Speech and Language




What is some of the evidence to support M.B.C.T.? PART II

Posted on September 28, 2017 at 10:25 PM

What is some of the evidence to support M.B.C.T. for use in nonverbal autism?

Many researchers have found success by combining melody and words with nonverbal children with autism in the past. Here are just a few of them:

History of Success of Melodic Interventions in Autism

  1. Miller & Toca, 1979 used "Adapted Melodic Intonation Therapy," described as "signing plus an intoned rather than spoken stimulus" to train imitative and, finally, spontaneous intoned verbalizations in a nonverbal 3-year-old child with autism which generalized to a variety of situations.  The child had previously shown little to no progress after a year of signed and verbal language therapy.
  2. Hoelzley, 1993 used a trombone and sung words with a 6-year-old nonverbal female with autism with success. The child began with grunting and finally began speaking the sung utterances after a year of intervention.
  3. Wan et al., 2011 used tuned drums and singing of melodies with six nonverbal/ minimally verbal children ages 5-9-years old. Findings showed significant improvements in ability to articulate words and phrases, with generalization to items that were not practiced during therapy sessions
  4. Chenausky et al., 2016 compared 25 sessions of an intoned based treatment approach (AMMT) to speech repetition therapy (SRT) in 23 minimally verbal children with autism. The group using intoned based treatment showed significantly greater progress. Researchers concluded that "Intonation-based therapy may offer a promising new interventional approach for teaching spoken language to minimally verbal children with ASD."


Publications on M.B.C.T. for Autism

  1. Sandiford et al., 2013 compared M.B.C.T. to more traditional speech repetition tasks in a blocked randomized controlled trial. Twelve nonverbal children with autism ages 5-7 were randomly assigned to either the M.B.C.T. group or the more traditional therapy group. The M.B.C.T. group progressed significantly in number of verbal attempts after weeks 1 through 4 and number of correct words after weeks 1 and 3, while the traditional group progressed much later. A significant number of new words were heard in the home environment for the M.B.C.T. group and more imitative attempts were found in the M.B.C.T. group when compared to the more traditional group.
  2. Sandiford et al., 2013b compared M.B.C.T. to more traditional speech repetition tasks in 12 nonverbal children with autism ages 5-7. Following treatment, the M.B.C.T. group showed significant improvement in pragmatic language score while the control group did not.
  3. Sandiford 2012 found participants in M.B.C.T. ages 5-7 made progress regardless of age. Receptive language score at onset of therapy and ability to imitate were found to be the greatest predictors of success. More research with a larger sample size is recommended (note an additional study is scheduled for the summer of 2018.).

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