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Tongue drum : is music a good treatment for autism?

autism music, autism tongue drum, tongue drum, soothe autism with music, musical instrument for autist

The question of autism spectrum disorders is all the more topical. Autism spectrum disorders usually include a new disorder: virtual autism [1].

When children under the age of three are exposed to the internet for more than four hours a day, their verbal skills are severely impaired, their behaviour problematic and their ability to concentrate extremely poor.

The question should therefore be answered by focusing on actual autism spectrum disorder, which is a condition that requires a great deal of support to try to integrate the child socially, and leaving out "virtual autism", which is a disorder that resolves when the child stops being exposed to the digital world.

What is autism or ASD?

Autism spectrum disorder affects the child's development to a greater or lesser extent in several ways [2] :

- Communication and playful activities,

- sensory regulation or motor skills,

- attention and sleep.

Autism is not a disease in the true sense, but a neurological disorder. According to current knowledge, it cannot be cured. However, accompaniment is necessary. This is exactly what music offers.

Accompanying the autistic child through music

It has been found that music can help autistic school-age children develop the ability to communicate with their environment and improve the child's motor activity [3].

The study reveals perhaps an even more important aspect. The prominent role of parents who experience great stressful situations in caring for and accompanying their child. This situation would be likely to negatively influence their efforts to improve their child's well-being.

Moreover, although music therapy promotes the child's social interactions with his parents and confidants, it does not help him develop his language and general social skills [4].

Therefore, every effort must be made to accompany the parents of autistic children by facilitating their access to music. That is, by providing them with simple and appropriate instruments such as the tongue drum.

That is, an easy-to-use instrument that produces a soft, harmonious sound in any situation.

Tongue drum: the perfect instrument

The tongue drum is a diatonic percussion instrument, i.e. it has no semitones. It is tuned from the beginning and does not need to be worked on to produce the right sound.

Therefore, it prevents not music but a noise from being produced, which is all the more unbearable because the parents of autistic children are often physically and emotionally exhausted. Incidentally, the health crisis has not improved anything [5].

The tongue drum makes it possible to produce a soothing music that is used especially in meditation sessions. Autistic children have no difficulty in acquiring this instrument, as it requires no special skills.

Above all, the Tongue Drum is ideal for parents who are not at all familiar with music, but who nevertheless know very well that music therapy would be interesting and even healing to help their children develop.

The Tongue drum is a robust instrument.

The risk of an autistic child breaking a musical instrument that is provided to them or that they can pick up themselves is great. One would think twice about playing the violin in front of an autistic child.

This is not the case with the tongue drum. The Tongue Drum consists of two pieces of metal welded together to form a resonating body and is not afraid of children.

As it is not only stable but also light, it is an ideal instrument for parents who want to make music with their autistic child.

Shared moments between parents and autistic children are rare, if they exist at all. Trying to create such moments with music can be another attempt, which this time will often prove successful after some time.

Therefore, music is a good treatment method for autism. Conducting music therapy that enables parents and autistic children to operate a musical instrument and produce harmonious music is now made possible by the Tongue Drum.



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[1] L''autisme virtuel", lié aux écrans, existe-t-il?, Libération, 30. September 2018.

Externer Link: https://www.liberation.fr/checknews/2019/01/18/l-autisme-virtuel-lie-aux-ecrans-existe-t-il_1684701/

[2] Allgemeine Definition, Autismus-Spektrum-Störungen, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, Montréal, 05. November 2020.

Externer Link: https://www.chusj.org/fr/soins-services/T/Trouble-du-spectre-de-l-autisme/Le-TSA-c-est-quoi#:~:text=Le%20trouble%20du%20spectre%20de,du%20d%C3%A9veloppement%20de%20l'enfant.

[3] Music improves social communication and auditory-motor connectivity in children with autism, Sharda, Tuerk, and others, Translational Psychiatry, 23. Oktober 2018.

[4] Family-centred music therapy to promote social engagement in young children with severe autism spectrum disorder: a randomized controlled study, Thompson, McFerran and aure, 22. November 2013, doi: 10.1111/cch.12121.

Externer Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cch.12121

[5] Wenn die Erschöpfung einsetzt, 09. Dezember 2020.

Externer Link: https://www.journalexpress.ca/2020/12/09/quand-lepuisement-sinstalle/#:~:text=Die%20Eltern%20autistischer%20Kinder,sagen%20%C3%A9s%20in%20unseren%20Familien.