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Treating Autism with Music Therapy

Most everyone has experienced the power of sound vibration and now treating autism with music therapy is gaining traction.

autism and music therapyAt Queens University there is a program for people who desire to enter the field of music therapy, including treating autism with music herpy. Many types of therapy have been employed to help people heal physical problems and those who have special needs including speech and occupational therapies. Music therapy now has entered into the mix in helping people who have been physically injured or have behavioral issues to overcome.

A great article on music therapy for the autistic by Julie Aguirre has been published on the website http://www.wfae.org where she provides insights to the life of Patrick Cavanaugh, a 13 year old who is afflicted with the disorder.

She details how the boy who aspires to have friends over to socialize, becomes too nervous to communicate and begins to recite books or TV shows.

Lately, he’s been reciting the children’s book, “Tikki Tikki Tembo.”
“So, if he’s really nervous he’ll start reciting (the book) and not engage you at all,” Cavanaugh says.

Patrick has been attending classes at Queens University and where they are providing education in treating autism with music therapy.

At Queens, he works with a certified music therapist and student Danielle Glefke.

They help him with basics. Things like, “Hello,” and “How are you?”

“Children who are born with autism come across with a lot of communication problems. They are just unable to express themselves in a normal fashion. There’s outbursts, there’s banging their head on things – things that aren’t socially acceptable,” Glefke says.

Glefke sings, ” Hello Ms. Sabrina how are you today?” Then, it’s Patrick’s turn to sing along and ask the same question.

As Daniel bangs on drums, sings songs and plunks the xylophone he’s having fun, building confidence, practicing fine motor skills, and strengthening literacy skills.

In just four months of therapy, his mother has seen a difference. “After the first couple of sessions it was obvious to me that she just really clicked with him and that this was going to be really positive and Patrick would leave here wanting to stop at my husband’s office and tell him how fun music was, wanting to call grandma on the phone and tell her what a great time he had at music,”

Cindy Cavanaugh says. That enthusiasm is what inspires Danielle to pursue a music therapy degree. “I think that it’s so incredible to see how music allows people who normally can’t communicate with the world to have an outlet of communication, and to express themselves in ways that other people might be not be able to understand.”

Everyone can relate to music and most all of us have experienced how music can affect our moods. Songs that make us cry, dance or sing are always making the charts. Them more music inspires us the more popular it will be.

It’s incredible how Queens University has taken this phenomena to a new level to aid those in need. Place your comments on treating autism with music therapy below. If you have any experience with this type of therapy please write us and let us know.