Music-assisted programmes: Developing communication in autism spectrum disorder through music making

ERC-2018-PoC-838787-MAP, 2019-2022, European Research Council, €150,000

Our MAP project aims to develop a set of music-assisted programmes (MAP) to increase spoken language ability in 24-60-month-old autistic children with no or few words.

A randomised control trial will be conducted, which will randomly allocate a child into one of two possible groups, receiving either music-assisted language intervention or standard speech and language therapy. By comparing the two groups, we will be able to find out whether music-assisted programmes are effective or not.

We will address the following four specific aims using a multi-method approach measured by parent reports, observations and formal assessments.

Aim 1: To investigate whether music-assisted language interventions enhance the learning of words for autistic children with no or few words.

Aim 2: To refine techniques for using music to improve language learning in autistic children with no or few words.

Aim 3: To develop an app available on smartphones, which will enable parents to apply music assisted programmes for their child's language learning at home.

Aim 4: To provide suggestions for the mechanism of action of music assisted programmes in language learning.