RSCH 8110/7110/6110: Research Theory, Design, and Methods
Autism researchers continue to grapple with activities that best serve the purpose of fostering positive interpersonal relationships for children with autism. Children have benefited from therapy sessions that provide ongoing activities to aid their ability to engage in healthy social interactions. However, less is known about how K–12 schools might implement programs for this group of individuals to provide additional opportunities for growth, or even if and how school programs would be of assistance in the end. There is a gap, then, in understanding the possibilities of implementing such programs in schools to foster the social and mental health of children with autism. The six articles I selected for this assignment present research on different types of therapeutic programs that have been used to promote social interactions in children with autism.
Wimpory, D. C., & Nash, S. (1999). Musical interaction therapy – therapeutic play for children with autism. Child Language and Teaching Therapy, 15(1), 17–28. https://doi.org/10.1177/026565909901500103
Wimpory and Nash provided a case study for implementing music interaction therapy as part of play therapy aimed at cultivating communication skills in infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The researchers based their argument on films taken of play-based therapy sessions that introduced music interaction therapy. To assess the success of music play, Wimpory and Nash filmed the follow-up play-based interaction between the parent and the child. The follow-up interactions revealed that 20 months after the introduction of music play, the child developed prolonged playful interaction with both the psychologist and the parent. The follow-up films also revealed that the child initiated spontaneously pretend play during these later sessions. After the introduction of music, the child began to develop appropriate language skills.
Since the publication date for this case study is 1999, the results are dated. Although this study found that music interaction therapy is useful, emerging research in the field has undoubtedly changed in the time since this article was published. Wimpory and Nash wrote this article for a specific audience, including psychologists and researchers working with infants diagnosed with ASD. Their focus means that others beyond these fields may not find the findings applicable to their work.
I am interested in the role of music in therapy to foster social and mental health in children with ASD. Therefore, Wimpory and Nash’s research is useful to me for background information on the implementation of music into play-based therapy in infants with ASD. Wimpory and Nash presented a basis for this technique and outlined its initial development. Therefore, their case study can be useful to my research when paired with more recent research on the topic.
For the Week 10 Application assignment, include a one-paragraph conclusion that presents a synthesis of the six articles you annotated.