The effect of rhythm and melody on language development and sensory organization in children with autism
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Research in language, neurology, and music suggests that constructs of music to provide organization, such as rhythm and melody, may facilitate language skill development and sensory organization for children with autism. This project inquired whether rhythmic speech or melody during free-play and intervention sessions could help increase language production and organize sensory systems, displayed by Restricted, Repetitive Stereotypical behaviors (RRS), for children diagnosed with autism. Statistical analysis of the data determined that neither language skills nor RRS behaviors were significantly influenced by rhythmic speech or rhythmic speech with melody. While statistical analysis did not suggest an effect, observational data collected during the sessions did suggest that auditory perception and orientation toward language might have been positively effected by rhythm and melody. Further research is necessary to determine how the organizing principles of rhythm and melody might affect the language development of children with autism. Anecdotal evidence is discussed to support future research in this field.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of literature -- Method -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. UMKC SSIRB approval letter -- Appendix B. Request for participation in a research study -- Appendix C. Consent for participation in a research study -- Appendix D. Data collection tool -- Appendix E. Matched-sentences and musical examples -- Appendix F. Raw data