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Music Therapy In The Treatment Of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) | 12519
ISSN: 2161-0460

Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
Open Access

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Music therapy in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

International Conference on Psychology, Autism and Alzheimers Disease

Stella Manne

Accepted Abstracts: J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism

DOI: 10.4172/2161-0460.S1.004

Music therapy (MT) has a long tradition in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and there are many clinical case studies and single group studies suggesting that music therapy enhances social communication skills. However, in contrast to behavioral approaches such as ABA, MT and other developmental are still regarded as a ?promising interventions? rather than a ?best practices?. Hesitancy to endorse them stems from limited empirical support and lack of theoretical clarity regarding the mechanisms by which it promotes children?s social emotional functioning. This review draws on empirical studies from a broad range of psychosocial interventions for improving communication skills in young children with ASD to ( 1) Demonstrate that ?staged? interventions which systematically deliver child- led prior to adult- led strategies to reflect the developmental progression of early prelinguistic skills are more effective than interventions which are purely behavioral or which mix behavioral and developmental approaches unsystematically for improving targeted as well as untargeted skills which generalize to novel settings, people and stimuli and are maintained over time; (2) Provide evidence that contingent imitation, especially exact imitation ( same object, action, interaction time) can produce dramatic improvements in social communication within a short time frame; (3) Explain the relative advantage of MT over other approaches by embodying ?staging? and ?exact contingent imitation? as conditions for implementing every procedure while enabling small dynamic nuances that automatically ensure variation to develop ?interaction themes?. A random control trial of 300 children eight countries (TIME-A) is now underway to assess the effectiveness improvisational MT for improving social communications of children 4-7, the effects of varying dosage and cost effectiveness. This review examines the potential of TIME-A to provide compelling evidence for the effectiveness of MT and opportunities to examine the causal mechanisms by which MT improves social emotional functioning.