Embodied Rhythm Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
|Project Dates:||2012-12-01 - 2014-10-30|
Project Summary:Children with autism often receive music-based interventions. However, there is little research evidence to support their use. In the proposed project, we develop a novel rhythm intervention based on joint action, rhythmic movement synchronization, and music making. 24 low-functioning children with autism will be randomly assigned to rhythm intervention or stationary play, control groups. Each group will receive 40 training sessions over 8 weeks (5 session per week) Expert trainers provide training for 2 days per week and parents provide training for 3 sessions per week. The proposed intervention will be provided in addition to their ongoing clinician recommended interventions. Pretest and posttest measures will be obtained before and after training for standardized tests of Joint Attention (JA), turn taking, imitation, praxis, coordination and balance. Video data and eye tracking data will also be obtained during synchrony tests for walking, marching, clapping, and drumming motions. The first and last training sessions will be further analyzed using video and audio data. We expect children with autism to improve their rates of JA bids and turn taking, duration of verbalization, imitation accuracy, motor coordination, balance, and movement synchrony with the other participating child as well as the adult trainer across the first and last training sessions and between the post- and pretests. Therefore, the proposed project will achieve a challenging goal of examining multisystem effects of a novel embodied rhythm intervention on the social communication and motor skills of children with autism.