Traditionally, Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) has been used as means of increasing verbal output (expressive language) in individuals with Broca’s aphasia; however, recently MIT has been studied for its potential impacts on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) population, as well. The purpose of this study was to examine the features of music (i.e., exaggerated pitch and/or rhythm) found in traditional MIT against traditional speech to determine the impact of these musical features on receptive language abilities in individuals with ASD. This study involved an ASD group and a typically developing (TD) group, both with school-age children. Each group was presented with an experimental protocol, which included prompting each subject with a simple verbal command to manipulate one of four objects that had been placed in front of them. These commands were presented in a traditional speech condition, an exaggerated intonation condition, or a rhythmically controlled condition. We hypothesized that the rhythmic condition would be the most successful for promoting auditory comprehension of verbal commands in the subjects with ASD. Our hypothesis was partially supported, as one of the ASD subjects found the most success with the rhythmically controlled commands; but the other ASD subject found intonation to be the most helpful condition. Both ASD subjects indicated that music was more successful than traditional speech for comprehending simple auditory commands. Future studies should extend to other age groups, and should also examine why these musical components are more successful than speech within the ASD population.
|Advisor:||Wallace, Gregory L.|
|Commitee:||Brundage, Shelley, Campbell, Sylvia|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Speech and Hearing Science|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Neurosciences, Mental health, Music, Speech therapy, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||Autism, Communication, Melodic intonation therapy, Music, Music therapy, Speech therapy|
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