Means of Musical Dialogues and Reciprocity
Improvisational Music Therapy for Social Interaction of a Preschool Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Keywords:musical intervention, improvisational music therapy, non-pharmaceutical treatment, pervasive developmental disorder, nonverbal communication, case study
This study investigates improvisational music therapy (IMT) and its influence on the social interaction (SI) of a preschool child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Czech Republic. This case study tests the use of music therapy as an augmentative intervention for children with ASD. Using a qualitative design and incorporating microanalysis, the aim was to apply methodological protocols of direct and indirect observation on individual IMT sessions. Three SI domains were assessed using microanalysis in this single case study research: a) nonverbal communication, b) sharing, and c) solace. Varied musical features elicited certain intentional behaviors, allowing the interpretation of their meanings. The nonverbal communication studied shows intention to relate, self-awareness, awareness of others, and sharing. The IMT context provides a unique space for dialogues and reciprocity in a protected and settled environment. Children’s improved SI can provide insight into their ability to interact with others. IMT presents promising care for children with ASD, extending comprehensive care by including dimensions of individualization and an intrinsic, non-directive approach, allowing the child to acquire and further develop their own ways of expression for the regulation of SI. Ideas around the quality of SI within IMT need to be further investigated.
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