What are the Best Music Resources for Autistic Children? | A Comprehensive Guide


 Music has a strong effect on us. It can stir up emotions, change how we feel, and help us express ourselves. No wonder why we turn to it for relaxation and comfort. This happens because when we listen to music, our brain releases dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel good, motivated, and happy. The effect isn’t limited to us, but is also true with people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research shows that  listening to music is equally rewarding for them [1].

Just like everyone else, studies found that they listen to music for the same reasons — to uplift their mood, relax, and experience a sense of belonging [2]. This  just shows how important it is for them to have access to music resources as well.

This article discusses the benefits of music for autistic children, lists down the best music resources available for them, and explores ways therapists and parents can curate playlists specifically suited to their needs. We also offer practical tips for integrating music listening into their daily routines and how Soundsory®, a unique program that provides a blend of music and movement, can be tailored to enhance your child’s music-listening experience.

Key Take-Away Messages

What are the Best Music Resources for Autistic Children?
There are plenty of music resources that offer music for autistic children. These include:
YouTubeMusic-streaming platforms like Spotify and Amazon Music®Listening therapy programs like Soundsory®

Try Soundsory®, a unique blend of music and movement therapy, to enhance your child’s neurodevelopment.

YouTube Videos with music for autistic children 

YouTube is not only a popular platform for video streaming, it’s also a go-to resource for music listening. It offers free access to a vast array of music. If you’re searching for specific types of tunes, like those suitable for sensory stimulation, calming effects, or relaxation, especially for children with autism, simply play around with keywords. Terms like “sensory,” “calming,” “relaxing,” “music,” and “autism.” These videos also come with complementing visuals that can help calm or stimulate the listener along with the sounds. If you’re particular with visuals, add descriptors like “neon,” “rainbow,” and “colorful” to your keyword string. Using the right keywords should lead you to the right track.

A big plus with YouTube music videos is their length; many range from 30 minutes to an hour, providing extended listening experiences. However, a notable drawback is the interruption by ads, especially in longer sensory music videos, unless you’re using YouTube Premium. This issue has been pointed out by parents and autistic individuals themselves, as the calming effect of these music for autistic children is often disrupted by sudden, startling advertisements. Additionally, these lengthy videos usually consist of a series of shorter, three-minute sounds with brief gaps in between, making it difficult to skip songs or move directly to a desired section, as most lack chapters or sections for easy navigation.

Here are some channels you might want to explore:

Music Therapy Playlists (150 words)

If you don’t prioritize visuals, music streaming platforms are a great alternative. Here’s a list of some popular ones:

  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Soundcloud 
  • YouTube Music
  • Apple Music
  • Tidal

Each platform offers varying degrees of access to their users. Some, like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Soundcloud, offer free listening from a selection of audio and video tracks. But free streaming means they’re likely ad-supported, so there’ll likely be ad breaks between songs. Some have other limitations; for example, Spotify Free limits you to six skips per hour. Other streaming platforms like Apple Music and Tidal do not offer a free streaming option and require a subscription to stream music. However, they do allow new users a one-month free trial.

The ability to create playlists is a key feature of most music streaming services. By selecting and organizing songs your autistic child enjoys into specific playlists, you can cater to different needs – for instance, creating one playlist for relaxation and another for moments when intense concentration is required. This level of customization lets you tap into the therapeutic benefits of music therapy for autism. It lets you create a listening experience that’s not only enjoyable but is adapted to your child’s tastes and needs.

However, while these platforms let you access music for autistic children, they are not without interruptions and limitations. At the same time, they’re generic and are not specially designed by professionals to meet the needs of those on the spectrum.


According to a 2022 systematic review, both receptive (listening) and active music-making experiences activate parts of the brain involved in cognition, perception, and sensorimotor processes and increase their synchrony, which in turn promotes sensory integration [3]. Regarding cognitive benefits, autistic children with music engagement have enhanced verbal communication and sustained attention and memory.

Soundsory® is a program that aims to provide multisensory input to a child’s brain. Through its proprietary headset, Soundsory® transmits sounds through bone and air conduction. The program’s music has been processed using a dynamic filter to capture the brain’s attention and ultimately build new neural connections.

The 40-day program consists of 30 minutes of music listening per day coupled with an exercise program. Specifically, one session consists of 25 minutes of listening and 5 minutes of optional body-movement exercise. To stimulate the brain, Soundsory® provides a different playlist each day throughout the program’s length. However, you can use the tool as needed after the program. If you wish to rerun the program, Soundsory® recommends taking a break of at least four weeks after the program to give your child’s brain the time to integrate the changes after intensive stimulation. You can also talk to your therapist, who can provide a modified program that meets your child’s needs.

If you’re the therapist, you modify the program organization depending on your client’s goals. For instance, you can do another 20-day intensive program or have two weeks on and three weeks off after the 40-day program. You can make modifications depending on the client’s schedule, time, and needs. Many therapists also use Soundsory® as part of their sessions, such as at the beginning of sessions to get the kids up and about or between sessions to boost progress.

Soundsory® also lets children get tailored video exercises from its free mobile app, designed to be used with the headset. The app uses a questionnaire to identify the user’s level. There are three levels:

  • Level 1:  suited for people who struggle to learn new motor skills
  • Level 2: suited for people still learning, growing, and developing their motor skills.
  • Level 3: suited for people who can follow directions and complete various motor movements independently.

Once the app determines the child’s level, it offers tailored exercises that match their level. Similarly, therapists can also recommend movement-based exercises based on the child’s needs. At the same time, you can modify each exercise to match the child’s skills.

Case Study: Success with Soundsory®

There are plenty of successful stories of children with autism who benefited from Soundsory®. Take Alex, for example. Alex is a six-year-old boy with non-verbal autism. Seven days through the program, his therapist saw improvements in his behavior, comprehension, and verbal communication. He has also become more expressive, offering his therapist feedback during therapy. 

Soundsory® was a great fit for Madie, who has global ASD. At first, getting her to try on the headset was a bit of a challenge. But once she warmed up to it, she was all in, wearing it four to five times a day. As for the progress she’s made since using Soundsory®, she’s been able to achieve the following since using Soundsory®:

  • left her home for the first time in two years
  • persist long in an activity, like writing numbers from zero to 159
  • play calmly beside her younger sibling and not get triggered or aggressive
  • became more flexible and willing to explore beyond her fixations
  • started to verbalize more and understand the connection between words and actions

Here’s a blog from a mother who uses Soundsory® for her two children. If you want to read more, you can find a collection of Soundsory® reviews from Homeschooling Finds, a community of homeschoolers who do homeschool product evaluations and offer resources that homeschoolers can use in their own homes. 

Creating Soundsory® Playlists

Soundsory®’s program doesn’t let you create your own playlist with the headset. To stimulate the brain, there is a preset music playlist a child can listen to each day. You can let kids skip tracks they can’t tolerate. If your child is particularly sensitive, you can begin with shorter sessions and gradually increase them as their sensitivity decreases. 

What’s great about music listening with Soundsory® is that the program is already preloaded on the headset. Once you open the playlist for the day, the playlist will run uninterrupted for the entire 30 minutes. All you need to do is turn on the device, navigate to the playlist for that day, and press play.

Here are some best practices when using Soundsory®:

  • Listen when you feel the most relaxed. But if you feel too tired for a session, don’t force yourself. Try not to sleep during sessions.
  • Create a habit/routine and do your sessions at the same time each day.
  • Feel free to move, dance, or do creative activities like drawing and painting while listening. However, avoid activities that require too much attention and effort or cause stress.

At-Home Activities 

Soundsory® offers a flexible and convenient approach for home use. Its 30-minute daily listening sessions can be smoothly blended into your daily activities. To make the most of it, try to incorporate it as a consistent part of your routine.

Choose a time when your child feels comfortable and at ease, such as every morning, before beginning homeschooling, or during activities that are low-effort or don’t demand intense focus. You can also include it in playtime or during periods of physical activity, adapting it to fit into your child’s day.

Working with a Therapist

If your therapist has suggested Soundsory® for your child, it’s likely because they recognize specific needs in your child that Soundsory® could help address. Often, professionals integrate tools like Soundsory® into personalized programs for children and may use them during therapy sessions. Your therapist will probably also provide you with a home program, which includes activities to support your child’s progress and goals outside of therapy.

Working closely with your therapist is key to determining the most effective way to use Soundsory® in your child’s daily routine. They can also advise on the best movement activities tailored to your child’s needs and any necessary modifications or adaptations to these activities based on your child’s current skills and abilities. This collaboration ensures a consistent and holistic approach to your child’s development.


It is undeniable that music has a profound impact on autistic children. By stimulating emotions, enhancing mood, and offering self-expression, it opens a world of therapeutic possibilities. Platforms like YouTube and Spotify offer a variety of music resources to aid in their development. However, they often have limitations and offer a one-size-fits-all approach.Listening therapy programs like Soundsory® are tailored to stimulate and rewire the brain to help it become more regulated. This unique program combines music and movement, offering a tailored listening experience to meet your child’s needs. Give Soundsory® a try, and watch your child engage with music in a whole new way.


Does music therapy work for autism?
Numerous reviews show that individuals with autism benefit from music therapy. One showed that it can improve their language, sensory perception, mood, behavior, and social skills [11]. Meanwhile, another study showed that the therapy positively impacts global improvement, quality of life, and total autism severity [7].
What kind of music is best for autism?
The type and characteristics of music most beneficial for autistic people depend on their interests and the specific goals you want the music to achieve. Slow, rhythmic music is often used to encourage self-regulation and alleviate anxiety, while more upbeat and louder music can be effective in stimulating an under-stimulated nervous system.
How does sound therapy help autism?
Sound therapy can address a wide range of skills in children with autism. This can include attention, memory, self-expression, sensory processing, self-regulation, cognition, postural control, motor skills, and more.


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Rachel Ann Melegrito

I’m a licensed occupational therapist turned content writer with over a decade of clinical experience as a pediatric OT. I also used to teach basic sciences and OT courses in a university before I shifted to content writing.