Music Therapy and Autism

autism

April is Autism Awareness Month. Out of just under 200 individuals I have the privilege of spending time with in music therapy each week, over six dozen are diagnosed with autism. Many deal with significant challenges in the areas of communication, interaction with others, restrictive interests, and/or explosive or disruptive behavior. I’ve known some of my friends for two or three decades, so we have walked through some interesting times. Music has been the impetus, the connecting force, that helps me make initial contact, to develop and maintain a personal relationship, and to help my friends and their families consider options and implement strategies for dealing with the challenging issues that inevitably arise in their daily lives. The rather incredible music talents we see showcased on YouTube occasionally are cool, but music therapy goes beyond amazing others with musical talent. In music therapy, we get down into the trenches, helping a person learn to connect with and process the world swirling around them, to communicate appropriately and clearly, to deal with perseverative and obsessive tendencies, to moderate explosive and restrictive behaviors. and to become as self-sufficient as possible. I wholeheartedly support autism research and  am thrilled we are learning more about the cause and implications of autism. Meanwhile, my friends and I will continue our efforts to maximize their potential and enhance their daily lives as we enjoy making “our own kind of music.”

We celebrate Autism Awareness Month by wearing blue, by doubling our efforts to provide even more music therapy to even more individuals with autism, and by offering a complimentary copy of either of our popular Autism Handbooks to anyone sending Cathy an email request telling her you read of this offer on our MusicWorksPublications.com blog. Pick from Autism Handbook #1 or Autism Handbook #2, then send your preference to  <CathyKnoll@MusicWorksPublications.com>