Unmute A Child

Autism treatment helps nonverbal children to speak

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) So many parents anxiously await the day of their child's first words, and now, previously hopeless parents can start getting excited.

A new treatment for the nonverbal autism sufferer helps develop speech patterns and communication. The therapy works with the socially-underdeveloped children through the observation and incorporation of known positive triggers, such as music, to create an environment susceptible to education.

"Ask your doctor about Auditory-Motor Mapping Training."

A new study published in PLoS One, worked with six non-verbal autistic children. The students received forty individual sessions, five times a week over an eight-week treatment period involving Auditory-Motor Mapping Training (AMMT).  This treatment promotes speech production using intonations and double-handed movements to train the association between sound and communicative action.  This involves singing and playing an instrument as the trainer tunes words to the beat of the drum. 

AMMT understands the limitations of autism and offers its children a fun way to learn, capitalizing on an autistic child's natural inclination for music. With up to 25% of children with autism struggling to speak, communication deficits represent the largest problem for people with autism, and AMMT offers a realistic solution.

Although none of the six children could communicate intelligible words prior to the AMMT, all of the children showed measurable improvements in articulation, even in regards to matters which were not covered in the training. Researchers from the study noted: "because these children had no or minimal vocal output prior to treatment, the acquisition of speech sounds and word approximations through AMMT represents a critical step in expressive language development in children with autism."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 15, 2011
Last Updated:
November 28, 2011