The lack of substantial evidence to support the use of music therapies for autism limits its implementation in schools and clinics, says Anjana Bhat.
Children with autism who participate in a specialized drama program show improvements in face identification and theory of mind, the ability to infer what others are thinking, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Integrating music into interventions helps children who have autism with their social skills, language and behavior. But methods should be standardized and tested for effectiveness at home, according to a meta-analysis published in January in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Sitting on a sofa in his office at the Yale Child Study Center, Ami Klin plays a movie clip on a tiny laptop. The clip stars a younger Klin, with larger glasses but the same easy smile, vying for the attention of a young girl with autism. His face inches from hers, he speaks in a warm, animated voice. But the girl never looks from the toy blocks in her hands. Suddenly, she spots an orange M&M in the far corner of the room and scoots after it.
Itʼs not often that movies, books and plays represent science accurately, or with a true and empathetic understanding of its complexity.