Social Emotional Effects of Drumtastic: A Dyadic within-Group Drumming Pilot Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Educators and practitioners working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are concerned with deficits in positive affect and social-emotional reciprocity, which may affect their daily living and school success. This pilot study explored the social-emotional impact of eight one-hour sessions of a novel dyadic within-group drumming program called Drumtastic for children with ASD at a four-week summer camp. Participants were 14 children diagnosed with ASD ranging in age from 5-14 years. Paired sample t-test revealed that children with ASD scored significantly higher on the posttest on Smiley-o-meter, t(13) = -2.193, p = 0.047 and Fun-o-meter, t(13) = -2.235, p=.044 when compared to their pretest scores. The Social Personal Relationship Scale showed a trend for improvement but did not elicit a statistically significant change in children's social and personal skills. These results suggest that the children with ASD significantly improved in the domains of enjoyment and fun, and showed a positive trend for developing improved social relationships with peers and camp counselor partners.