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The Efficacy of Music Therapy on Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder:

 

by

 

Numin N. Nauhn

Department of Applied Behavior Analysis: St Joseph College

CSA-635-S01: Alternative Treatment

  1. Joseph College Long Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Joseph College Long Island

May 14,2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Cover page…………………………………………………………………………………………………1

Table of content…………………………………………………………………………………………2

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………………… 3 Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………4

Body…………………………………………………………………………………………………5

References …………………………………… ………………………………………………..7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACT:

This study was conducted to focus on the use of music therapy as a treatment to serve people of special needs, including individuals with ASD. The research seeks to inform parents/students of children with ASD that music therapy could be the avenue in which their children/students are treated in certain areas. The information in this research can assist parents with the knowledge and understanding they need relating to music therapy for their child to overcome weaknesses associated with ASD. Similarly, music teachers can gain further insight into the world of music therapy to encourage students who struggle in music class to become involved in music therapy sessions. In addition, findings from research were used to exhibit the power of music therapy in a child with ASD’s life. The overarching aim of this paper is to define, describe and demonstrate the significance of efficacy of music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Within recent decades the chances of a child being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has increased dramatically. Some believe this is due to the increased recognition of an autism spectrum disorder in doctors as well as parents/caregivers, teachers and other individuals that may work with children. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010, “autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Also, because the quick and easy, cost and eagerness to develop preventive treatments after a child has been diagnosed with autism, parents and/or paraprofessionals rush into methods of alternative treatments tool used to counteract the challenges”(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention {CDC} 2010). I am reviewing the literature about the effectiveness of music therapy as an alternative treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders. The reason I am reviewing this is because I want to discover whether music therapy helps people with ASD compared to other alternatives and how effective it is in increasing quality of life for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research/Literature on Treatment and Efficacy of Music Therapy”

 

Why Music Therapy for Individuals with ASD?

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program (AMTA, 2005). People of all ages, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and degrees of abilities respond to aspects of music in daily life. The engaging nature and accessibility of music often elicits positive responses of individuals with ASD (Kern, 2014). Researchers have discussed advanced music memory, responsiveness, and aptitudes within this population; more recent studies show that individuals with ASD may have a heightened musical aptitude and sensitivity to musical elements, yet similar skills of music perception as compared to typically developing peers (Heaton, 2005). While only a small number of individuals with ASD are musical savants (Treffert, 2012), all clients can benefit from music therapy interventions.

 

What is the Focus of Music Therapy Interventions for Individuals with ASD?

Music therapy interventions focus on enhancing social, communicative, motor/sensory, emotional, and academic/cognitive functioning, or music skills in individuals with ASD. Music therapy services are based on each client’s individual abilities, noting preferences, needs, the family’s values, beliefs, and priorities(Kern, 2014). Music therapists work in partnership with clients, families, and teams. “The music therapy assessment process is designed to gain an understanding of the individual’s current level of functioning while engaging in a variety of intentional and developmentally sound music experiences. The music therapy intervention plan is based on the assessment outcomes. It integrates a variety of ASD-specific evidence-based strategies (e.g., prompting, reinforcement, picture schedule) and music therapy techniques (e.g., singing/ vocalization, instrument play, movement/ dance, musical improvisation, songwriting/ composition, listening to music, or computer-based music activities). These strategies and techniques support clients in practicing identified and targeted skills”(Treffert, 2012). Music therapy sessions provide familiarity, consistency, structure, and predictability –characteristics that support the learning style of individuals with ASD. Music therapists document clients’ responses and conduct ongoing evaluation of progress towards the achievement of goals while making recommendations for generalization and future intervention options. These measures and suggestions may assist the individual with ASD, family, and team to appreciate success while empowering clients to maximize their functioning in all aspects of their lives(Turry, A., 2017).

 

Does Research Support the Efficacy of Music Therapy for Individuals with ASD?

Over the past seven decades numerous anecdotal case studies, narrative reviews (e.g., Reschke-Hernández, 2011) and systemic reviews (e.g., Geretsegger, Elefant, Mössler, &Gold, 2014) describe the benefits of music therapy for individuals with ASD. Currently, music therapy is identified as an emerging intervention by the National Autism Center (2015).

The following research-based examples demonstrate the value of music therapy for those with ASD:Music therapy interventions are informed by research evidence and incorporate many of the identified ASD-specific evidence-based practices in each session (Kern, Rivera, Chandler, &Humpal, 2013).Music therapy services for young children with ASD are amazingly effective for improving communication, interpersonal skills, personal responsibility, and play (Whipple, 2012).Music therapy interventions may elicit joint attention(Kalas, 2012);enhance auditory processing, other sensory-motor, perceptual/motor, or gross/fine motor skills(LaGasse&Hardy,2013); and identify and appropriately express emotions (Katagiri, 2009).Music therapy interventions based on family-centered practice may increase social engagement in the home environment and community (Thompson, McFerran, & Gold, 2013). Music therapy interventions using musically adapted social stories may modify target behavior and teach new skills (Brownell, 2002).

 

Where Do Music Therapists Work with Individuals with ASD?

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) defines music therapy as using evidence-based musical interventions to help children reach therapeutic goals. Interventions are delivered by a qualified music therapist who observes the child and works with the family to design measurable goals. They implement a plan, evaluate progress, and make recommendations for further goals and interventions. Many therapists work in the public-school system, and they also often provide services in homes, early intervention centers, daycares, and Head Start programs. AMTA certified therapists may use a combination of the approaches below in their interventions with children who have ASD”(Panzano L. 2018).

“Music therapists accept referrals and provide assessments and interventions to individuals with ASD and their families in public schools, family’s homes, private practice settings, preschools/ daycares, music therapy agencies, early intervention programs, treatment centers, support groups, hospitals, and various venues within the community. The role of the music therapist may be as a provider of direct services(i.e., via individual and group sessions), as a coach to parents, or as a consultant to family members/caregivers, educators, or team members”(Kern et al., 2013).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

AMTA (2005). What is music therapy? Silver Spring, MD: American Music Therapy Association.

Brownell, M. (2002). Musically adapted Social Storiesto modify behaviors in students with autism: Four case studies. Journal of Music Therapy, 39(2), 117-144.

M., Elefant, C., Mossler, K., & Gold, C. (2014). Music therapy for people with autism spectrum disorder. The Cochrane Library, (6). 10.1002/1465.CD004381.

Heaton, P. (2005). Interval and contour processing in autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 25(6),787-793.

Kalas, A. (2012). Joint attention responses of children with autism spectrum disorder to simple versus complex music. Journal of Music Therapy 49(4), 430-452.

Katagiri, J. (2009). The effect of background music and song texts on the emotional understanding of children with autism. Journal of Music Therapy, 46(1), 15-31.

Kern, P. (2014). Music therapy: Personalized interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In V. Hu (Ed.) Frontiers in autism research: New horizons for diagnosis and treatment (pp. 607-625).

Kern, P., Rivera, N. R., Chandler, A., &Humpal, M. (2013). Music therapy services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder: A survey of clinical practices and training needs. Journal of Music Therapy, 50(4), 274-303.

LaGasse, A. B. & Hardy, M. W. (2013). Considering rhythm for sensorimotor regulation in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Music Therapy Perspectives, 31(1). 67-77.

Reschke-Hernanadez, A.E. (2011). History of music therapy treatment interventions for children with autism. Journal of Music Therapy, 48(2), 169-207.

Thompson, G., McFerran, K. & Gold, C. (2013). Family-centered music therapy to promote social engagement in young children with severe autism spectrum disorder: A randomized controlled study. Child: Care, Health & Development.

Treffert, D. A. (2012). Islands of genius. The bountiful mind of the autistic, acquired, and sudden savant.

Whipple, J. (2012). Music Therapy as an effective treatment with Autism Spectrum Disorders in early childhood: A meta-analysis. In P. Kern & M. Humpal (Eds.), Early childhood music therapy and autism spectrum disorders: Developing potential in young children and their families (pp. 59-76).

Panzano L., (2018) Music Therapy for Children with Autism

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], (2014)

 

 

 

 

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