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Music therapy helping autistic children in Nepal

( English.news.cn ) Updated: 2014-04-09 11:03:29

Bono, the lead singer of U2, a popular Irish rock band, once said that "music can change the world because it can change people."

This is what a group of music therapists here are trying to do with autistic children in Nepal.

"Music therapy can be beneficial to children with autism. The greatest challenge is to build trust in the relationship between the therapist and the child," Kendra Gandharba, a clinical music therapist told Xinhua Wednesday as Nepal joined the world in observing Autism Awareness Day.

When Rahul (not his real name) was three years old, he was still unable to speak and to interact with people. It was only then that his mother realized that there was something wrong with her son.

After consultations with doctors she came to know that Rahul, now six years old, is an autistic child.

Experts believe that the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) presents itself in the first three years. The condition is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting social interaction and communication skills.

Several studies suggest that children with autism show emotional expression and social engagement during music therapy sessions.

Currently there are 15 autistic children benefiting from the power of music through an individual and collective session a week, as part of an initiative launched by the Music Therapy Trust Nepal.

"With music therapy we work on five developmental areas: communication, awareness, motor movement, social and emotional skills," Gandharba, one of Nepal's only three certified music therapists, explained.

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