Utilizing Echolalia in Music Therapy Aids the Language Development of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Echolalia is often seen in normative development in toddlers, and often perseverates in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is defined as the repetition of speech or intonation patterns after hearing them, and once the stimuli has ended. This is a part of normative language development, and helps toddlers understand meaning behind words. Research shows brain region activation differences between those with ASD and those without. Increased activation of brain regions in those with ASD when listening to words vs music shows that music may be more easily understood as a form of communication in autistic individuals. Music therapy has used techniques from speech language pathology for years, and speech language pathologists also incorporate aspects of music into their work. Combining music, which is more easily understood by those with ASD and echolalia, which is a common trait in autistic people, may bridge the gap toward better language skills
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