When doing this research, the researcher aimed to prove the hypothesis that if music is introduced within a play therapy framework then the classroom behaviour of an autistic child will improve. The goal of the study was to determine the impact of music, within play therapy, on the behaviour of autistic children in a classroom situation. Autism and play therapy were discussed, and the benefits of background music in the classroom were explored. The population consisted of all the autistic children attending the Key School. Six children between the ages of nine and 12 were selected from the population through non-probability purposive sampling. The quasi-experimental design was used in order to complete the empirical investigation. A scale was used in order to measure the impact of music on the classroom behaviour of the autistic child. Pre- and post-test measurements were done in order to indicate any changes in the autistic children’s behaviour. More in-depth information was gathered through the use of unstructured observation. Research results have indicated that the introduction of background music into the classroom of children affected by autism has a positive effect on their behaviour. It can therefore be concluded that background music can contribute to enhancing the functioning of the autistic child. Consequently it was recommended that background music be used in the classroom in future, to improve the behaviour of the autistic child.
Dissertation (MSD (Play Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2005.