Many children with autism spectrum disorders display what is known as “echolalia,” an imitation of speech, sounds, movies, or television scripts without inflection or emotional expression. Echolalia is considered dysfunctional by many experts, and can be seen as a barrier or impediment to communicating or interacting with others. However, new research by Dr. Krystal Demaine shows how the use of music can transform this natural imitative behavior into socially engaged and meaningful communication. In this interview, Dr. Demaine describes several forms of musical echolalia, shares excerpts of her work singing and drumming with young children, and offers suggestions for parents and caregivers to meet the needs of their children and increase a sense of bonding through musical exploration. To find out more about her work or to contact Dr. Demaine, visit http://musicalecholalia.blogspot.com/.
Click below to hear an excerpt of this podcast.