Therapy taps rhythm to boost speech in autistic children
A novel type of speech therapy may improve the verbal abilities of children with autism who speak few or no words, according to a new study1. Children with the mildest autism traits and those who speak the most consonant and vowel sounds would benefit most.
The therapy, called auditory-motor mapping training (AMMT), involves the children reciting words in a singsong voice while tapping the syllables on drums tuned to produce high or low tones. After five weeks, the therapy increases the number of syllables spoken by minimally verbal autistic children — those who speak few or no words by age 5 — more than standard speech therapy does.