The Effect of Movement Activities in Synchronization With Music on Motor Proficiency of Children With Autism

Atoosa Sanglakh Goochan Atigh, Malahat Akbarfahimi, Mehdi Alizadeh Zarei


Objectives: Although social deficits are the main features of autism, children in autism spectrum disorder often too display difficulties with posture, coordination and motor planning. As such, poor motor skills are believed to be associated with greater difficulties in social communication. Some recent studies show that music can improve the sensory processing and motor functions by affecting brain connectivity. The present study aims to examine the effect of movement activities in synchronization with music on motor proficiency of 7 to 14 years old children with low functioning autism.
Materials & Methods: A double-blind randomized controlled trial design was used in this study. Twenty two subjects participated in the study and assigned into experimental and control groups randomly. The interventions consisted of movement activities with music for experimental group and without music for control group. Motor proficiency of subjects such as balance performance, bilateral coordination and upper limb coordination were assessed by trained independent evaluator before the treatment and also after 12th and 24th therapeutic sessions using 3 subtests of Bruininks- Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP). The effect of interventions in two groups were compared by repeated measures ANOVA.
Results: The results indicated that both interventions improved motor performance in the participants but the effects of interventions on balance performance (P<0.001), bilateral coordination (P<0.05) and upper limb coordination (P<0.001) were significantly different between the two groups.
Conclusion: Movement therapy is beneficial for children with autism, but movement activities in synchronization with music can accelerate improvements in motor proficiency of these children.


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