One particular session made me wish this conference had taken place a week earlier, when I was asked by a customer about what music we had in Achievement Products for children with autism. In my reply a week ago I spoke about the numerous music CD’s we carry, that are used by therapists and teachers:
- For movement: Bean Bag Activities CD, Jumpin' Jelly Beans CD, Motor Skill Activity Fun CD, Say G'Day! Sensory Integration CD, No Worries CD
- For calming and transitions: Yoga for Kids CD, Angel Bear Double CD Set
- For auditory sensitivity issues: Sound Eaze CD, School-Eaze CD
But at last week’s conference I learned about a study that showed musical instruments to be even more effective at engaging children with autism.
Alexandra Raber, out of Birmingham-Southern College, presented her study of 22 children with autism, and the effect that 5 music activities: songs with and without movement; action poems; songs with full body movement, and instrument playing, had on their lesson engagement as measured by their oral response, physical response, attention & eye contact. Of the 5 activities, only one resulted in full participation by all 22 students, and that was instrument playing.
As a buyer for the Achievement Products line I have noted that musical instruments are an important part of the line (Bead Drum, Rainbow Tube, Band in a Box, Concertina, Pat Bells, Music and Movement Set). Perhaps individual therapists, teachers and parents noted what Ms. Raber was able to quantify; that playing an instrument resulted in greater engagement by a child with autism.
Do you have a story to share about the effect music, or musical instruments, has had on your student or child?