Effectiveness of music therapy in children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Effectiveness of music therapy in children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Social interaction can be particularly challenging for individuals with autism. Music therapy offers a supportive and engaging environment where individuals can learn and practice social skills. Group music therapy sessions provide opportunities for individuals with autism to interact with their peers, engage in joint musical activities, and develop social connections. Many children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders have complex sensory needs and may constantly be sensory seeking input in the form of self-stimulating behaviors. Use of music therapy interventions can help to reduce undesired behaviors and increase more appropriate responses. With many music experiences, the child receives auditory, visual, and tactile input in one place.

music therapy for autism

Some behavioral methods are based on the child’s preferences, such as pivotal response training (PRT). Some of these programs involve parents, such as the Son Rise program, which occurs at home (3, 4). The length of a music therapy session depends on the individual needs of each child. The sensory integration approach can help children who are hypersensitive or hyposensitive to stimuli or display sensory-seeking behaviors to manage their physical reactions. Additionally, while music therapy can be highly beneficial, it should not be used as a standalone treatment for autism but rather as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. The benefits of using music therapy as a complementary treatment for autism, alongside other forms of therapy. Today, receptive music therapy is applied alongside or in combination with the active form, where the autistic child improvises with music and can express their feelings freely.

What is music therapy?

Two of them explicitly used improvisational MT, and both required parental involvement. One was solo therapy by a professional therapist, without specifying musical form. The intervention frequency was weekly, with no significant differences in duration. The Intervention periods were different, ranging from 8 weeks to 5 months. Because differences in the age at intervention and the presence or absence of parents can have an effect on children’s MT outcomes; although I2 was 0%, we believe this result is likely to be heterogeneous.


Because they are interested in the music, they are more likely to sing along and learn the words. It is also a great way to bond with your child and have some quality time together. This song is short but this autism calming music is very effective while teaching them how the concepts of rowing a boat. Here are some examples of music that can be helpful for kids with autism and some tips you can do to foster a love of music in your child. It may change your mood, give you energy, make you calm, help you focus, or even make you feel happier. Scientists have studied what happens to the brain when people listen to music, and they think that music affects the brain by causing it to release chemicals that can change our mood. Although most health insurance does not cover this music therapy, some insurance companies are beginning to offset the costs of some creative therapies, which include music therapy.

Music Therapy Holiday and Seasonal Activities

As impairments in social interactions are also often reported at some point in youths with other NDDs, the effects of music therapy are worth investigating in patients with these other conditions. Read more about piano lessons for autistic child here. In this review, we aimed to review the evidence examining the use of music therapy in youths with ASD and/or other NDDs. These methods target the primary difficulties experienced by patients with ASD in social interaction and communication, in particular joint attention, imitation, synchrony, emotional sharing and symbolic play.

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