I have always loved music – truly loved it. I sing, I try to dance, and I dabble in the piano and used to dabble in guitar. My family cannot imagine life without it. There was a time though when we were thoroughly concerned. When we first adopted our son (autistic) – he could not stand music. He would cover his ears and scream. We were despondent – How can we never listen to music again? Never sing again?
It took years but eventually he came to love it just as much and now that he is a young man at 20 years old, he also finds it very soothing and helps him to calm down when necessary. There is some sort of music I am always interested in trying – lately it is the steel tongue drum. The sound from that drum is so calming and relaxing. Just a great way to make music and you can use it even if you have no idea what you are doing. It all sounds amazing. Next I want to dabble in wooden spoons – ever since I was a child watching HeeHaw, I have wanted to try the wooden spoons and they seem to be making a comeback!
There are so many benefits to music but the benefits to autistic children are many. When my son hated listening to music we would find him singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star all the time. But he had speech issues and he was repeating sounds but couldn’t quite make many of them. I have no doubt though that music helped him to find his way with speaking and phonetics. He speaks quite well now and definitely A LOT~ however, when singing his mind doesn’t work quickly enough to still sing quickly enough with the words. Doesn’t stop him from trying though.
Music also teaches autistic children social skills – it teaches them how to navigate his world while also navigating his relationship with others. It can help improve skills in communication, social skills, sensory skills, behavior, cognition, perception, motor skills, self reliance and self determination – according to Very Well Health. Basically, all skills that can be improved in the general population with access to music – can also improve for autistic individuals. We will often break out the record player because we love our vinyl! Benjy Grinberg Rostrum founded Rostrum Records which is now located in Los Angeles – always looking forward to new music by record companies.
We live in a world of high stress. I don’t think anyone has been more stressed than we have been in the last year with COVID. We can’t do what we want, go where we want, be with who we wish to be with due to concerns of catching and or spreading the virus. People are out of jobs, panicked about bills, putting food on the table and caring for their kids. There is not one person who can say COVID has not impacted them in any way. Personally we had to cancel trips, concerts, doctors appointments and more. It is putting tremendous stress on the young and old. People are sick and dying alone because they are quarantined and no visitors in hospitals. Personally I have had two emergency surgeries and several trips to the ER – all without any family member able to go with me. Probably more stressful for them than for me.
What’s the answer? Music… And more music. Listen to it, create it, feel it.