Studies have shown that music has a variety of effects on the brain. Music Therapy has been successful in therapeutically treating learning disabilities such as Autism, ADHD, and Dyslexia. According to American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals. It can help promote health, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, and improve communication.
Research has shown that music has a positive affect on individuals with disorders in the Autism Spectrum, particularly with children. Music therapy is a non-threatening participation in music that can often allow individuals to communicate more effectively. According to the Music Therapy Association of British Columbia, music treatment as a natural remedy can enhance social and emotional development, facilitate verbal and nonverbal communication, enhance motor skills, facilitate creative self-expression, and promote emotional satisfaction.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder that is characterized by inattention and hyperactive problems. Through research, a team of experts discovered a relationship between music and the part of the brain that is linked to paying attention. For individuals with ADHD, music therapy provides a variety of music experiences in an intentional and developmentally appropriate manner to produce changes in behavior, increase on-task behavior, and facilitate development of skills.
Dyslexia is a condition that impairs the brain's ability to translate written images into meaningful language. Those with dyslexia can usually speak without any trouble, but it may be difficult for them to interpret written language. Research has shown that music participation can increase a child's ability to read. The part of the brain that interprets sound responds more quickly in people with musical training and is better primed to pick out subtle patterns from information that the brain receives from the senses.
Autism Drug therapies. No medication can improve the core signs of autism, but certain medications can help control symptoms. Antidepressants may be prescribed for anxiety, for example, and antipsychotic drugs are sometimes used to treat severe behavioral problems.