I think music is absolutely one of the best activities for kids with autism. Music played a huge role for me when working with my twin boys diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
I was so lucky to be able to learn music and the piano, myself, at a young age. By the age of four, I was a child prodigy playing difficult piano pieces. I went to Berkley School of Music in Boston. Later I became a music composer as well as a musician.
I was so lucky because I played keyboards with lots of different bands. The bands ranged from jazz, to metal bands to rock. It was so cool.
So, as you can imagine, I really believe that old saying, “Music has the ability to soothe the savage beast”.
I think music is just as important as English, mathematics or any other school subject. Fortunately, our boys love music too. One has learned to play the violin and drums. The other is learning to play the piano. Although, one of our twins also loves art. He’s become an illustrator and draws pictures for stories all the time.
Music Provides Great Autism Help for Parents!
Music became especially helpful when our twins transitioned to mainstream school from special education classes. That’s also about the time the boys became interested in socializing with other children. For your child on the spectrum, an interest in music might come at a different time.
Because of the boys’ transition to mainstream classes, I was inspired to write about singing, dancing. I wanted to help them understand how we use our words to socialize with others.
My friend, Kelly Keeling helped me create an album of songs on the topic of social learning. He’s a wonderful singer. Kelly and I met twenty years ago while we were playing together in the band Baton Rouge. (We were signed to Atlantic records.)
Then 20 years later I called Kelly to help me with this unique children’s set of songs. I wanted to write music to help our twins learn about social awareness and social skills through original songs. Eventually, these became the songs we used when developing our social learning program, The Social Express.
We named the collection of songs (album) “On Our Way to Happy Village”. The music is for our upcoming software (The Language Express) which is due out in 2013.
We finished the music first and thought people would enjoy it even though the software isn’t finished. The proceeds for sales of songs on Lime Green Limousine go to help research for Autism.
My boys really like one song I wrote, Feelings Change Each Day. They also like a soft ballad I wrote, Beautiful Day. If you’d like to check out the lyrics, you can click to this website. www.limegreenlimo.com/lyrics
When to Use Music with Your Child
I suggest that you try using music with your child with autism, if you don’t already. Anytime of the day or evening is good. When they need to settle down, or when they may be starting to have a meltdown.
I play softer songs like ballads for our boys at night when they’re getting ready to go to sleep. We play songs on the iPad. You can also play songs for your child on a PC.
Sometimes when they come home from school, they have to get the pent-up energy out. Do your kids have this energy thing when they come home from school?
Anyway, we put on music, sing and dance together. We have fun and the boys get the bugs out and work off their energy from the day at school. We think music is one of the activities for kids with autism.
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