The effects that music has on human beings are undeniable. In fact, with continued knowledge development, we continually discover the different ways in which music can benefit us and those around us. This is particularly the case for children born with learning disabilities that bring with them serious challenges to their mental and social development.
Music has proven to be a great source of relief for parents and families of children with learning disabilities. However, it is the children themselves that benefit the most, even though they may not always communicate this plainly.
Studies exist showing that music therapy is effective in improving the social skills of children with autism. In one such study, researchers would look for behaviors signifying social engagement and emotional expression during music therapy sessions.
For the first time a specialized music therapy program, Voices Together, has enabled kids with autism speak and socialize in a manner never seen before.
Yasmine White, a certified music therapist and founder of Voice Together, has engaged developmentally disabled children and adults, who find social and emotional interactions very difficult, with remarkable success. Via Techie News
About 700 individuals with difficulty connecting socially, interacting with others through speech and expressing their emotions benefit from Voices Together. A typical session lasts for an hour and involves both singing and speaking in equal measure with the aim of ensuring participants are in constant interaction.
Ali Goldsmith, a sophomore at Duke’s Trinity College, applied to work on the Voices Together project through Bass Connections. Her brother is autistic. She has seen the myriad therapies he has tried and is well aware that there is no magic cure. She observed a Voices Together session for adults.
“It was amazing to see how much the participants came to life with the music,” said Goldsmith, who is considering a psychology major and plans to work in the field of autism in some capacity. “They were so happy. Watching them, I got teary.” Via Techie News
Additionally, another ongoing study is examining the impact that music has in helping children with autism and other challenges overcome learning disabilities. Advanced Brain Technologies created The Listening Program to provide music programs and products that improve brain function. One of these is the inTime method of neuro-acoustic training.
The inTime method provides neuro-acoustic training that combines two kinds of stimulation; stimulation with sounds of different frequencies and rhythmic stimulation. Besides listening to music using special audio equipment (Waves bone conduction audio system from Advanced Brain Technologies), training includes special rhythmic exercises using the body, the voice, and a drum, to optimize the functional state of the brain. Via Disabled World
The children involved in the study were attending public schools and were unable to cope with the school program in more than one subject. The children were also easily distracted in class and required assistance with homework and had problem reading and writing. Further, all the children had previously been evaluated by a speech therapist, psychologist, and neurologist.
Although the study is ongoing, results so far have revealed improvement in learning activities.
“inTime offers a safe, enjoyable and effective solution for children with learning disabilities”, said Alex Doman, founder and CEO of Advanced Brain Technologies. ” These findings verify the value of inTime for improving key brain functions related to learning; attention, rhythm, and timing. inTime, provides an exciting opportunity for neuro-acoustic training through the practice of rhythm-based music listening with an emphasis on beat synchronization.”
Created and produced by occupational therapist Sheila Allen, composer and musician Nacho Arimany, and author, founder & CEO of Advanced Brain Technologies, Alex Doman, inTime is a compilation of original compositions, based on a blend of world music with diverse percussion, string, and wind instrumentation, which accents the power of rhythm and sound frequencies.
Each inTime listening system comes with a digital music player preloaded with the inTime music protocol, specialized headphones, guidebook, and a therapeutic drum and mallets developed in partnership between Advanced Brain Technologies and REMO, Inc. Via Disabled World
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My learning disability caused a great deal of pain/confusion when I was a kid — but now I see it as one of my greatest strengths. #dyslexia
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) February 22, 2016
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) February 28, 2016
Foundation says music can soothe, socialize people with autism
Activities organized by the Autism and Music Foundation are led to the rhythm of guitars, drums and maracas.
For the past three years, this foundation has provided recreational spaces in South Florida for the enjoyment of children and adults with autism and other disabilities. Autism and Music Foundation events can be described as energetic and involving lots of music. They’re also usually held outdoors so that the children, who attend them, can be in close contact with nature.
“Our mission is to help improve the quality of life of people with autism through their interaction with music,” said Patricia Kayser, founder of Autism & Music, who added that the activities imply a lot more than just recreation. Via Miami Herald
Teen with autism finds voice through music
Sahil Prashar leans back on an armchair in his Caledon living room, bathed in winter light streaming from the windows.
The 17-year-old smiles, eyes upturned, listening for his cue from a laptop on the coffee table.
At the sound of the opening piano chords for Burton Cummings’ classic “Stand Tall,” Sahil sits up straight and brings his mouth to the microphone in front of him.
“Never been this bluuue,” he croons, hitting the first note right on key.
“Never knew the meaning of a heartache …”
He matches Cummings’ distinctive vocals riff for riff, his high, clear voice drowning out the original until the last bars fade away. Via The Star
Youngster overcomes obstacles to become master pianist
When he was 3 years old, Matt Savage preferred the sound of silence to noise — he couldn’t tolerate any sounds, even music. He was sensitive to lights, also. At that age he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a high-functioning type of autism.
His parents immersed him in intensive intervention therapies for the next four years, which desensitized him to the stimuli that disturbed him.
The therapy worked. At the age of 6 he got rid of his aversion to music and sounds in general. Via News Sentinel