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Mie Mohlin: Everyday music. About youths with autism or Asberger syndrome

What are the conditions for a successful practice within community music therapy for persons with high-functioning autism or Asberger syndrome?

Field of study: Music Therapy


The study questions how some young people with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome utilize music, and activities related to music, during their leisure time. It also questions their musical preferences and the function of the music, and whether music - and activities related to music during leisure time - is able to improve their health and quality of life.

The present study is interdisciplinary and the methods used are surveys conducted through interviews, together with studies of literature. Eight young people with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome participate as primary informants. In addition, extracts from autobiographies written by authors with a diagnosis within the autism spectrum are presented. Parents and siblings of a number of the primary informants participate as secondary informants. The parents give additional information on the primary informants’ use of music and activities related to music during childhood and adolescence. Using professional literature and the siblings’ stories as a starting point, attention is also drawn to the way music is included in the everyday life of young people without autism. When related to the accounts given by the primary informants and the authors of the autobiographies, this aspect permits a broader perspective on some of the particular challenges adolescents with autism can be faced.

The goal of the study, based on autobiographies and accounts of the primary informants, is to call to mind the distinctive character, diversity and rich variation that young people with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome represent.

The dissertation

Full title (translated from Norwegian): Everyday Music: An interview study of adolescents who suffer from Autism or Asberger’s syndrome.

The dissertation is available in Norwegian from NMH's library.

The dissertation is not available digitally.

Published: Jan 10, 2017 — Last updated: Mar 14, 2024