Autism and music
The materials required for the science project experiment:
- 3 autistic children aged 10 to 12 years old
- Approval of their parents to have the them involved in in this science project
- 1 classical music CD
- 1 piano instrumental music CD
- 1 pop song CD
- 1 CD player
- 1 stopwatch
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the type of music played – classical music, piano instrumental music or pop songs. The dependent variable is the length of time the child is able to sit and be relaxed. This is determined by using a stopwatch to record the time the autistic child remains calm. The constants (control variables) are the age of the children, the gender of the children and the environment of the room used for testing.
2. Permission is first obtained from the parents of the 3 autistic children.
3. On the 1st day of the science fair project, the autistic children will be tested with the classical music. The first child to be tested is brought into the room used for testing and given some time to adjust and sit comfortably. The classical music is played on the CD player for 15 minutes and the autistic child is observed. The longest period of time the child is able to sit relaxed while the music is being played is taken with a stopwatch and recorded in the table given below.
4. Procedure 3 is repeated on the second and third child. The longest time they are able to sit calmly while the music is being played for 15 minutes is recorded in the table below.
5. Procedures 3 and 4 are repeated using piano instrumental music or pop songs on the second day and third day.
6. On the fourth day, the 3 autistic children are made to sit in the same place for 15 minutes without any music and the length of time they are able to sit relaxed is noted and recorded in the table given below.