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Exceptional Children Research: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders



Pasiali, V. (2004).

Article Number: ASD1
Author: Pasiali, Varvara
Title: The Use of Prescriptive Therapeutic Songs in a Home-Based Environment to Promote Social Skills Acquisition by Children with Autism: Three Case Studies
Reference: Music Therapy Perspectives 22:1 (2004) p.11-20
Abstract: A study is presented that investigated the effect of prescriptive therapeutic songs on promoting social skills acquisition by children who have autism. Participants were three children with autism. The research created an individualized song for each participant, the purpose of which was to decrease an undesirable behavior identified by the parents. The researcher developed the lyrics of each song by following the current guidelines for writing the text of "social stories," a strategy developed by special educators for modifying problematic behaviors of children with autism. The adapted lyrics were than set to the tune of a favorite [song] of the child. The song intervention was implemented during the treatment phases of the ARAB reversal design. The results are not conclusive, but there is some indication that prescriptive songs are a viable intervention with children who have autism.
Document type: Research and Analysis
Special Features: Graphs, References, Tables
Broad subject: Music and Other Disciplines
Topics: Behavioral Psychology; Autism; Statistical Analysis; Music Therapy
Publisher: American Music Therapy Association
ISSN: 0734-6875
ProQuest Document ID: 1371259
Document URL:
Last updated: 2010-12-24
Database: International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text

Kern, P., Wakeford, L., & Aldridge, D. (2007)

Article Number: ASD2
Author: Kern, Petra; Wakeford, Linn; Aldridge, David
Title: Improving the Performance of a Young Child with Autism during Self-Care Tasks Using Embedded Song Interventions: A Case Study
Reference: Music Therapy Perspectives 25:1 (2007) p.43-51
Abstract: The authors report on a case study that investigated the effectiveness of adding songs embedded in ongoing classroom routines as structural prompts to increase the independence of a three-year-old boy with autism during multi-step self-care tasks. Effectiveness of musical versus verbal presentations of task sequences were compared, with the teacher embedding both forms of the presented sequencing in the ongoing classroom routines. Results indicate that the implementation of both forms of intervention were successful in increasing the child's independent performance for each task, though task-specific differences were noted.
Document type: Research and Analysis
Special Features: Musical Scores, References, Graphs, Tables
Broad subject: Music Education; Music and Other Disciplines
Topics: Autism; Children; Case Studies; Music Therapists; Songs; Classroom Activities; Teaching Methods
Publisher: American Music Therapy Association
ISSN: 0734-6875
ProQuest Document ID: 1372555
Full Text URL:
Last updated: 2010-12-24
Database: International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text

Whipple, J. (2004).

Article Number: ASD3
Author: Whipple, Jennifer
Title: Music in Intervention for Children and Adolescents with Autism: A Meta-Analysis
Reference: Journal of Music Therapy 41:2 (Summer 2004) p.90
Abstract: This meta-analysis of 12 dependent variables from 9 quantitative studies comparing music to no-music conditions during treatment of children and adolescents with autism resulted in an overall effect size of d =.77 and a mean weighted correlation of r =.36 (p =.00). Since the confidence interval did not include 0, results were considered to be significant. All effects were in a positive direction, indicating benefits of the use of music in intervention. The homogeneity Q value was not significant (p =.83); therefore, results of included studies are considered to be homogeneous and explained by the overall effect size. The significant effect size, combined with the homogeneity of the studies, leads to the conclusion that all music intervention, regardless of purpose or implementation, has been effective for children and adolescents with autism.
Topics: Autism; Children; Case Studies; Music therapists; Cognition Disorders
Publisher: American Music Therapy Association
ISSN: 0022-2917
ProQuest Document ID: 1096825
Full Text URL:
Last updated: 2010-09-23
Database: International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text

Kern, P., & Aldridge, D. (2006).

Article Number: ASD4
Author: Kern, Petra; Aldridge, David
Title: Using Embedded Music Therapy Interventions to Support Outdoor Play of Young Children with Autism in an Inclusive Community-Based Child Care Program
Reference: Journal of Music Therapy 43:4 (Winter 2006) p.270-294
Abstract: For young children with autism enrolled in community-based inclusive child care programs, outdoor play can be a major challenge. A music therapy intervention attempted to improve peer interactions and meaningful play on the playground for four boys with autism by adding an outdoor music center and using original songs composed for each participant. A collaborative approach was used to support the implementation of the intervention by the children's teachers, engaging classroom peers as formal and informal helpers. The effects of the interventions were examined using a multiple baseline design with four conditions replicated across the four children.
Broad subject: Music and Other Disciplines
Topics: Music Therapy; Autism; Preschool Children; Play Songs; Teaching Methods; Case studies; Analysis; Social Interactionism
Publisher: American Music Therapy Association
ISSN: 0022-2917
ProQuest Document ID: 1097377
Document URL:
Last updated 2010-12-24
Database: International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text

Kern, P., Wolery, M., & Aldridge, D. (2006).

Article Number: ASD5
Author: Kern, Petra; Wolery, Mark; Aldridge, David
Title: Use of Songs to Promote Independence in Morning Greeting Routines For Young Children With Autism
Reference: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders Volume 37, Number 7, 1264-1271
Abstract:This study evaluated the effects of individually composed songs on the independent behaviors of two young children with autism during the morning greeting/entry routine into their inclusive classrooms. A music therapist composed a song for each child related to the steps of the morning greeting routine and taught the children’s teachers to sing the songs during the routine. The effects were evaluated using a single subject withdrawal design. The results indicate that the songs, with modifications for one child, assisted the children in entering the classroom, greeting the teacher and/or peers and engaging in play. For one child, the number of peers who greeted him was also measured, and increased when the song was used.
Keywords: Music Therapy - Child Care Program - Inclusion - Autism - Transitioning - Collaborative Consultation
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
ISSN: 0162-3257
EBSCO Accession Number: EJ771532
Full Text URL:
Database: ERIC

Douglass, E. T. (2002).

Article Number: ASD6
Author: Douglass, Elizabeth T
Title: The Development of a Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Hospitalized Children
Reference: Music Therapy Perspectives 24:2 (2006) p.73-79
Abstract: An essay is presented that highlights the development of a music therapy assessment form for use with hospitalized children. Assessment is an important aspect of the music therapy process because it helps the therapist to identify patient needs, communicates to other parties the rationale for music therapy treatment, and guides the choice of objectives and the ongoing evaluation of treatment benefits. The steps taken to develop the assessment tool are described, including determining the needs of the target population, examining existing assessment tools used by music therapy professionals, determining format and content, piloting the form with patients and revising initial drafts based on feedback, and determining the validity and reliability of the form.
Topics: Music Therapy; Children; Medical Treatment; Assessment; Methodology; Analysis
Publisher: American Music Therapy Association
ISSN: 0734-6875
ProQuest Document ID: 1371829
Document URL:
Last updated: 2010-09-23
Database: International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text


Perry, M. M. (2003).

Article Number: CD2
Author: Perry, Mary M Rainey
Title: Relating Improvisational Music Therapy with Severely and Multiply Disabled Children to Communication Development
Reference: Journal of Music Therapy 40:3 (Fall 2003) p.227-246
Abstract: The particular influences of disability of musical interaction with children who have preintentional and early intentional communication were explored. Analysis of video recordings and other data confirmed that the children's level of communication development was reflected in individual music therapy. Both turn taking and playing and singing together were found to be important forms of communication during music therapy. Communication problems related to disability included difficulties in using objects as a focus of joint attention, difficulties in interpreting the interactive environment, being sufficiently motivated to communicate, severely limited means of interaction, attaining and maintaining an appropriate level of arousal, and lack of interest in interaction and the outside environment.
Document type: Research and Analysis
Special Features: References, Tables
Broad subject: Music and Other Disciplines
Topics: Music Therapy; Disabilities; Children; Communication; Influences
Publisher: American Music Therapy Association
ISSN: 0022-2917
ProQuest Document ID: 1096622
Full Text URL:
Last updated: 2010-09-23
Database: International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text


Gattino, G., Riesgo, R., Longo, D. et al. (2011).

Article Number: ASD7
Author: Gattino, Gustavo Schulz; Riesgo, Rudimar dos Santos; Longo, Danae; Leite, Julio Cesar Loguercio; Faccini, Lavina Schuler
Title: Effects of relational music therapy on communication of children with autism: a randomized controlled study
Reference: Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 20. 2 (Jun 2011): 142-154.
Abstract: The intent of this study (registration ACTRN12608000625370) was to investigate the effects of Relational Music Therapy (RMT) in verbal, nonverbal and social communication of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 24 boys from the Programme for Invasive Developmental Disorders (Porto Alegre City, Brazil), was designed to compare individuals treated with music therapy (n = 12) and standard treatment (clinical routine activities including medical examinations and consultations, n = 12). The outcomes were assessed by two blind evaluators, before and after interventions, through the verbal, nonverbal and social communication scores of Brazilian version of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS-BR). The CARS-BR scores in T1 and T2 did not show a statistically significant difference in the three measured outcomes. However, the study found a positive statistically significant difference on subgroup analysis of nonverbal communication among patients with autistic disorder, p = 0.008 and standard mean difference of 2.22 (95% CI 1.90 to 2.53). The results observed in the investigation of the effects of relational music therapy on communication skills of ASD children are inconclusive. The next investigations need more rigorous designs leading to smaller effect size estimates and more accurate tools for the outcome assessment (including some specific instrument of music therapy). These modifications will increase the accuracy to observe the treatment effects in this population.
Narrow subject: Music Therapy, Analysis, Autism
Broad subject: Music and Other Disciplines
Title: Effects of relational music therapy on communication of children with autism: a randomized controlled study
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Place of publication: London
Country of publication: United Kingdom
Publication subject: Medical Sciences--Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation, MUSIC
ISSN: 0809-8131
Source type: Scholarly Journals
Peer reviewed: Yes
Language of publication: English; Norwegian; Swedish; Danish
Document type: Research and Analysis
Document feature: References
Document URL:
Last updated: 2012-08-01
Database: Taylor and Francis Online

Carnahan, C., Musti-Rao, S., & Bailey, J. (2009).

Article Number: ASD8
Title: Promoting Active Engagement in Small Group Learning Experiences for Students with Autism and Significant Learning Needs.
Author(s): Carnahan, Christi ; Musti-Rao, Shobana ; Bailey, Jody
Source: Education and Treatment of Children, v32 n1 p37-61 Feb 2009. 25 pp.
Descriptors: Reading Materials, Cues, Autism, Learner Engagement, Learning Motivation, Learning Experience, Special Needs Students, Small Group Instruction, Visual Stimuli, Multimedia Instruction, Intervals, Conceptual Tempo, Measures (Individuals), Academic Accommodations (Disabilities), Elementary Education
Abstract: Students with disabilities have greater success when teachers have high expectations, use evidence-based practices, and design engaging learning experiences. Educators and other professionals often disagree about how to create such environments for students with autism, especially during small group academic instruction. This study evaluated the effects of interactive reading materials using visual cues and music on the engagement behavior of six students with autism. Results from an ABCAC reversal design indicated an increase in students' engagement with the use of interactive reading materials in comparison to traditional read-alouds. Directions for future research and important implications for classroom practice are discussed. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)
ISSN: 0748-8491
Full Text URL:
Database: ERIC
Full Text Database: Academic Search Premier


Baio, J. (2008).

Article Number: ASD9
Title:Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Surveillance Summaries. Volume 61, Number 3
Author(s): Baio, Jon
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 24 pp.
Publication Date: 2012
ISSN: 1546-0738
Descriptors: Incidence, Autism, Ethnic Groups, Public Health, Developmental Disabilities, Identification, Interpersonal Relationship, Interaction, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Behavior Problems, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Children, Gender Differences, Racial Differences, Risk Abstract: Problem/Condition: Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication and by restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Symptoms typically are apparent before age 3 years. The complex nature of these disorders, coupled with a lack of biologic markers for diagnosis and changes in clinical definitions over time, creates challenges in monitoring the prevalence of ASDs. Accurate reporting of data is essential to understand the prevalence of ASDs in the population and can help direct research. Period Covered: 2008. Description of System: The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network is an active surveillance system that estimates the prevalence of ASDs and describes other characteristics among children aged 8 years whose parents or guardians reside within 14 ADDM sites in the United States. ADDM does not rely on professional or family reporting of an existing ASD diagnosis or classification to ascertain case status. Instead, information is obtained from children's evaluation records to determine the presence of ASD symptoms at any time from birth through the end of the year when the child reaches age 8 years. ADDM focuses on children aged 8 years because a baseline study conducted by CDC demonstrated that this is the age of identified peak prevalence.
Full Text from ERIC Available online:
Journal Code: APR2012
Accession Number: ED530639
Database: ERIC

Asperger Syndrome

Rett Syndrome

Bergstrom-Isacsson, M., Julu, P. O., & Witt-Engerstrom, I. (2007).

Article Number: ASR1
Author: Bergstrom-Isacsson, M., Julu, P O, & Witt-Engerstrom, I.
Title: Autonomic responses to music and vibroacoustic therapy in Rett syndrome: a controlled within-subject study.
Reference: Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 16, 1. (2007) p.42(18). Abstract: We investigated the influence of music and vibroacoustic therapy (VT) on the autonomic nervous system in persons with Rett syndrome (RTT) at the Swedish Rett Centre in Ostersund because professionals and families alike often claim that music plays a very important role in the lives of these people. The families even claim that they sometimes use music as "medicine" to calm down the Rett persons when nothing else seems to help. We studied 21 persons with RTT in the years 2003 and 2004. These were patients coming to the Rett Centre for routine brainstem assessment. The control status was the subject's own baseline autonomic function during rest. Subjects were stimulated using horn music, calming and activating music, then VT and VT with calming music embedded in it. The results show that it was possible to measure responses to music and VT within this group. These responses were unique for different stimuli. The horn music caused physiological arousal, activating music caused sympathetic response, and calming music caused parasympathetic response in our subjects. We also learned that observation of behaviours alone might be misleading and may not represent the autonomic responses accurately. It was also impossible to predict responses to different kinds of music. For example, each patient had different and unique calming music.
Document type: Research and clinical report
'Related subjects: Music therapy; Reaction time (Psychology); Rett Syndrome (Care and treatment)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
ISSN: 0809-8131
Full Text URL:
Database: Health Reference Center Academic

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Pervasive Developmental Disorder