Guest Articles and Resources

No Barriers to Accessing Art: Getting Your Disabled Child Involved

Have you ever had a word on the tip of your tongue but for some reason it felt like the pathway from where the word was stored in your brain down to your lips washed away? That occasional cognitive lapse offers a glimpse of how frustrating it can be for some children who need a safe outlet for self-expression. The arts, whether it’s drawing, painting, music, crafting, or dancing, can be that outlet. They provide a host of other benefits, as well, from increased self-esteem, to improved social skills.

Participating in the arts is also enjoyable for most people. This is important for your disabled child because children learn better when they are enjoying themselves – the premise behind Learning Play. Find an art activity that your child enjoys and watch the transformation!

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Health Benefits of Music Therapy

Music therapy is a form of healing that uses music to provide care to patients, in a manner that is outside of the box. While this is different than routine physical therapy or prescribing medicine, it should not be thought of as a form of alternative medicine. Clinical studies can vouch for the health benefits of a medically approved music therapy regimen. The beauty of music therapy is that it helps people in a physical, mental, emotional and social way.

Therapists use music therapy in a variety of ways, including having people sing along to the music, meditate and relax while music plays and conduct various exercises and movements with music as the catalyst. When played in conjunction with a person’s thoughts or movements, music therapy can help to improve everything from a patient’s speech to their memory and physical balance. It also provides emotional healing, helping people to develop positive self-image and aids in prioritizing stress and pain. Music also helps people take their mind off of physical pain, which can help them cope with a number of ailments.

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How Art & Art Therapy Can Benefit Autistic Children

Art therapy is a popular approach to managing emotions, understanding inner worlds, and releasing tension for children and adults. It can sometimes be used as a complementary therapy to treat autistic children.

Art therapists need to be certified by a board and licensed in their state to practice therapy. While there is much anecdotal evidence of its success, there is currently little research on how well art therapy works for children with autism.

The leading treatment for autism is applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, which has a long history of treating developmental conditions and mitigating maladaptive behaviors. Speech therapy and occupational therapy are other primary treatments for autism.

Art therapy is generally not considered a primary autism treatment, but it can benefit children with autism. Several studies have shown that art therapy appears to work well as a complementary treatment for autistic children.

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Music Therapy for Autism: How Effective Is It?

Music therapy is a complementary treatment option that can work in conjunction with more traditional therapies to treat autistic individuals.

This treatment can help a child with autism improve connections in their brain using a variety of techniques. Dancing, singing, and playing instruments can all improve motor functions and emotional regulation. Listening to certain types of music and interacting in music therapy groups can improve communication and social skills.

When music therapy is part of a child’s treatment early in life, the adjustments to brain function and behavior can carry on for the rest of their lives.

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