The development, implementation, and evaluation of a music intervention programme for autistic children

Watts, Karen M. (1988) The development, implementation, and evaluation of a music intervention programme for autistic children. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

First and foremost, the writer developed a music intervention programme with an aim to facilitate the acquisition and improvement of communication and prosocial behaviour in autistic children. Secondly, the music programme was piloted on 3 autistic children over a 10-week period. Next, this highly descriptive study investigated the programme's potential impact on the communication (both verbal and non-verbal) and socialization skills of each child within the study. -- The sample consisted of 3 boys ages 7-, 9-, and 11-years, who were residents of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, and who had previously received a diagnosis of autism. For the purposes of the study, the children were selected to represent three diverse developmental levels; i.e., low-functioning, mid-range functioning, and high-functioning. Two of the boys had parents engaged in professional occupations, while one boy’s parent was a clerical worker. -- A mixed design was employed in this investigation; both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered. A quasi- single-subject design employing base-line, in-programme, and post-programme evaluation was used to obtain quantitative data. Anecdotal data, based on teachers' weekly observations and subjective judgements of children's progress were combined with the quantitative data to describe the programme's impact. -- The creative therapeutic components-e.g., Orff-based music therapy, elements of dance and play therapy, were integrated in this music programme in order to form one holistic approach to the child. The therapies were interwoven to effectively meet the socialization needs of each child. Since the autistic child was viewed within the context of the complete familial system, family and media therapy were potential therapeutic adjuncts within the music intervention programme. -- The results indicated that the programme was an effective treatment tool, particularly in the areas of language, body and object use, and social interaction. Both the high-functioning and mid-range functioning autistic children made behavioural and social gains throughout the intervention. However, the low-functioning autistic child indicated the greatest, consistent gains. He maintained his behavioural and social progress, and subsequently built upon acquired gains in each ensuing session. Additionally, the low-functioning autistic boy showed a deep pleasure in making music, not only alone, but also with others.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4411
Item ID: 4411
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 133-147.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1988
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Autistic children--Education; Music therapy

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