February 26, 2024

The child-therapist relation might be regarded as an “experimental” relation for children, where he/she learns to attune his/her behaviors to adult behaviors. Another promising finding that deserves attention is the positive effect of educational music therapy on children with dyslexia, but more research is needed to conclude any definitive positive effect. For children with other NDDs, more substantial studies are needed before a conclusion can be made on the value of their use. How useful is the addition of music therapy sessions to the traditional care of children with NDDs? A number of methodological biases prevents us from generating any firm conclusions based on the studies reviewed. Among the different combinations of music therapy sessions and clinical characteristics of the patients tested, a stronger effect was observed for the use of improvisational music therapy in children with both ASD and ID (22, 24, 31).

music therapy for autism

These music-based interventions provide a unique platform for individuals to express themselves and engage with others in a meaningful way. Music therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals with autism to express themselves, explore new ways of communication, develop social skills, and manage sensory sensitivities. Research has shown that music therapy can be highly beneficial for individuals on the autism spectrum, enhancing their overall quality of life. Two randomized controlled studies were conducted to document the effect of educational music therapy on children with dyslexia.

This means that future research may change these findings and our confidence in them. It remains unclear whether music therapy has an effect on social interaction, non-verbal communication and verbal communication at the end of therapy since the certainty of evidence was low to very low. From the available evidence, we cannot tell whether music therapy has any effects on social interaction, and verbal and non-verbal communication at the end of therapy. Final Thoughts“Where words fail, music speaks,” as the writer Hans Christian Andersen put it.

Study selection and data extraction

Read more about piano lessons for special needs here. In other words, the individual seems unable to mentally ‘see’ or ‘hear’ something that is not immediately present in the environment. Language, a verbal symbolic system, remains largely misused and misunderstood.

In this way, the parts of a child’s brain needed for communication are strengthened and reinforced. Also significant in music therapy with autistic persons, is that all of the musical experiences can be structured for success. Although interactions may be limited by language problems, social relations can become warm. And mutually satisfying if the autistic individual learns that he or she can succeed in the adapted, therapeutic environment. Research has demonstrated that music therapy can have significant positive effects upon autistic behaviours and disorders and can therefore provide a valuable adjunct to available treatment services. It is important to stress, however, the need for a trained and knowledgeable music therapist when using music with this population. Circumstances exist under which music can have harmful effects and, particularly if applied improperly or in a therapeutically inappropriate way, can severely hamper or prevent successful treatment.

The Benefits of Music Therapy for Autistic Children

This meta-analysis included eight RCTs with 608 individuals who compared MT groups to no-MT control groups. Music therapy focuses on improving the expressiveness of inner emotional experiences and helping with body awareness.

Four authors independently selected studies and extracted data from all included studies. Four authors independently assessed risk of bias (RoB) of each included study using the original RoB tool as well as the certainty of evidence using GRADE. Autism can also present challenges in understanding and expressing emotions. It allows individuals to recognize and express emotions in a controlled environment, encouraging a better understanding of their emotional landscape. These strategic focus areas emerged following a strategic analysis by an ad hoc workgroup charged by the Board of Directors of the American Music Therapy Association.

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