Improving behaviour in children with autism

February 20, 2013
Credit: David Maddison

Weekly music therapy sessions lasting just an hour can have a positive effect on behaviour in children with autism, reports a paper in Pertanika Journal this month. In a study of 41 children, improvements were seen particularly in inattentive behaviours over a ten month period. The researchers hope that their research will help children and young adults with autism to modify behaviour.

US Centers for Disease Control statistics state that one in every 150 children in United States is diagnosed with autism – that is one new diagnosis in every 20 minutes. And the number is on the increase. Music and movement therapy has been used to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. interventions can be designed to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, enhance memory, improve communication, and promote .

See C M of the Universiti Sains Malaysia divided the group into two age categories – two to ten and eleven to twenty two – and rated their behaviour on a target behaviour checklist developed specifically for the research. Over a ten month period they alternated two different hour-long sessions of music therapy and measured the children on the target behaviour checklist on a monthly basis. For behaviours such as , aggression toward other children, noisiness and tantrums more than half of each group improved by one or two points on the scale.

Some children showed no changes and a couple regressed. Overall the research suggests that the therapy has positive effects on the children's , but particularly with inattentive behaviour.

Explore further: Study to search for more answers on autism subject

More information: See, C. The Use of Music and Movement Therapy to Modify Behaviour of Children with Autism, Pertanika J. Soc. Sci. & Hum. 20 (4): 1103 - 1116 (2012)

Related Stories

Study to search for more answers on autism subject

June 14, 2007

A research study that may provide hope of finding an effective, alternative intervention for children with autism who do not respond to Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI), is being conducted under the leadership of ...

Physical activity is beneficial for children with ADHD

June 7, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- "There has long been a popular consensus that physical activity is good for children with attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity [ADHD] because, by definition, these children are constantly ...

Recommended for you

Researchers identify autism genes using new approach

August 1, 2016

Princeton University and Simons Foundation researchers have developed a machine-learning approach that for the first time analyzes the entire human genome to predict which genes may cause autism spectrum disorder, raising ...

New autism genes are revealed in largest-ever study

September 29, 2015

In the largest, most comprehensive genomic analysis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) conducted to date, an international research team led by UC San Francisco scientists has identified 65 genes that play a role in the disorder, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.