Students with ASD have issues in social communication skills, which can challenge their ability to participate in academic and social activities. Music therapy is a popular and widely used intervention for children with ASD to promote effective learning, and although research evidence supporting its effectiveness is growing, methodological flaws limit interpretation. The present study proposes a new measure, the DUACS, which can be used to assess outcomes associated with a group music therapy program, named the Voices Together. The total number of subjects that took part in the study were 64 elementary students from 9 self-contained autism classrooms who attended 16 weekly intervention sessions. Teacher-reported behavior questionnaires and direct student behavioral measures were administered at baseline, during, and after treatment.
The study concluded through its findings that the increases in communication and social skills suggested the program has high effectiveness, particularly among students with higher baseline skills. Therefore it can be used by institutions to support ASD students. Further investigation of this program approach will help to better understand its mechanisms and for whom it works best.
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