Do relational factors play a greater role in autism assessment and music therapies to incline towards a better outcome? A recent study finds so.
It is no surprise that maintaining good peer relationships creates favorable outcomes and a meaningful relationship plays a greater role and is crucial to everyone, irrespective of whether or not on the spectrum.
However, things change when it comes to children diagnosed with autism. The relationship development takes a unique turn and at times might end up being disruptive due to varied symptoms that interfere with typical developments involving social and emotional abilities. Autism assessment helps one to understand what symptoms their child shows or where does s/he stand on the spectrum scale.
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In one of the recent studies involving researchers from GAMUT, the team highlights the nature of therapeutic relationship generally predicts the changes in social skills of autistic children. To understand the behavioral symptoms, the researchers involved a pilot batch of 48 children aged between 4 to 7 years. The young children had to undergo improvisational music therapies every week for a duration of 5 consecutive months.
Every child had his/her social signals measured prior to the start of the program.
Post successful completion of the program the researchers intended to measure the social-skill signals before and after completion to understand the effectiveness of the program. The researchers further predicted the relationship between a therapist and a child by assessing the recorded videos over the course of the program.
Interestingly, these findings showed symptom reductions to significant levels provided the relationship matured emotionally between the therapist and a child. The results showed a direct link existing between improved language skills and a matured emotional relationship.
Attunement process is the process that forms the basis of early interactions between caregivers and infants. A caregiver needs to understand rhythms and movements to effectively synchronize with the child.
Music therapies, when attuned the right way, helps in understanding how well an infant reacts and understands the music emotionally. Therapists begin their sessions with tailored music, an autistic child is comfortable with.
Emotional attunement and musical focus are especially important to children diagnosed with low functioning autism. Every child with autism is unique and therapy treatments vary from person to person, explain the authors. Subgroup analysis reveals childhood autism conditions improve to a greater extent from therapies involving music than other forms of therapies.