Parents, here’s how drum therapy can help children with autism

According to a study, drumming helps schoolchildren diagnosed with autism. The project, led by the University of Chichester and University Centre Hartpury, showed drumming for just an hour a week improved students’ ability to follow instructions and interact with peers. Observations of the weekly lessons also highlighted significant improvements in dexterity, rhythm and timing.

Lead researcher Dr Marcus Smith, said, “This is a unique and remarkable research project that has demonstrated the positive impact on a pupil’s health and well-being following rock drumming practice. Rock drumming as a potent intervention for individuals experiencing brain disorders, such as autism, is fascinating.”

Class teachers evaluated behavioural changes within the classroom across the ten-week drumming intervention, with preliminary evidence highlighting positive outcomes.

Preliminary results showed:

-A vast improvement in movement control while playing the drums, including dexterity, rhythm, timing.

-Movement control was also enhanced while performing daily tasks outside the school environment, including an improved ability to concentrate during homework.

-A range of positive changes in behaviour within school environment, which were observed and reported by teachers, such as improved concentration and enhanced communication with peers and adults.

Dr Steve Draper, Hartpury, added: “Drumming has a unique blend of physical activity, coordination and musicality, all of which are known to be beneficial to well-being. It has been amazing to watch the children thrive and develop to this challenge. Drumming has the potential to positively impact a wide range of people.”

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First Published: Sep 14, 2018 15:10 IST

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