Do you have a child who is autistic? Then you must know that Musical Training from early age may help treat the problem. According to research experiencing music from early age helps in brain development and may be useful towards the treatment of Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Recently a study was conducted in this regard at the Radio-logical Society of North America (RSNA). It showed that taking music lessons increases brain fiber connections in children and may be useful in treating autism and ADHD.
What this research was about musical training?
In this study researchers studied 23 healthy children between the ages of five and six years old. All of them were right handed. They did not have a history of sensory, perception or neurological disorders. Neither of the children had been trained in any artistic discipline in the past. As a part of this study the participants were made to undergo training in music. There after pre and post musical training evaluation was done. It involved the use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain. DTI is an advanced MRI technique. This revolutionary technology helps to identify micro structural changes in our brain’s white matter.
What was found out in the study?
The white matter of our brains is composed of millions of nerve fibers. These fibers are called axons. They act like communication cables connecting various regions of the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging produces a measurement, called fractional anisotropy (FA), of the movement of extracellular water molecules along axons.
In healthy white matter, the direction of extracellular water molecules is fairly uniform and measures high in fractional anisotropy. When water movement is more random, FA values decrease, suggesting abnormalities.
Gradually as we get older, our brains start getting more matured. Thus the tracts and connections between motor, auditory and other areas allow the development of numerous cognitive abilities, including musical skills. Following the training in music imparted during the subject training, DTI results showed an increase in FA and axon fiber length in different areas of the brain. This was most notable in the minor forceps.
Experts involved in the study stated that when a child receives musical instruction, their brains are asked to complete certain tasks. These tasks involve hearing, motor, and cognition, social and emotional skills, which seem to activate these different brain areas. They feel that it is this that triggers the need of the brain in these children to create more connections between the two hemispheres of the brain. Thus this is why the brain development happens. Doctors in the field are of the opinion that it is this tendency of the brain development during musical training that can be effectively used to treat Autism.
Other benefits of musical training
Apart from brain development, learning to play any musical instrument may help your child to be more patient. This is because learning to play any instrument takes time and does not happen overnight. It is this that helps the child to learn to be more patient. Once the child has learn to play the musical instrument will ultimately help provide him or her with more self confidence.
In conclusion we can say that by making your child to learn the musical instrument or musical training can help in his or her brain development apart from numerous other long term benefits. To know more about treatments of autism in children please visit our website.