People with autism spectrum conditions struggle to make sense of the world. A world that is often too much – too bright, too unpredictable, too loud. They can find it hard to build and maintain social relationships, and because autism is a ‘communication disorder’, those on the spectrum can find it incredibly difficult to express their emotions. This can be particularly distressing because people on the spectrum will often suffer from a degree of anxiety.
One of the wonderful ways in which all of these problems can be helped is through music therapy.
The Power of Music
The original music therapy work of Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins in the 50s and 60s was carried out with autistic children. These days, Nordoff Robbins also helps those with dementia, facing terminal illness, or struggling with mental health issues. It can stimulate brain function for victims of stroke and highlight what a person can do in spite of their complex disabilities..
Music Therapy at Toby House
Last year, we started a pilot scheme offering music therapy at Toby House, with a wonderful therapist from Nordoff Robbins, Hannah Ashman.
The results have been nothing short of extraordinary. Carers and parents have told us that music therapy at The Toby Henderson Trust has made a real difference. They’ve noticed improvements in:
• Willingness to engage and interact with others.
• Tolerance of sounds.
• Tolerance of music – meaning that the rest of the family can now listen to music at home!
• Ability to deal with change and unpredictability.
• Expression of emotions.
The most amazing result however, has been the case of one little boy who was non-verbal and seemed oblivious to the world around him. When Hannah sat down with her guitar and began to sing, he was transfixed. It was as though he was entering our world for the first time. He recently started to talk. Music really does speak louder than words!
We’re thrilled that, following on from the success of the pilot scheme, we have now secured funding to continue offering Nordoff Robbins music therapy for the next year.
If you would like to know more about Nordoff Robbins music therapy at Toby House, call 0300 365 3055 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org