Investigating the Effectiveness of a Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-Based (DIR) Improvisational Music Therapy Program on Social Communication for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Music Therapy Perspectives




The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of improvisational music therapy carried out within a DIRFloortime framework in addressing the individual social communication needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participants included four children enrolled in a therapeutic day school, 4–8 years of age, and diagnosed with ASD. Each child participated in twenty-four 30-minute individual DIR-based improvisational music therapy sessions over the course of 13 weeks. The Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS) was used to evaluate changes in social communication skills. Results indicated improvements in areas of self-regulation, engagement, behavioral organization, and two-way purposeful communication.

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