Within the educational system, students with autism are often misunderstood or overlooked, resulting in an inadequate educational experience. This research was conducted in pursuit of collecting information on students with autism so that current music educators might be better equipped to engage these students effectively within their classroom. Six current music educators were interviewed with a series of nine questions in order to gather a small sample of what is currently occurring in American school systems when it comes to the music education of students with autism. These educators discussed the inclusion of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) within their classrooms, addressing areas of strength and weakness for these students. By synthesizing this information with research on how ASD affects the social, behavioral, and cognitive ability of a student, a more cohesive and effective education plan can be developed for these students. Psychosocial research describes the most common effects of ASD as communication disabilities, challenges with imagination, and restrictive behaviors. However, ASD does not affect any two people in the same way, and therefore, educators must take the time to get to know their students’ personal strengths and weaknesses before they create an educational plan that will be truly beneficial. Through a proper understanding of current research on people with ASD in conjunction with a realistic view of how music educators are utilizing this information in their classrooms, educators will be able to better equip their students for success within and outside of the music classroom.
Music education, autism
Kastelein, Mackenzie C., "Advocacy for Students with Autism: How to Best Engage and Equip Students with Autism to Excel in the Music Classroom" (2018). B.A. in Music Senior Capstone Projects. 15.
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