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J Music Ther. 2010 Spring;47(1):2-26.

Effect of "developmental speech and language training through music" on speech production in children with autism spectrum disorders.

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Sam Houston State University, USA.


The study compared the effect of music training, speech training and no-training on the verbal production of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Participants were 50 children with ASD, age range 3 to 5 years, who had previously been evaluated on standard tests of language and level of functioning. They were randomly assigned to one of three 3-day conditions. Participants in music training (n = 18) watched a music video containing 6 songs and pictures of the 36 target words; those in speech training (n = 18) watched a speech video containing 6 stories and pictures, and those in the control condition (n = 14) received no treatment. Participants' verbal production including semantics, phonology, pragmatics, and prosody was measured by an experimenter designed verbal production evaluation scale. Results showed that participants in both music and speech training significantly increased their pre to posttest verbal production. Results also indicated that both high and low functioning participants improved their speech production after receiving either music or speech training; however, low functioning participants showed a greater improvement after the music training than the speech training. Children with ASD perceive important linguistic information embedded in music stimuli organized by principles of pattern perception, and produce the functional speech.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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