Long-Term Perspectives of Family Quality of Life Following Music Therapy With Young Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Phenomenological Study.
Parents of children on the autism spectrum have consistently reported feeling uncertain in their parenting role, and desire more practical advice from service providers about how to support their child in the home. There is growing recognition of the need for interventions to provide support to the family as well as fostering child development outcomes.
This study explores mothers' follow-up perspectives of family-centered music therapy (FCMT) four years after participating in a 16-week home-based program, and therefore provides a unique long-term viewpoint on FCMT outcomes.
Eight mothers who previously participated in FCMT sessions with their young children on the autism spectrum were interviewed to explore their perception of any long-term outcomes.
A descriptive phenomenological analysis revealed five global themes, including: improvement in mothers' confidence to engage their child; rare opportunities for mutual mother-child enjoyment; improved child social communication and quality of life; mothers' new understanding of the child's interests and strengths; and more opportunities for continuing the child's interest in music.
Mothers perceived long-term benefits to social relationships within the family, leading to perceived enrichment in child and family quality of life following music therapy sessions.
Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne, Australia.