It’s never fun having to pack away toys and stop playing. Even sometimes simple things like putting our shoes on is a struggle! These difficulties with transitions can feel like they go on forever and become a routine part of every day.
As parents and therapists we say to ourselves we’ll stay calm, we won’t get frustrated and we won’t raise our voice. More often than not, the clock starts ticking and we fail.
So why not make transition time, music time?
Music is a fun, naturally engaging medium for kids but that’s not all. Here’s why sung transitions may be the way to go:
- Research has shown that the neural pathways and connectivity for song processing remain intact within the ASD mind. As a result, sung instruction is better integrated than spoken directives. This results in an increase in social skills and activity engagement
- Music is naturally motivating it releases “happy chemicals” within our systems. This leads to increased alertness, mood and an enhancement of memory. So rather than transitions being a stressful time, music can help soothe these difficult emotions and create positive connections between tasks and songs
- A steady tempo and musical structure can also help calm our kids through the difficult emotions that may come with transitions
- No more constant nagging! Sung instructions give us structure to phrase our requests creating consistency, time and space needed for a busy mind to process the task at hand.
- Kid’s songs are simple and repetitive. Naturally most kids learn their first words through this manner and as such sung transitions can lead to an increased understanding of language
- Kid’s songs are easily adaptable to the changing environments or needs (e.g. “This is the way we put on our shoes” can easily be changed to “this is the way we put on our bag.”)
- No one can sing a kids song in an angry tone. (Have you ever tried? It’s near impossible!) This keeps you calm, which will in turn keep your little ones calm.
So let’s stop parroting instructions and becoming increasingly frustrated with each other. Instead let’s make transition time a fun and a positive space for the whole family!
Want more information?
Book in with our music therapy team if you want more information or help in supporting your child in understanding instructions and transitions through the fun medium of music.
Music Therapy is available at both Ormond and Moonee Ponds clinics and fully funded under NDIS.
For further information on Music Therapy, call our admin team or check out our webpage to find others ways music therapy may support your child.
For more information of music therapy and the brain check out this article (https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/neuroscience-in-translation/201903/how-music-therapy-affects-the-brain-in-autism)