malleable framework.
Information from Children with Autism Colwyn Trevarthen, Kenneth Aitken, Despina Papoudi, Jaqueline Robarts
Music Therapy and Autism
Music therapy provides a unique variety of music experiences in an intentional and developmentally appropriate manner to elicit changes in behavior and facilitate development of skills.
Literature reports that most individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) respond positively to music. People with ASD often show a heightened interest and response to music, making it an excellent therapeutic tool for working with them.
Clinical outcomes studied have focused mainly on the use of music to address: Communication