Music Therapy with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Review of Research

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Presentation given at the Southwest Ohio Regional Autism Advisory Council Summer Institute.

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Music Therapy with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Review of Research

  1. 1. Music Therapy with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Review of Research Southwest Ohio Regional Autism Advisory Council 2009 Summer Institute
  2. 2. Mimi Sinclair, MM, MT-BC • Director, Music Therapy Services • 513-474-6064 • msinclair@cinci.rr.com • www.music-therapy-cincinnati.com
  3. 3. Music therapy is: • a behavioral science and • an aesthetic experience • which uses music as a tool • to make positive changes in behavior.
  4. 4. Uses of music • As a reinforcer, contingent on desired behavior • As a physical structure for the learning activity primarily though its components of rhythm, melody, and tempo
  5. 5. Uses of music • As a background for learning, a complimentary stimulus • As a carrier of information: skills, concepts, and general information
  6. 6. Uses of music • As a reflection of skills or processes to be learned, pairing nonmusical concepts within the structure of the music • As a music learning experience for leisure and aesthetic experience
  7. 7. An Analysis of Music Therapy Program Goals and Outcomes for Clients with Diagnoses on the Autism Spectrum. • Ronna Kaplan and A. Louise Steele • Journal of Music Therapy, 2005
  8. 8. Subjects • 40 music therapy clients receiving services over two years in community music school or group home setting • Age range 2-49 years
  9. 9. Session types • Individual • Partner • Small Group • Large Group • Peer Model • Combination
  10. 10. Goal Areas • Behavioral/psychosocial • Language/communication • Perceptual/motor • Cognitive • Musical
  11. 11. Interventions • Interactive instrument play • Musical instrument instruction • Interactive singing • Instrument choice-making • Song choice-making
  12. 12. Session format • Activity-based • Client-led/Shadow • Ensemble/Combo • Lesson-based
  13. 13. Outcomes • Initial goals set at 25% change from baseline. • 100% clients attained goal in one year or less
  14. 14. Outcomes • Intermediate goals set at 25% change from level achieved in initial phase. • 77% met goal within 1 year or less
  15. 15. Generalization • Parents and caregivers surveyed at end of year • 100% subjects generalized targeted behaviors outside of music setting occasionally or frequently
  16. 16. Music in Intervention for Children and Adolescents with Autism: A Meta-Analysis • Jennifer Whipple • Journal of Music Therapy, 2004
  17. 17. Meta-analysis allows for greater confidence in conclusions about the efficacy of treatment.
  18. 18. 10 studies met criteria for inclusion • Only 3 are published. Others are dissertations and theses • Skill areas addressed: social behaviors, communication skills, cognitive skills
  19. 19. Uses of music • Sung instructions • Background music • Music as reinforcer • Music as structure
  20. 20. Target Behaviors • Challenging behaviors • Task completion/accuracy • Self-stimulatory behavior • Eye contact • Vocabulary comprehension
  21. 21. Target Behaviors • Shape identification • Verbalization • Out-of-seat • Social acknowledgement • Spontaneous speech
  22. 22. Results • “All music intervention has been effective.” • All reviewed use has a relatively high effect.
  23. 23. The Effects of Signed and Spoken Words Taught with Music on Sign and Speech Imitation by Children with Autism • Evelyn M. Buday • Journal of Music Therapy, 1995
  24. 24. Subjects • 10 children from Chicago Public Schools • Mild-severe autism • Ages 4-9 years
  25. 25. Treatment Conditions • Signs taught in conjunction with music and speech • Signs taught in conjunction with rhythm and speech
  26. 26. Design • Seen individually 4 consecutive days, 5 trials each day, for two weeks • Music condition one week, rhythm condition the next
  27. 27. Dependent variables • Correct signing • Correct speaking • 14 words
  28. 28. Results • Average number of signs correctly imitated during music condition was significantly higher • Average number of words spoken correctly during music condition was significantly higher
  29. 29. Musically Adapted Social Stories to Modify Behaviors in Students with Autism: Four Case Studies • Mike D. Brownell • Journal of Music Therapy, 2002
  30. 30. Subjects • 4 elementary school students in Iowa • Ages 6-9 years
  31. 31. Conditions • Baseline • Reading social story • Singing social story
  32. 32. Target behaviors • TV talk • Following directions • Using a quiet voice
  33. 33. Results • Both conditions significantly improved target behaviors in a all 4 cases • Frequency of negative behavior occurred least often during music, but not significant
  34. 34. The Effect of Background Music and Song Texts on the Emotional Understanding of Children with Autism • June Katagari • Journal of Music Therapy, 2009
  35. 35. Subjects • 12 students attending school in Japan • Primary diagnosis of autism • Ages 9-15 years
  36. 36. Treatment conditions • No teaching of emotions • Teaching emotions with verbal instruction only • Verbal teaching with background music • Singing songs about emotion
  37. 37. Emotions taught • Happiness • Sadness • Anger • Fear
  38. 38. Dependent variables • Recognition of facial expression from photos • Recognition of facial expression from drawings
  39. 39. Dependent variables • Identification of situation-based emotions suggested in a set of pictures • Facial expression of emotions by participants
  40. 40. Results • All conditions resulted in gains • Background music was most effective • Singing songs was next • Verbal instruction was lowest

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