Berger (2012) Pilot Study Investigating the Efficacy of Tempo-Specific Rhythm Interventions in Music-Based Treatment in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
literature type:journal article
reference:Dorita S. Berger. Pilot Study Investigating the Efficacy of Tempo-Specific Rhythm Interventions in Music-Based Treatment Addressing Hyper-Arousal, Anxiety, System Pacing, and Redirection of Fight-or-Flight Fear Behaviors in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Journal of Biomusical Engineering. 2012; Vol. 2: 15 pp.
description:Many behaviors in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) resemble fight-or-flight avoidance responses resulting from habitual states of fear, possibly induced by sensory processing issues, causing on-going stress and deregulation of systemic pacing. This study hypothesized that patterned, tempo-based, rhythm interventions, at 60-beats per minute (pbm), can regulate and induce systemic pacing, reduce repetitive anxiety behaviors and enable focus and calm in persons with ASD. Eight-week pilot study investigated the influence of four sensorimotor rhythm interventions for habituation (entrainment) of systemic inner rhythms, pacing, stress, anxiety, and repetitive behavior reduction, ultimately yielding eye-contact, attention, motor planning, and memory. Six subjects (n = 6) ages 8–12, with ASD and minimal expressive language, were treated in 45-minute weekly one-on-one music therapy session, over eight weeks. A rating scale tracked responses and progress in vivo per session, and on video-tape. Lifeshirt heart-monitor vest with embedded wireless sensors, worn by each subject during the first, fifth and eight sessions, tracked heart-rate data. Results support the hypothesis that highly structured rhythmic interventions at a slow tempo can yield levels of systemic pacing, motor planning, visual contact, attention, reduction of anxiety and repetitive behaviors, and functional adaptation.