Research indicates the characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder include challenges with receptive and expressive language, which can negatively impact social-emotional development and physical regulation. The needs of children with autism are expected to greatly impact the current medical and educational resources, thus effective intervention for language development is considered crucial. A recently implemented intervention is music therapy. Effective intervention strategies for families and special education staff are constantly being sought after. This qualitative study sought to determine, (a) how does music therapy affect the receptive and expressive language skills in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder aged 3–8 years? (b) what components of music therapy do parents and music therapists profess to make the most impact on language acquisition development in their child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, aged 3–8? Participants included ten family units in southern California and six music therapists in the states of California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington. The participants were asked to provide information pertaining to the language ability of their child/client before and after participating in music therapy. Results showed an increase in word utterance, progress toward special education goals, emotional wellbeing, expressive communication in the home and community, and an increase in social skills. The language ability of the children before and after participating in music therapy sessions ranged from a nonverbal state to singing songs, from using gestures to speaking three to four word phrases, from using language without pragmatics to making friends, and from uttering one to two word phrases to regulating their emotions.
|Commitee:||Birdsell, Jo, Lang, James|
|School:||Northwest Nazarene University|
|School Location:||United States -- Idaho|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Music therapy, Language arts, Elementary education, Educational psychology, Special education|
|Keywords:||Autism, Language acquisition, Music therapy, Self-regulation|
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