Sunday, October 17, 2010

Music therapy in the assessment and treatment of autistic spectrum disorder: clinical application and research evidence.

Soure: Child Care Health Dev. 2006 Sep;32(5):535-42.

Children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) presenting with significant limitations in conventional forms of verbal and non-verbal communication are found to respond positively to music therapy intervention involving both active, improvizational methods and receptive music therapy approaches. Improvizational musical activity with therapeutic objectives and outcomes has been found to facilitate motivation, communication skills and social interaction, as well as sustaining and developing attention. The structure and predictability found in music assist in reciprocal interaction, from which tolerance, flexibility and social engagement to build relationships emerge, relying on a systematic approach to promote appropriate and meaningful interpersonal responses. RESULTS: Published reports of the value and effectiveness of music therapy as an intervention for children with ASD range from controlled studies to clinical case reports. Further documentation has emphasized the role music therapy plays in diagnostic and clinical assessment. Music therapy assessment can identify limitations and weaknesses in children, as well as strengths and potentials. Research evidence from a systematic review found two randomized controlled trials that examined short-term effects of structured music therapy intervention. Significant effects were found in these studies even with extremely small samples, and the findings are important because they demonstrate the potential of the medium of music for autistic children. Case series studies were identified that examined the effects of improvizational music therapy where communicative behaviour, language development, emotional responsiveness, attention span and behavioural control improved over the course of an intervention of improvizational music therapy.


Autism is the prototypic pervasive developmental disorder, pervasive because the disorder encompasses so many areas of development: language, social interaction, emotional reactivity...
The expression "living in his own world" captures this tragic disorder; the autistic cild fails to develop normal interaction with others and seems to be responsive to internal stimuli.
These children don't make eye contact. They don't care about the presence or absence of their mothers. As the get older language problem becomes more serious. Considering their difficulty in communicating and discussing their inner needs and thoughts, lots of therapies have been trying, and it's amazing how music can stimulate them and be one of the therapies that gets response from them. This link shows different therapies for autism and the degree of satisfaction the get from each therapy. Music is one of the most satisfying therapies among all.

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