ADHD and Music
What if I told you there was a cheap and effective tool for treating your child’s ADHD that you probably already have in your home? What if I told you it was music?
You may not think ADHD and music go together, but music therapy has been a success for people with many disorders, including severe brain trauma, autism and Alzheimer’s disease, and studies show music can also help children and adults with ADHD.
- Music has a rhythm and structure. An ADHD brain struggles to stabilize itself to an even course, but music’s beginning, middle and end can help an ADHD patient learn to plan, anticipate, and respond to external stimuli.
- Dopamine is responsible for regulating attention, motivation, and active memory. This neurotransmitter is in low supply in people with ADHD, but dopamine levels can be increased with the sound of enjoyable music. Music therapy helps build up the synapses in the brain to help overall function.
- Music is a great alternative to television. It is very hard for ADHD patients to tune things out because they are more sensitive to auditory stimulation. Replacing television noise with calming music may help to calm your ADHD child. You will need to experiment with different artists and types of music to see what works best.
- Create a playlist so you and your child know what needs to be done in the morning to get ready for school. Download and put together some music as a morning to-do list, assigning a task for each song. The playlist will keep your child moving and remind him of the next task to accomplish.
- Music in the classroom can help ADHD children to have better focus and self control. In some cases music therapy can even help get children off their ADHD medication.
- Music therapy can help children with ADHD to control impulses. Some therapists will play a beat with phrases for a child to repeat. Beats are added each time around, which encourages the child to focus on the beat being played and to better control impulses. At home, an overturned pot and a wooden spoon will work perfectly.
There are some children that may not like music, preferring silence. However, many individuals with ADHD have the need for background rhythm to help them concentrate. It will take some trial and error to find out what works best for your child. Music therapy can help adults with ADHD as well, so if you have this disorder, try putting on some music and see what it does for you.