The proposed topic is to develop an appropriate music intervention that will improve language skills in students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Because music engages the whole brain, singing improves language skills in children with ASD. Children with ASD tend to be more focused and disposed to use verbal communication through motivating musical activities that include body percussive rhythms, vocalizations, and singing (Berger, 2002). Rhythm plays an important role in language; therefore, employing singing, spoken music and pitched percussive Orff instruments enhances speech and language awareness in Children with ASD. Doctoral research will allow for developing appropriate vocal techniques, singing activities and props to improve language skills in students with ASD.
The autism epidemic hypothesis indicated that the increased rate of children diagnosed with ASD is actual (Bishop, 2008). Autism Spectrum Disorders affect one in 150 American children and it appears during the first three years of age (Lim, 2009). Nevertheless, not every child with autism performs likewise. ASD is a variety of complex neurological developments which ranges from deficits in learning, language development, and social interaction to high functioning individuals with autism that can develop a language of a “little-professor” and recite literature word by word (Dawson & Ozonoff 2002).
This paper has two objectives: to review language development in children with ASD and discuss the impact of singing on language development in children with ASD. Language development is prominent in children with ASD. In fact, delayed language development is one of the reasons why parents refer children with ASD to be evaluated (De Giacomo & Fombonne1998). Recent studies have led to determine that all children with ASD have deficiency in language (Eigsti et al., 2011) and 25% of the entire population with ASD will never acquire functional speech (Targer-Flusberg, Paul, & Lord, 2005). Nevertheless, children with ASD have excellent auditory processing skills; therefore, singing being similar to speaking, has the potential to improve language development (Wan, Ruber, Hohmann, & Schlaug, 2009).
Music has been used as a behavioral and developmental method, and it has proven positive for children with ASD (Adamek, Thaut, & Furman, 2008; Lim, 2010; Whipple, 2004). In theory, Children with ASD will benefit from music activities such as singing because music and language are processed in the left hemisphere of the brain (Kouri & Win, 2006; Hodges, 2009). In addition, music reinforces and functions as a motivator for children with ASD (Lim, 2009; Whipple, 2004).
Abridge Literature Review
This section describes the (a) characteristics of children with ASD, (b) challenges in social and language development, (c) the benefits of music therapy, as well as (d) the impact singing has on language developmental skills in children...