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Efficacy of neurologic music therapy motor interventions to improve motor skills, sensory integration, and social outcomes in children with autism: A pilot study

The purpose of this study program is to determine the benefits of music-based therapeutic techniques as compared to non-music-based therapeutic techniques to address motor skill development, sensory integration, and behavioural outcomes for children with autism. This study will help to discover possible challenges and benefits regarding music-based motor rehabilitation intervention. Furthermore, it will reveal foundational data about the potential benefits of such an intervention and help to determine if this intervention should be studied further in autistic children.


Researchers: Jessica Teich (lead student investigator and trainer), Michael Thaut (supervisor), Julia Kowaleski (assessor), Annie Chu (assessor), Steffi Ching (trainer).


Who can participate:

Inclusion Criteria

  1. Children aged between 6 and 12 years

  2. Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or a dual diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit disorder / attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition)

  3. Child can understand and carry out simple verbally, physically, and/or visually cued directions

  4. English-speaking

  5. Normal vision and hearing

  6. Not currently enrolled in another sensorimotor exercise program (e.g, dance, movement, or music therapy programs) or research study


What’s involved: 

This study will see qualifying participants receive free non-music-based or music-based motor interventions over the course of 7 weeks administered by a board certified music therapist. Individuals will participate in nine, 45-minute one-on-one sessions as well as pre-test, post-test, and retention tests. All sessions will be held on campus at the Music and Health Research Collaboratory located at 90 Wellesley W., Toronto.


Compensation:At full completion of the study, they will receive a $15 gift card.


Interested in participating:  If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please email jessi.teich@mail.utoronto.ca


Deadline:May 1, 2024

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