How Music Can Enhance the Life of an Autistic Individual

How Music Can Enhance the Life of an Autistic Individual

Music is a universal language, and it is not only a form of art but also a form of therapy for autistic individuals.

The soothing effect on the brain that listening to music provides proves that music can be used to enhance the life of an autistic individual.

One of the ways music can benefit autistic people is by helping them reduce their anxiety. Anxiety and restlessness are common symptoms of autism, but with the right therapy, they may learn how to feel less anxious.

Also, autistic persons often develop poor communication skills as they find it difficult to express themselves, understand and respond to verbal conversations and interpret facial expressions.

However, through music, they may learn to improve and sharpen their communication skills and interact better with others.

Furthermore, music can improve the behavior of an autistic person.

Listening to music may help them destress and release tension during moments of frustration or anger.

Music may be used as a coping mechanism to manage intense emotions and negative behaviors.

Read on to learn more about how music can enhance the life of an autistic individual:

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Sara Robbins, LCSW

Sara Robbins, LCSW

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Melissa Johnston, LPC

Melissa Johnston, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Janelle Wagenknecht, MA, LPCC, ADDC

Janelle Wagenknecht, MA, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(720) 710-0919

It Reduces Anxiety

Music can enhance the life of an autistic individual by helping them reduce and cope with their anxiety.

The fear of being misunderstood and the pressure of fitting in may make an autistic person anxious.

Therefore, listening to music as a form of therapy may effectively reduce anxiety in autistic persons.

Many autistic persons who find comfort in listening to music may prefer a particular song or genre of music with a repetitive beat, like classical music, as it calms them down and reduces their anxiety.

This preference is usually because of the repetitive and restrictive nature.

Listening to music distracts the brain from stressors because it offers a distraction from any form of internal and external stress stimuli.

It also triggers the release of dopamine which is responsible for satisfaction and pleasure in the brain of an autistic person.

Although many autistic individuals have sensory issues and may be sensitive to noise, some enjoy music and music-making as long as it is approached on their terms and in a safe setting.

It Improves Their Communication Skills

Another way music can enhance the life of an autistic individual is by helping them become better at communicating with others.

People with autism spectrum disorder often have issues communicating with people either verbally or non-verbally.

They may experience difficulty understanding and responding when spoken to or understanding facial expressions.

Music helps autistic people communicate better because it eliminates verbal expression barriers and allows them to express themselves without using words.

They may learn how to create and sing songs about their feelings through music to help them communicate better.

Also, if an autistic person learns how to play a musical instrument, it may help them interact and open up to others especially if they have to play in a crowd.

They may also improve their social skills by becoming friends and connecting with people who play the same instrument.

Furthermore, music, in general, helps people relate better to one another.

Music therapists have used music to improve communication and reduce shyness in children with autism, thereby enhancing their interactions and self-confidence. 

It Improves Their Behavior

Another way music can enhance the life of an autistic person is by causing an improvement in their behavior.

When faced with overwhelming situations and social challenges, autistic individuals may exhibit negative behavior.

The calming effect of music may reduce restlessness and erratic behavior in autistic persons.

Some studies have shown that music can lessen anxiety in autistic individuals, which, in turn, reduces those behaviors that are attributed to anxiety, like agitation and negative talk.

Music may also serve as a means for autistic people to express their anger.

Instead of acting irrationally or misbehaving when angry, they may choose to listen to music or play their favorite musical instrument to self-regulate.

Furthermore, music may improve their tolerance to stress and frustrations.

Rather than throwing tantrums when frustrated, listening to music may serve as a way to relieve stress and tension.

While autistic kids experience external stimuli like temperature change, sound, or taste differently than most people, music therapy trains them to separate and deal with those stimuli, improving how they communicate their feelings.

It Encourages a Better Understanding of Words

Another way music can enhance the life of an autistic individual is by encouraging a better understanding of words.

Words learned from songs may increase the vocabulary of an autistic person and help them communicate properly.

For children with autism, using music to teach them new words may improve their speech and understanding of words at an early age.

For example, introducing the alphabet song to them may effectively encourage them to learn the letters of the alphabet early.

Also, music aids in quick remembrance.

Words in the lyrics of a song may be easy to recollect because the presence of melody helps the memory of words.

There is an increase in brain activity that hastens recollection when words are sung compared to words that are spoken.

Furthermore, the fact that music makes it easier to learn words and improves communication and vocabulary shows how it is a fun and powerful tool that may be used as therapy for autistic persons.

It Increases Focus and Attention 

Music can enhance the life of an autistic individual by improving focus and increasing their attention span.

People with autism may find it challenging to pay attention and focus on things that don't interest them, but with music, they can become more attentive and present.

Autistic people can develop a high sense of concentration and calmness when listening to music.

They may be more attentive and focused when listening to music.

It may even be possible for them to learn the song lyrics when they are focused.

Also, listening to music when working or carrying out a task may help an autistic person center their attention and make the work seem less stressful.

It allows them to pay less attention to distractions.

Even though most autistic people experience difficulty paying attention, they can learn how to be attentive and focused through music therapy and get better at it with practice. 

Conclusion

Music, when combined with autism's restrictive and repetitive traits, has the power to unlock hidden abilities buried deep within people on the autism spectrum.

Music, over time, has proven to be an effective therapy for autism.

Music can enhance the life of an autistic individual by serving as a means for reducing anxiety, improving their communication skills, improving their behavior, encouraging a better understanding of words, and increasing their focus and attention.

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May 18th, 2024

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