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Music and its Effects on Children with Autism

The correlation of auditory stimulation and the condition of autism has been a topic of interest for many clinical psychologists in the recent years. Studies have shown that there are significant changes in the social and cognitive behaviors of children with autism when an auditory stimulus is being played in the background. Based on the five articles that were reviewed, the studies revealed that the behavior of a child with autism could be variably altered according to the techniques and specification of targets that the studies are aiming for.

For instance, the study conducted by Dr. Kern and Dr. Aldridge (2006) illustrated that music therapy integrated with outdoor activities of children with autism could influence the way the children interact with their peers, especially with sounds that were personalized for each child. Another instance is the noise sensitivity study conducted by Devlin, Healy, Leader, and Reed (2008), which demonstrated that music from TV Theme and A Cappella songs show an alteration in the negative behaviors of children with autism.

The study performed by Dempsey and Foreman (2001) gave a refreshing insight into the different categories of Autism and how such conditions should be carefully considered in applying various social and cognitive methods of learning. Although most of the articles chosen for this review reveal that auditory stimuli has a positive effect on the behavioral changes in children with autism, it does not indicate actual changes in the targeted areas of study.

Like in most cases, limitations offer a peripheral view of the study which isolates certain cases like the long-term effects of the method applied, the sample population gathered and their age differences. These things should be re-examined in order to see concrete changes in the field of music therapy and its relation to autism. References Dempsey, I. & Foreman, P. (2001). A Review of educational Approaches for Individuals with Autism.

International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 48 (1), 103-116. Devlin, S. , Healy, O. , Leader, G. & Reed, P. (2008). The Analysis and Treatment of Problem Behavior Evoked by Auditory Stimulation. Journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2, 671–680. Kern, P. & Aldridge, D. (2006). Using Embedded Music Therapy Interventions to Support Outdoor Play of Young Children with Autism in an Inclusive Community-Based Child Care Program. Journal of Music Therapy, XLII (4), 270-294.

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