The Use of Music Interventions to Improve Social Skills in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Integrated Group Music Therapy Sessions


7th World Conference on Educational Sciences, Athens, Greece, 5 - 07 February 2015, vol.197, pp.207-213 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 197
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.125
  • City: Athens
  • Country: Greece
  • Page Numbers: pp.207-213


The lack of social interest is one of the core features of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Individuals with ASD suffer direct and indirect consequences related to their social interaction deficits. The effect of these deficits often increases during adolescence. In this period, adolescents with ASD start to report their desire for peer social interaction, and may also experience more loneliness than their typically developing peers. It is especially vital for adolescents with ASD to have emotionally non-threatening social experiences. The non-threatening and acquiescent nature of music helps to decrease the anxiety experienced during direct interaction with others and improve the social skills of adolescents with ASD. In this study, video recordings of music therapy activities carried out with a group of adolescents with ASD are analyzed, and the outcomes are presented. While activities such as singing, rhythmic games, creative movement and dance were performed; adolescents were asked to work in dyads, in small groups and in a large group. Adolescents initiated and sustained social interactions during music sessions and less resistance was observed while interacting with their peers. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.