Music Counts: A Specialized Treatment Program for Children with Autism

Grant Winners

  • Nurit Sheinberg, Ed.D. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • Manny Gonzalez-Abreu, Ph.D. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • William Adams, DMA – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences
  • Nancy Leiberman, Ed.S., CCC-SLP – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • Nicole Gaskin-Daniels, M.S. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • Claudia Salinas, BA – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Stephanie Caceras – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences
  • L'cesare Delva – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences

Deans

  • Roni Leiderman, Ph.D. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • Don Rosenblum, Ph.D. – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Award Winners

This President's Faculty Research and Development Grant will address the question of whether the implementation of a specialized music program can have a positive impact on behavioral outcomes of preschool children with autism. Traditionally, a rich, daily classroom schedule for young children with autism provides instruction on functional routines and pre-academic concepts, such as math and science, play and social engagement activities, and receptive and expressive language development. However, many times other strategies that might support children's development, such as the use of music, are not included because of lack of time or resources. There has been an increase in the use of music-based activities to treat children with autism despite the fact that very little information exists in terms of the effectiveness of those interventions especially when looking at behavioral changes. This research seeks to fill the research gap by exploring if including a music program, implemented twice a week for a nine week period, has a positive impact on children's behaviors and readiness skills. Specifically, the study will assess the following variables: increases in attention engagement, responsiveness and imitation; and reduction in repetitive, stereotyped behaviors and negative behaviors. The program will be implemented at a large preschool program that specializes in working with young children with autism, 100 children will participate in the study and will employ both single subject and a group design methodologies to answer the questions.