Music and Autism
Research demonstrates the benefit of music to enhance literacy skills in the autistic. Musical cueing is effective to improve word recognition, logo identification, print
concepts and prewriting skills of children in early intervention programs.
Selected verbal language and speech skills are enhanced through music activities in
autistic students. Musical presentation of new vocabulary words results
in an increased number of words learned. Music is effective as a prompt and reinforcer to increase verbal response in
preschool-age children with limited verbal communication.
Participation in music activities and structured instrument playing help to
improve social skills in school-age children. Social problem solving skills in 5-year old
children are increased in the long-term through creative musical activities.
Music helps improve social problem solving skills in middle
school students. Songs assisted children with ASD in entering the classroom, greeting
the teacher and/or peers, and engaging in play.
The use of music to structure and organize information helps to increase learning and retention of number concepts. Sequential verbal information, such as telephone numbers, set to melodic and rhythmic patterns are better memorized and recalled than through non-music presentation.