Most children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder go through traditional cognitive and behavioral therapy so they can readjust to the social world around them. However, behavioral therapy is not the only program that can rehabilitate children with behavioral disorders. Consider giving your child music therapy, a creative and popular approach that uses the therapeutic power of music to teach children appropriate behavior, mental skills, and avenues for expression.
It seems rather unconventional, but music therapy is a legitimate health profession backed up by scientific research and practice. Since it was first developed by Michigan State University in 1944, music therapy has helped a host of individuals overcome conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and ADHD. Children with ADHD and similar disorders have been able to harness their creative energies and skills to make positive changes in their behavior and overcome their symptoms. Music therapy can help set these changes because it uses a very effective medium – music. Music is a recognizable, non-threatening language that can establish a familiar environment conducive to learning, expression, and change. Children hardly expect to enter a doctor's office to find out that they'll be playing with music. The medium easily captures and sustains their natural curiosity, and they will start working on improving themselves without being aware of it.
Aside from making children more open and receptive to therapy, the approach itself can rehabilitate the brain. Both hemispheres of the brain work together to process auditory stimuli, and the mental activity involved facilitates cognitive functioning and corrects speech or language deficits. Depending on the program, music therapy can even re-train your child's auditory receptive processes. The rhythmic component of music will also give the child a structure that organizes movement and participation, which will improve focus, impulse control, and group cohesion.
One of the misgivings parents have about music therapy is that they fear a child can only benefit from it if he or she is musically inclined. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Most children who succeeded with the help of a music therapist can not play a single note on the piano or carry a tune. Aside from the benefits outlined above, this type of therapy gives children an avenue for creative expression when they have difficulty expressing themselves through verbal language. As for ADHD children who do have hidden musical abilities, music therapy can bring these out and encourage these children to develop their talents. But hidden talent for music or no, every child can benefit from music therapy.
Music therapy for ADHD can be done in one-on-one sessions with a therapist, or in small groups. In both instances, a music therapist will use song, instruments, and other music activities to engage a child in a structured, systematic manner. The structure of the program is important to cultivating the desired behaviors, responses, and goals. While this is happening, the program gives your child a familiar environment that encourages positive interpersonal reaction and expression. Consider using music therapy to help your child overcome ADHD naturally.