It can bring people joy, but it can also be therapy to many in more ways than one. Music is helping those with autism find their voice and thrive.

Norma Walley has been taking her 9-year-old son Colton to therapy connections since he was three years old.

"He's come a long way," Walley said. "He was nonverbal when he started here."

Therapists use music as a tool to teach nonmusical goals.

"Working on impulse control and working on taking turns, social and communication skills and definitely cognitive skills and tying in the listening skills as well," Walley said.

This is especially helpful to kids on the autism spectrum like Colton.

"Those amazing times when we are in a session, and he'll make a full sentence request and just to see how far," Walley said. "To see how far he's come is really amazing to see."

In Wednesday's session, Colton's therapist Melody Thomas used a storybook and instruments to help enhance his memory, reading, and listening skills.

"He can help me fill in the blanks with some words," Thomas said. "He can also choose instruments to represent certain characters, and he has to recall which instrument as you saw."

Xavier Kelly has been going to music therapy since September.

"He used to shut out where he wouldn't tell nobody what was going on or any of the bullies or anything that would happen," said Desiree, Xavier's mom.

Kelly uses the breathing techniques he learns in music therapy to cope with his anxiety.

"He's progressed so much even his counselor, and everyone has seen the big progression," Desiree said.

Whether through notes on a page, strums on a ukulele, or beating drum the medium is allowing parents to communicate with their children in ways they could not before.

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