The Reducing Effects of Stability Balls and Music on Physical Stimming Behaviors in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Florida Southern College
The purpose of the current study was to determine if the benefits of stability balls and music generalize to a reduction in self-stimulatory behaviors, as well as supports the evidence for increased attention, in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Bagatell, et al. (2010) selected participants based on diagnosis instead of their pattern of sensory processing. Therefore, the current researcher selected three children diagnosed with autism that also display self-stimming behaviors (rocking, scratching legs, screaming, biting lips, etc.). Finally, unlike several previous studies that focused on behavior within the context of a classroom, the researcher observed the effects of the stability ball intervention within the context of behavioral therapy sessions at an Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy office to generalize results from past studies to other settings. Based on research showing that there are cognitive and behavioral benefits (e.g., increased attention, on-task behavior, and in-seat behavior) from the use of therapy balls in place of regular chairs in the classroom and the use of music therapy on children with attention problems, such as ADHD, dyslexia, or those with autism (Goodmon, et al. 2014; Horgen, 2009; Fedewa & Erwin, 2011; Schilling & Schwartz, 2004; Kim, Wigram, & Gold, 2008; Gattino, Riesgo, Longo, Leite, & Faccini, 2011) it is hypothesized that children with autism spectrum disorder will exhibit a reduction in self-stimming behaviors (physical/verbal), as well as in increase in attention, while sitting on the therapy balls with the presence of background music during behavioral therapy sessions.
Honors Thesis Spring 2017
Autism Spectrum Disorder, Stability Balls, Physical Stimming Behaviors