All parents will complete four simple assessments that can be done at home and are estimated to take one to two hours to complete all four. These will be completed once before starting and once after completing the first 20 weeks of the study. One of the shorter assessments will also be completed weekly during the first 20 weeks and later at 30 and 40 weeks to see if any further changes have occurred. The four assessments will let us know if change has occurred during this time in the following areas:
- the severity of your child’s autism
- his/her abilities in communication, daily living skills, and ability to socialize
- your stress levels as parents.
If you are in one of the two music listening groups, we will also ask you to keep a simple weekly diary noting the two modules your child listens to daily and any unusual events during the week, such as grandparents visiting that week, for example.
Once accepted for the study, all families will complete four required assessments before the study begins and at the end of the 20 week period. All families will also complete a short weekly assessment for the first 20 weeks, then at 30 and 40 weeks. All families will receive an instruction booklet and the two music listening groups will then be given equipment and a listening diary. After 40 weeks, the selected listening programme will be given to all families who did not receive it initially.
The booklet of listening instructions will give you ideas on getting started including wearing headphones, establishing a daily routine, and suggested activities your child might engage in while listening. It will also include instructions for using the listening equipment.
NOTE: Whilst the study is ongoing, we ask you not to engage in other intensive interventions, so we can determine if this particular programme is effective.