Research Article: Positive outcomes following participation in a music intervention for adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum
Hillier, A., Greher, G., Poto, N., & Dougherty, M. (2011). Positive outcomes following participation in a music intervention for adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum. Psychology of Music, 40(2), 201-215. doi: 10.1177/0305735610386837
Music interventions are frequently utilized with those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and have shown a range of benefits. However, empirical evaluations are lacking and would be a timely step forward in the field. Here we report the findings of our pilot music program for adolescents and young adults with ASD. Evaluation of the program focused on self-esteem, anxiety, and attitudes toward and relationships with peers as these are pervasive challenges for those with ASD. Pre- and post-outcome measures showed a significant increase in self-esteem, reduced self-reported anxiety, and more positive attitudes toward peers. Weekly measures taken pre- and post-each session also showed a significant reduction in self-reported ratings of anxiety. These findings provide some initial empirical support for the efficacy of music participation in treating some of the core challenges seen in ASD.