Students with autism learn new skills through rhythm and notes


When walking through the halls of Bridgeway Academy sounds of singing and instrument fill the air.

Bridgeway Academy caters to students of various needs and learning differences. The school offers day school, summer camp, psychological services, plus speech, physical, occupational and music therapies for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

"A lot of times they might not even realize that we are making them do hard work and making them do things that are very challenging for them, because they are just having a good time," said Alyssa Graber, a music therapist.

Graber and other music therapists teach things like social skills and direction following the notes and rhythm of the music.

"One of their major challenges are those social goals," said Kristin Krummer, also a music therapist. "So, getting them to do that with a group, interact with others, be aware of their environment, and their own bodies."

Krummer says many students have learned to speak more clearly thanks to music therapy.

"A lot of our students find that they can speak to us more smoothly if there's a rhythm to it", she said.

Bridgeway Academy serves students pre-K through 11th grade. The organization is looking to expand to 12th grade in the near future.