Social Emotional Effects of Drumtastic: A Dyadic within-Group Drumming Pilot Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder




Willemin, Trason
Litchke, Lyn G.
Liu, Ting
Ekins, Carrie

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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.



drums alive, dyadic drumming, social relationship, affect, autism, Health and Human Performance


Willemin, T., Litchke, L. G., Liu, T., & Ekins, C. (2018). Social emotional effects of Drumtastic: A dyadic within-group drumming pilot program for children with autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Special Education, 33(1), pp. 94-103.


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