A Pilot Study on the Effects of Orff-Based Therapeutic Music in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Ladan Dezfoolian, Mina Zarei, Hassan Ashayeri, Majid Yousefi Looyeh


Music has been used by therapists to facilitate communicative behaviors and social engagement with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We conducted this study to determine the effectiveness of Orff music therapy on social interaction, verbal communication, and repetitive behavior of children with autism. Five children with autism who had no previous experience in music or play therapy were recruited. Social interaction, verbal communication, and repetitive behavior of the participants were scored pre- and postintervention (Orff music therapy) using Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised. The mean scores of social interaction were 26.60 and 14 before and after therapy, respectively (P < .001). The mean scores of verbal communication and repetitive behavior were reduced significantly (P < .05). The reduction in the scores indicated a good outcome. All participants improved significantly in their social interaction and verbal communication. The Orff music therapy also helped to decrease their repetitive behavior. Using Orff music therapy at autistic children’s care centers is encouraged.

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by The International Association for Music & Medicine