A musical programme has revealed its ability to improve the social interaction of children with autism spectrum disorder. This was revealed in a study done by researcher Abdullah Abdul-Aziz Ghareeb as part of the requirements to obtain a Master’s degree in Autism from the College of Graduate Studies at the Arabian Gulf University (AGU).
The study aimed to identify to what extent the musical programme can improve children’s with autism spectrum disorder social interaction. The researcher has tested the programme on 12 children between 6-12 years old from Autistic Behavior School for Boys in Kuwait. The children were put into two groups, where one of the groups is experimental and the other is a control group. The research instruments consisted of the social interaction scale and a programme for social interaction improvement.
The results showed that the programme could improve children’s with autism spectrum disorder social interaction. Based on that, the study recommended the preparation of a social interactive musical programme for the group of people with autism spectrum disorder, which is compatible with their characteristics from the Ministry of Education. It also recommended using experimental programmes based on visual stimuli to develop social interaction in autism centres, as well as using diverse strategies in teaching children with autism spectrum disorder the skill of social interaction. The study further called for coordination between the special education schools administration and the College of Musical Education to establish musical education programmes for children with autism spectrum disorder. Finally, the study recommended the creation of social interaction programmes for musical education teachers and parents that aim to improve children with autism spectrum disorder.