Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD, is characterized by atypical executive functioning and sensory needs. It is a complex neurotype that we are learning more and more about all the time! And, we are always thinking of new ways to use music therapy to support our clients who have ADHD.
No two people with ADHD are exactly alike…
…but certain characteristics are displayed by most people with this neurotype. Some commonly observed traits or behaviors are:
- Heightened emotions
- Difficulty with time management
- Difficulty with working memory
Like with every neurotype, though, there are some unique strengths that are associated with ADHD as well.
- Ability to multitask
- Unique non-linear thinking
- Highly creative
- Very sensitive to others or their environment
- Thrive in novel situations
People with ADHD can benefit greatly from specialized support. Therapies designed to give them tools to succeed, without discouraging their creative abilities and unique ways of thinking, can be life changing for people with ADHD.
How can music therapy help?
Music therapy sessions at NeuroMotif are meant to be a safe space and outlet for creativity. Music does a great job of containing creative impulses, and helping them to feel organized, without sacrificing the feeling of spontaneity and engagment.
This means a child’s music therapist can help them practice impulse control, auditory perception, and memory in a way that aligns with their thinking style. It doesn’t feel like work, because it’s fun!
Because of the distinctness of this neurotype, people with ADHD often feel like they are failing at tasks that seem easy to others.
Managing time, remembering important appointments or assignments, and initiating and completing tasks are very difficult when your brain is faster, louder, and busier than that of your peers. Often, people with ADHD experience guilt or shame because of these struggles. So it’s not surprising that many people with ADHD also experience anxiety, low self esteem, burnout, or even depression.
At NeuroMotif, we are committed to helping our clients see their self worth and their unique abilities that come along with having an ADHD brain. Yes, it is a disability, and ADHD will cause many difficulties. But that doesn’t mean we should wish it away – we can support, accommodate, and highlight strengths. Music therapy exercises can help our clients process feelings and feel a sense of accomplishment.
What will we do in music therapy sessions?
As with any of our clients, we will tailor sessions and goals to each individual. Due to immense creativity, and occasional uninhibitedness, ADHD brains seem to be perfectly suited to musical improvisation, songwriting, and composition. We use musical games to exercise working memory and other executive functions, and we write songs that can reinforce coping strategies or encode important information.
Most importantly, we recognize that people with ADHD have deep interests and passions, and every therapeutic exercise is so much more motivating if it relates to one of these interests! Our music therapists challenge themselves to find creative ways to utilize these interests in the exercises that help our clients work on their goals.
Want to know more?
Again, every person with ADHD is different, and we would love to tell you how we could support you or your child in music therapy. Let’s talk! We would love to tell you more, and make a plan that affirms your loved one and reveals their full potential.
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