Parenting Corner – Music can be a life changer for kids with autism, ADHD
Be it when we are happy or sad, music speaks for us, is an integral part of our lives. Music also has the power to lift us when we are feeling down and out. Music can also heal, evident in the fact that is used so widely as therapy for children with disorders like autism and ADHD.
As a key member of Special Child Assistance Network (SCAN), a parent based support group in Chennai, Latha Venkatesan has had a chance to witness the therapeutic power of music on kids with such disorders time and again.
Mostly our autistic, ADHD kids are non-verbal and hyperactive, with restlessness and emotional imbalances. Music plays a vital role in calming and soothing them. Most of our kids are interested in music, so we can use music for their development. But in autism spectrum each child is unique so there may be some who do not like music because of their sensory issues, so parents need to look at the child’s interest to interest. –Latha Venkatesan, Member, Tarang, Special Child Assistance Network (SCAN)
In the case of children with autism and ADHD, regular exposure to music over time has shown significant changes in behaviour patterns, like:
– Better focus
– Improved attention span
– Reduced anxiety and stress
– Better coordination
– Reduced mood swings
– Children seem calmer and happier
– Improved social behavior
– Improved communication
14-year-old Pranav Sasimurli , who is on autism spectrum, has been attending music sessions designed for children with disabilities and disorders for a while now. His mother, Priya says she has witnessed many positive effects.
“Music has helped make him calmer and also regulated his sleep, which in turn has reduce many issues related to seizures. From my personal experience, I would suggest all parents with special needs children should expose them to music to see the difference it can bring”.
Apart from changes in behavior, music gives them an opportunity to interact with others, thereby helping in the development of social skills, something that is a challenge for kids with such disorders.
It is also a fun way to spend time with others. Being a part of an activity also brings the feeling of belonging and team spirit. Children also show an improvement in their self-confidence over time.