Autism-Open Access

Autism-Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7890

+44 1223 790975


Improving Pragmatics in Nonverbal Children with Autism Using Melodic Based Communication Therapy

Givona A Sandiford, Karen J Mainess and Noha S Daher

Background of study: Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction are key components in the diagnosis of autism. For this reason it is clear that successful intervention for individuals with autism must address this deficit. Melodic Based Communication Therapy (M.B.C.T) has been previously found to improve expressive vocabulary and verbal imitative abilities in nonverbal individuals with autism over the age of 5; however findings on the effect of M.B.C.T. on pragmatic (social) language have not previously been discussed.

Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine the effect of 5 consecutive weeks of Melodic Based Communication Therapy on pragmatics in nonverbal children with autism.

Method: Participants were 12 nonverbal children with autism ages 5 through 7 randomly assigned to the M.B.C.T. or control group. Participants received 5 weeks of intervention, with four 45-minute individual sessions a week. The Pragmatic Language Skills Inventory (PLSI) was used to measure pragmatics pre and post treatment.

Results: Following treatment, the M.B.C.T. group showed significant improvement in PLSI score (72.3 ± 10.1 vs 65.4 ± 7.0, p=.04) while the control group did not (67.7 ± 1.2 vs 66.8 ±.5, p=.32). However, there was no significant difference in improvement between the two groups (6.9 ± 2.4 vs 1.0 ±.5, p=.11).

Conclusions: Results suggest M.B.C.T. may be a viable means of improving pragmatics in children with autism over time. However, a larger sample size may be needed for more conclusive results.