Abstract

Recent research has found that for young children with ASD, music is an effective treatment for addressing the core deficits of the disorder as well as a familiar medium implemented in many classrooms. However, little is known if “just” the presentation of music can promote social communication and improve behavior, therefore, this preliminary study investigated the following research questions: (a) Does the presentation of background music during structured play increase the number of utterances and increase engagement in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); and (b) Does the type of music affect these results? Results of the 28-week, alternating treatments design study consistently found that background music had no effect on either spontaneous verbal expression or engagement in the five young participants with autism. In addition, the type of music played, classical, children’s songs, or reggae, did not affect these outcome measures. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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