Music therapy can be a rich and rewarding part to a comprehensive treatment program. In fact, many parents seeking music therapy have been receiving other therapies for many years. The Cadenza Center offers individual and group music therapy sessions both within our offices as well as at locations throughout southeastern Florida.
Music therapy is the use of specifically prescribed music experiences to address non-musical goals. Frequently, music therapy goals and objectives mirror those of speech, occupational, and behavior therapists; however, the approach is vastly different. Music therapists use a variety of active music interventions to provide opportunities to integrate emotional, physical, and cognitive experiences. For children who have autism and related conditions, music therapy often treats four main qualitative impairments: behavior, communication and symbolic play, socialization, and sensory issues. Goal-oriented music experiences may involve activities such as: singing, dancing, imitation and action songs, musical games, song writing, etc.
In addition to the socio-emotional and educational benefits, individuals with autism often make gains in generalization of previously learned skills, sensory integration and motor planning, self-regulation and executive functioning, and language and communication skills. Individuals are typically seen weekly either in an individual or group setting. An individual may benefit from music therapy if he/she:
- Easily learns words to songs, but has deficits in verbal communication,
- Is more animated and engaged when involved in music activities,
- Spends time humming, singing, or vocalizing to himself,
- Has limited joint attention skills and/or poor imitation,
- Has limited meaningful interaction with others
All therapy using music is not created equal. Music therapists have completed a degree from an accredited university program, have extensive clinical training and supervision, and hold Board-Certification.
Music Therapy Groups
Children in this group are engaged in structured yet fun musical experiences designed to engage participants, facilitate communication, social skills, joint attention, and sensory integration. Sessions use a picture schedule that typically includes: greeting song, seated imitation, turn-taking activity, singing and movement activities, and closing song. All sessions incorporate positive behavior management strategies, encourage individual responses and participation, and support academic aims (i.e., counting, sorting, comparing/contrasting, grouping, sequencing, and school-readiness skills). Group size is limited to 4 children in order to promote greater individualized attention from the therapist.
For more information about how music therapy may benefit your family member, please call our offices.