It has been widely documented that music therapy can be used to improve many different facets of functioning in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Geretsegger, Elefant, Mössler, & Gold (2014), conducted a research review to evaluate the effectiveness of music therapy.
The background of the study stated this:
Music therapy uses musical experiences and the relationships that develop through them to enable people to relate to others, to communicate, and to share their feelings. In this way, music therapy addresses some of the core problems of people with ASD.
The researchers concluded that music therapy may help children with ASD to improve their skills, especially in areas of:
- Social interaction
- Non-verbal and verbal communication
- Initiating behavior
- Social-emotional reciprocity
- Social adaptation
- The quality of parent-child relationships
You can read the entire Cochrane Review here:
In addition to this important research by Geretsegger, Elefant, Mössler, & Gold (2014), several researchers have found similar results. Whipple (2012) found that music therapy for young children with ASD are effective in improving communication, interpersonal skills, personal responsibility, and play. Music therapy interventions based on family-centered practice may increase social engagement in the home environment and community (Thompson, McFerran, & Gold, 2013).
Here at Music Therapy Services of South Dakota, we have seen first-hand how music therapy improves quality of life and gains the attention of many individuals diagnosed with ASD. If you are interested in receiving music therapy services for yourself or a loved one, please contact us.