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Music Therapy: Tuned In To Autism

Music Therapy: Tuned In To Autism

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Voices Together music therapy session in the classroomResearchers from the Voices Together Bass Connections team have published research stemming from their work in the classroom. And with the number of children diagnosed with developmental disabilities increasing, their work could serve as a therapeutic model for children with disabilities.

In the U.S. about one in six children are diagnosed with a developmental disability, a range of issues that span learning disabilities, ADHD and autism. Commonly, these disabilities impact communication skills as well as social and emotional learning. Kids with these diagnoses face a tougher time in school as a result.

Voices Together music therapy session for a studentBut researchers are coming up with new methods for helping these children in the classroom. Voices Together, a music-based intervention in the classroom, serves children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and children with intellectual disabilities.

In a recent study, the Voices Together model was used in four local public elementary school special education classrooms that served five children with ASD and 32 children with intellectual disabilities without autism. The classes were randomly selected to receive either short-term (7 weeks) or long-term (15 weeks) of exposure to Voices Together music therapy.

For both groups, the intervention helped improve children’s verbal responses. Unsurprisingly, the long-term intervention had a greater impact.

The research was supported in part by the Voices Together Bass Connections team and published in Autism Research and Treatment. To read their full findings, visit the journal here.

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