Music and Autism
The Music and Autism ConnectionAs defined by Autism Speaks, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
- Music therapy and autism research supports a link between musical processing strengths and autism and the use of music as a therapeutic intervention.
- Singing can be an in-road to promote early speech by helping children access new neurological pathways to compensate for communication deficits.
- Music is at its core a structured way to present information. Melodic and rhythmic patterns give students with autism a way to organize auditory information and help memorize scripts, task sequences, and academic facts.
- Music can help individuals with autism make social and family connections through a mutual shared interest.
- Music is a creative medium that can offer a motivating and safe way to explore more flexibility and spontaneity.
What We Offer
How Music Therapy Songs for Autism Can HelpTuned in to Learning® helps students with autism by:
- Fulfilling special education IDEA legal requirements which states that the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) should take into account the student’s strengths, interests, and learning preferences.
- Making repetitive learning tasks seem like fun rather than work
- Providing a multi-sensory approach that taps into visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning
- Offering a sensory outlet through movement, interaction, and hands-on involvement helping to keep students with autism engaged
- Bridging the gap within inclusion settings between students with autism and neurotypical peers
Autism Music Tips
Five Music and Autism Tips
- If your child can’t fill in the last word to a song phrase, give them a movement to imitate instead.
- Set a Social Story™ to a familiar children’s tune or chant it to a rhythmic beat.
- Use novelty to increase motivation: sing in a silly voice, create sound effects, or bring out the bubbles!
- Choose relevant musical rewards. Instead of using a food reward for completion of a color task, use a rainbow xylophone as a reward, or as an actual way to teach colors.
- Help your child tap their hand to a beat with each syllable when working on speech imitation. Read more about Auditory-Motor Mapping research for autism here.