Skepticism and the study's results
The results of this study should be taken with a grain of salt, according to some commentators. There are several reasons why the data may not be generalizable for all children with autism. First, the study had a relatively small sample size. 364 children ages 4-7 from 9 different countries were studied over 5 months. While this study may seem to have breadth in its sample, it may lack the depth or specificity needed to make a general claim about people with autism. Additionally, the study may reveal that music therapy has not been appropriately adapted to people with autism rather than revealing that music doesn’t work at all. One of the project’s lead investigators, Christian Gold, notes that he hopes the findings will spur researchers to study the effects of music on children with autism in more depth with an eye on developing therapies that are designed to specifically help people with autism. It’s unclear at this point where the autism community will go next with music therapy, but at this point, intervention through music is not the most effective form of treatment available.
You can read more details about these recent findings regarding music therapy at Spectrum News.