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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Jane Leatherman


Department of Professional Studies

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


First year music therapists are often unprepared when finding the most appropriate means of working with individuals with Autism. As Autism is the second largest population currently being served by music therapists (American Music Therapy Association Membership Sourcebook, 2011) it is important that they have a clear understanding of the common characteristics, need areas and interventions that are the most appropriate to fit their specific needs. An extensive literature review was conducted in order to determine the themes and need areas in the ten question survey. This survey was provided to seven board certified music therapists in order to compare the knowledge and understanding. All seven surveys were completed and analyzed to look for emerging themes and patterns in the therapists responses. This survey revealed that first year therapists have the basic understanding of interventions and characteristics of autism but do not line up with current research and evidence-based uses of interventions. While the therapist were familiar with a few interventions and characteristics they still need additional resources and more specific training with individuals with autism.


Education | Special Education and Teaching

How to Use Music Therapy to Promote Communication Skills with Individuals with Autism