Meeting the needs of the London Autistic Community
Music therapy at our Activity Day sessions is suitable for people with Learning Difficulties and for complex needs. These sessions can have a benefit to mental health and well being.
There is a rule for carers of limiting your talking during the sessions as all the children have very limited or no speech. This puts everyone on a more equal footing. It can take the pressure off everyone in many ways and open up alternative forms of communication for all. For many, this is a liberating experience.
For those with communication and sensory difficulties, having things demanded of them can be very stressful. Music Therapy offers a low-demand environment where there is potential for learning new skills and interacting with others.
The music creates an atmosphere where the children have complete freedom within the provided space of simple instruments, cushions and some lycra sheets to wrap them in.
The participants in the group share the experience of the therapist playing the piano and the guitar, as well as the parents singing simple nursery rhymes.
A music therapist uses observation of a person's body language and actions to gauge their mood. They will then play music in the moment, which reflects those emotions. For example if a child is happy, sad or moody, then they will play music to reflect this. The music helps the group recognise and express their emotions in a safe relaxing environment.
Music Therapy gives the group an opportunity to bond with each other as they get used to coming to the sessions over time. They will get used to each other's habits and behaviours, which can lead to social interactions that would have been impossible outside of the setting.