Parent perceptions of music therapy in an on-campus clinic for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Edward Todd Schwartzberg, Michael J Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although researchers have investigated parent perceptions of family-based group music therapy sessions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), no researcher has examined parent perceptions of individual music therapy sessions for children with ASD in a university-based clinic. The purpose of this study was to understand parent perceptions of individual music therapy sessions in an on-campus university clinic for children with ASD. Research questions included: (a) How do parents of children with ASD perceive music therapy in an on-campus clinic? (b) How might parents differentiate music therapy from other treatments their child may be receiving? Four mothers of children with ASD receiving music therapy participated separately in semi-structured interviews. Using an inductive approach to thematic analysis, the authors identified and established code categories and themes during repeated readings of the data. Parents perceived music therapy to be a meaningful treatment for their children with ASD and five themes emerged: 1) music therapy is a unique and enjoyable multisensory approach that engages and motivates their children and distinguishes itself from other therapies 2) working with music therapy students is beneficial for children with ASD as it provides a change of routine and fosters flexibility; 3) the collaborative approach benefits all aspects of treatment and promotes rapport and alliance; 4) gains and progress resultant of music therapy generalize to other settings; 5) parents independently implement techniques used in music therapy in other settings. Implications for clinical practice and suggestions for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-112
Number of pages15
JournalMusicae Scientiae
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • autism
  • music therapy
  • parents
  • parents’ perceptions
  • treatment interventions

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