While speech and occupational therapy are frequently utilized with those on the autism spectrum, creative therapy combining art and music can be used in addition to traditional methods. Applying creative therapy during sessions provides additional benefits, such as improving a child’s state of mind and developing motor skills.
Because the autism spectrum is vast, each person has a unique perspective. This is also true in treatment, as each session is tailored to suit a person’s needs. As a result, a person may opt for different therapies to advance different skills. Common therapeutic treatments for autism include applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Along with these familiar approaches, art and music therapies are also such examples that may help individuals.
Art and music therapy are additional treatment approaches that involve creating a work of art and interacting with music, respectively. A person may create works of fine art to reinforce skills with the help expert therapists. Talking about a piece of art can help a child feel more at ease in their surroundings after voicing their feelings. By using artwork as a medium, an art therapist can help their client expel negative feelings and understand the underlying emotions. Similarly, playing a musical instrument or even listening to music can help a child foster skills such as better communication, enhanced attention span, and motor skills. Overall, music therapy aids with cognition and brings about improvement in behavior and sensory learning.
A recent article titled “Family members’ and other experts’ perceptions of music therapy with children on the autism spectrum in New Zealand: Findings from multiple case studies” was published on ScienceDirect on July 1, 2021. Through narrative assessments, family members and professionals were able to provide their perspectives on the influence of music therapy on children. By doing so, they were able to see for themselves that music therapy aided children in developing skills such as communicative, emotional, and cognitive skills. Furthermore, the study found that participants valued the results of music therapy and agreed that the methods are consistent with best practice guidelines. Studies like these suggest that alternative treatment methods, such as music therapy, can assist children in reaching milestones at their own pace.
Rachel Barcellona, a pageant professional, has expressed:
Everyone has a mountain to climb and autism has not been my mountain, it has been my opportunity for victory.
- Rachel Barcellona