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Music as a Therapeutic Intervention with Autism: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Dawn De Vries, Teresa Beck, Bethany Stacey, Katelyn Winslow, Kristyn Meines


This systematic review of literature is focused on the outcomes of the therapeutic use of music with children living with autism and was written to enhance the practice of using music as a therapeutic intervention by studying program needs and design. Outcomes from the use of music as a therapeutic intervention with children along the autism spectrum disorder included improvement in interpersonal skills, social skills, and cognitive skills. Reported benefits included, but were not limited to increased appropriate social behavior; increased attention to task; increased vocalization, verbalization, gesture, and vocabulary comprehension; increased communication and social skills; enhanced body awareness and coordination; improved self-care skills; and reduced anxiety.


autism; therapeutic use of music; children; therapeutic recreation

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