|Full text PDF:||https://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/982283/7/Thibeault_MA_S2017.pdf;Thibeault,Charles-Antoine
This study involved the development of a 12-month music therapy program addressing joint attention deficits for children 1 to 6 years old diagnosed with or suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder. As joint attention plays a key role in the development of social communicative skills such as language and theory of mind, its deficit can have a great impact on the life of children diagnosed with autism. Although many interventions have been developed to address this deficit in fields such as psycho-education and education, little is available in the field of music therapy. Moreover, of those interventions developed in music therapy, few involved external settings, such as homes and schools. This study used an intervention research methodology to provide appropriate guidelines for intervention with children with autism to address joint attention deficits. These guidelines include such elements as goals and objectives, including addressing joint attention responses and initiations, treatment duration, setting, intervention agent, specificities of sensory interventions with children with autism, and pertinent musical components. Results indicate that the inclusion of siblings and the use of improvisational music therapy could favor positive results. Potential implications for music therapy practice as well as areas for future research are discussed.