EFFECTS OF NONCONTINGENT MUSIC ON VOCAL STEREOTYPY AND TOY MANIPULATION IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

Authors


  • This paper was written in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the PhD degree in Educational Psychology at McGill University by the first author.

Marc J. Lanovaz, École de Psychoéducation, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC, Canada, H3C 3J7. E-mail: marc.lanovaz@umontreal.ca

Abstract

Noncontingent music has been shown to reduce engagement in vocal stereotypy in children with autism spectrum disorders, but its effects on appropriate collateral behavior remain unknown. Given that noncontingent music is typically implemented during periods of free play, clinicians may be concerned with the effects of the intervention on toy manipulation. Thus, we examined the immediate and subsequent effects of noncontingent music on engagement in vocal stereotypy and toy manipulation in four children with autism spectrum disorders by using a three-component multiple schedule combined with a multi-element design. The results suggest that noncontingent music (i) reduced immediate engagement in vocal stereotypy for three of four participants, (ii) never increased subsequent engagement in vocal stereotypy, and (iii) produced idiosyncratic effects on immediate and subsequent engagement in toy manipulation for two participants. The clinical implications of the results are discussed in terms of improving the treatment of vocal stereotypy using noncontingent music. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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