Neurodiversity and Music Therapy

April is a month for celebrating all flavors of diversity and ways of being. This is because April is both Autism Awareness Month and Celebrate Diversity Month. Because of this, the focus of today’s post is about neurodiversity and music therapy.

Neurodiversity accepts people as they are and seeks to allow people to achieve their fullest potential

If the term neurodiversity is new to you, you may be wondering what it means. Let’s break it apart and take a look at its parts.

First, we have “neuro” which relates to the brain and the nervous system. After this is “diversity” which means a variety or range. Therefore putting these parts together, we can figure that neurodiversity suggests that there is a variety or range in how people are neurologically wired.

Neurodiversity is an approach to learning and disability that sees differences in how the brain operates and functions as being normal and natural variations to the human genome. These differences aren’t something to “cure,” but are rather something to accept as being part of who the person is.

What I like about this view of people, is that it creates conditions that make it possible for people to more actively participate in society. My diverse experiences in education and healthcare show me that we all have our own unique way of taking in and processing sensory information. Therefore, why don’t we try to create a more inclusive society that takes this into account?

As well, taking this perspective of acceptance makes it possible to see a person’s unique talents or skills that might otherwise be hidden. These are good things if we want our society to value all kinds of human life and to allow for personal freedoms.

How Music Therapy Can Help

In order to see and recognize these gifts, it’s therefore important that people have access to therapies and interventions that can help make this happen. Music therapy is one such way for this to happen. Below are a few reasons why.

  • Music therapy activates and engages the entire brain which can help highlight strengths while addressing weaknesses or challenges.
  • Because music involves all of the senses, music therapy can help address issues with sensory processing or integration.
  • Music therapy promotes communication and expression in ways that allow for words but which also doesn’t require words.
  • Through making music with another person, music therapy can address social skills and help foster meaningful relationships.
  • Music therapy is versatile and can accommodate a variety of needs and abilities.

As you can see, music therapy can be beneficial to people in a variety of ways. Music therapists meet people where they are. In doing so, we work with them in making the changes they want to make in life. We work to help people achieve their fullest potential, regardless of diagnosis or condition.

Looking for a Counselor Who Accepts Neurodiversity?

Does this sound like you or someone you know who’s having a hard time managing feelings of anxiety or depression? Perhaps you recognize a need for more meaningful social interaction and skill building? If so, contact me so that we can discuss how music therapy may help. As a therapist and person, inclusivity is important to me. I want to see people thrive to the best of their abilities in order to live up to their fullest potential!

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