Berger (2002) Music Therapy, Sensory Integration and the Autistic Child

literature type:



Dorita S. Berger. 1st ed. Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 2002.


Music therapy is well established as a particulary effective way of working with people with autism - helping them to communicate, ameliorating symptons of distress and helping them to cope better with an uncertain and confusing world. This book looks at the reasons why this is so. In the first part of the text Dorita S. Berger looks in detail at those characteristics of autism, especially sensory integration problems, which are amenable to music therapy. In the second part she shows how, at a neurological level, the purity of sound itself can not only open a a channel for communication but also effect lasting change in a way not open to other therapeutic modalities. She looks at the nature of music, and in particular melody, showing how the simplicity of music can be "understood" by a child with autism in a way that words cannot, and how this can lead to verbal communication once the patterns are established. Vignettes thoughout the book of music therapy work with children to demonstrate the theory in action, and the last section of the text develops the practical application with action plans for musical therapy interventions particulary suited for work with children with autism.


arts categories:


population(s) served:

very young children
special needs