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J Music Ther. 2009 Fall;46(3):204-16.

Using the SCERTS model assessment tool to identify music therapy goals for clients with autism spectrum disorder.

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Florida State University.


The purposes of this paper were to identify and compare goals and objectives addressed by music therapists that are contained in the SCERTS Model, for use with children at risk or diagnosed with a communication impartment including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A video analysis of music therapists working with clients at risk or diagnosed with ASD (N = 33) was conducted to: (a) identify the areas of the SCERTS assessment model that music therapists are currently addressing within their sessions for clients with ASD, and (b) compare the frequency of SCERTS domains and goals addressed by music therapists within sessions. Results of the analysis revealed that all three domains of social communication, emotional regulation, and transactional support were addressed within music therapy sessions. Within each domain both broad goals were all addressed including joint attention and symbol use for social communication, self-regulation and mutual regulation for emotional regulation, and interpersonal support and learning support for transactional support. Overall, music therapists addressed transactional support goals and subgoals more often than social communication and emotional regulation goals and subgoals. The highest frequency goal area addressed was interpersonal support (73.96%) and the lowest goal area addressed was joint attention (35.96%). For the social partner and language partner language stages, 58 of the 320 possible subgoals were addressed with 90% frequency or higher, while 13 of the same subgoals were never addressed. The SCERTS Model is designed for use by a multidisciplinary team of professionals and family members throughout a client's treatment and contains an ongoing assessment tool with resulting goals and objectives. This analysis indicates that many SCERTS goals and objectives can be addressed in music therapy interventions. Additionally, goals and subgoals not previously recognized in music therapy treatment can be generated by the use of the SCERTS Model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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