Music Therapy and Sensory Processing Patterns - Microanalysis of Music Therapy Work with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
(2016) Music Therapy and Sensory Processing Patterns - Microanalysis of Music Therapy Work with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, no. 93.
Background: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulties with social interaction, behaviour, and communication skills. Most also experience different sensory processing patterns, which result in various unusual sensory behaviours in their daily life. Music therapy, by adopting different techniques, helps them to develop their relationship forming and communication skills, and to address their core deficits. Numerous studies have shown positive outcomes of music therapy with this group of children, which may be because music therapists can be flexible in adapting various clinical techniques to suit the many different moment-by-moment needs of such young, and often non or pre-verbal children. Consequently, this study is intended to examine how a particular four-years-old ASD child's unique sensory behaviour pattern - which is a significant feature of the ASD child - informs a music therapist's practice. Aims and method: The purpose of this project was to investigate the ways by which, I, as a music therapist, adapted my professional technique to meet the needs of an ASD child who displayed unique sensory behaviours, in order to encourage him to be more interactive both with instruments and myself. Two clips from the music therapy sessions, which I microanalysed and repeatedly reviewed in order to see and understand more clearly Edam's unique sensory behaviours and his interactions with me. I also kept a reflexive journal in order to interpret our therapeutic relationship.