ISSN 0827 3383
VOLUME 25 2010 NUMBER 1
Communication Improvement Through Music: The Case Of Children With Developmental Disabilities
Efficacy Of Enrichment Triad And Self-Direct Models On Academic Achievement Of Gifted Students In Selected Secondary Schools In Nigeria
The Effectiveness Of Project-Based Learning On Pupils With Learning Difficulties Regarding Academic Performance, Group Work And Motivation
Developmental Hierarchy Of Arabic Phonological Awareness Skills
Special Education Paraprofessionals: Perceptions Of Preservice Preparation, Supervision, And Ongoing Developmental Training
A Special Education Teacher’s Networks: A Finnish Case
Changes In Exclusionary Discipline Rates And Disciplinary Disproportionality Over Time
A Model For The Education Of Gifted Learners In Lebanon
A Study Of The Experiences Of Parents With Home-Schooled Pre-Adolescent Children With Severe Multiple Health Problems
Inclusive Education In Developing Countries In The Sub Saharan Africa: From Theory to Practice
Child-Rearing Practices And Delinquency In Children And Adolescents
Demographic Profile And Athletic Identity Of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injured Wheelchair Basketball Athletes In Greece
Elementary Physical Education Teachers’ Attitudes Towards The Inclusion Of Children With Special Needs: A Qualitative Investigation
Inclusive Education In Guyana: A Call For Change
The Portrayals Of Individuals With Physical And Sensory Impairments In Picture Books
What Do I Know? Parental Positioning In Special Education
Understanding ADhD In Girls: Identification And Social Characteristics
Peer Relationship Problems Of Children With AD/HD: Contributing Factors And Implications For Practice
Effectiveness Of The Touch Math Technique In Teaching Addition Skills To Students With Intellectual Disabilities
International Journal of Special Education
REVISED EDITORIAL POLICY from 2009
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VOLUME 25 2010 NUMBER 1
I N D E X
Communication Improvement Through Music:
The Case Of Children With Developmental Disabilities………………………………………...............1
Vasiliki Krikeli, Anastasios Michailidis, Niovi-Dionysia Klavdianou
Efficacy Of Enrichment Triad And Self-Direct Models On Academic Achievement
Of Gifted Students In Selected Secondary Schools In Nigeria………………………………………...10
Olufemi Aremu Fakolade, Samuel Olufemi Adeniyi
The Effectiveness Of Project-Based Learning On Pupils With Learning
Difficulties Regarding Academic Performance, Group Work And Motivation………………………..17
Diamanto Filippatou, Stavroula Kaldi
Developmental Hierarchy Of Arabic Phonological Awareness Skills…………………………………27
Special Education Paraprofessionals: Perceptions Of Preservice Preparation,
Supervision, And Ongoing Developmental Training…………………………………………………...34
A Special Education Teacher’s Networks: A Finnish Case…………………………………………….46
Jenna Tuomainen, Tuire Palonen, Kai Hakkarainen
Changes In Exclusionary Discipline Rates And Disciplinary Disproportionality Over Time………….59
Amity L. Noltemeyer, Caven S. Mcloughlin
A Model For The Education Of Gifted Learners In Lebanon…………………………………………..71
Ketty M. Sarouphim
A Study Of The Experiences Of Parents With Home-Schooled
Pre-Adolescent Children With Severe Multiple Health Problems……………………………………...80
Inclusive Education In Developing Countries In The Sub Saharan
Africa: From Theory To Practice……………………………………………………………………….87
Child-Rearing Practices And Delinquency In Children And Adolescents…………………………..…94
Stavros P. Kiriakidis
Demographic Profile And Athletic Identity Of Traumatic Spinal
Cord Injured Wheelchair Basketball Athletes In Greece……………………………………………..106
Angelo Vasiliadis, Christina Evaggelinou, Sevastia Avourdiadou, Petros Grekinis
Elementary Physical Education Teachers’ Attitudes Towards The Inclusion
Of Children With Special Needs: A Qualitative Investigation……………………………….……….114
Sue Combs, Steven Elliott, Kerry Whipple
Inclusive Education In Guyana: A Call For Change………………………………………………….126
Amanda Ajodhia-Andrews, Elaine Frankel
The Portrayals Of Individuals With Physical And Sensory Impairments In Picture Books…………..145
Kevser Koc, Yusuf Koc, Selda Ozdemir
What Do I Know? Parental Positioning In Special Education………………………………………...162
Understanding Adhd In Girls: Identification And Social Characteristics……………………………..171
Janice A. Grskovic, Sydney S. Zentall
Peer Relationship Problems Of Children With AD/HD:
Contributing Factors And Implications For Practice………………………………………………….185
Effectiveness Of The Touch Math Technique In Teaching Addition
Skills To Students With Intellectual Disabilities……………………………………………….……..195
Nuray Can Calik, Tevhide Kargin
VOLUME 25 2010 NUMBER 1
Communication Improvement through Music: the case of children with developmental DISABILITIES
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
University of Maryland at College Park
This paper investigates the effect of music on the communication improvement of children with developmental disabilities. Forty subjects (18 boys and 22 girls) 7-12 years old, were divided into an experimental group (n = 20) which participated in music therapy activities and a control group (n = 20) which was discussing and watching television, both for one hour. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Scale for children was used to measure state and trait anxiety respectively. In addition, heart rate response to music therapy was monitored for assessing probable music therapy effect. Findings from paired t-tests revealed that the State Anxiety Inventory Scale score was significantly influenced by the music therapy (t=5.36, p<0.001) as well as it was not significantly influenced by the discussing and watching television session (t=1.02, p>0.05: NS). Besides, heart rate alteration analysis revealed that music therapy helps calm young children with developmental disabilities. Consequently, music therapy could lead not only to significant improvements in young CWDD’s psychological and physical well-being but also could produce mental benefits, and should constitute a part of therapeutically programs that aim both to the improvement of young CWDD’s psychological state and quality of life.
By all odds, music has the power to adjust and channel the collective consciousness of massive groups of people and no one can easily underestimate that music is one of the most prominent relaxing and entertaining activities. It is amazing to notice that, even in the days of philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, they had a profound understanding and respect for the tremendous influence that music can have on its listeners. Plato, for example, observed the effect that music had on society and made this thought provoking statement When the modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state change (Jowett, 1888, p.4) while Aristotle's view was that Music has the power to form character (Sinclair & Saunders, 1981, p. 13).
Nowadays, some of the above theories of yesterday may seem somewhat exaggerated. However, as one continues studying, the logic of old great thinkers may start to make plenty of sense today. For example, as Kissinger & Worley (2008) explain, music can be employed as a communication improvement channel for therapeutic or pedagogic reasons, especially for children with developmental disabilities (CWDD). In particular, for children with autism (CWA), music offers a potentially alternative to traditional communication channels.
Music therapy has been defined as a form of psychotherapeutic treatment where the therapeutic relationship is used to decrease psychic problems, conflicts and disturbances of the client (Schalkwijk, 1994, p. 5) or as a systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to promote health, using music experiences and the relationships developing through themas dynamic forces of change (Bruscia, 1998, p. 13). Therefore, music may fill an important gap working as a special type of psychotherapy where forms of musical interaction and communication are used alongside verbal communication.
Several systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been conducted to examine the effects of music therapy in the field of mental health or communication improvement of CWDD (Dileo & Bradt, 2005; Gold, Heldal, et al., 2005; Gold, Voracek, & Wigram, 2004; Gold, Wigram, & Elefant, 2006; Koger, Chapin, & Brotons, 1999; Maratos, Gold, Wang, & Crawford, 2008; Pesek, 2007; Silverman, 2003; Vink, Birks, Bruinsma, & Scholten, 2003). Many of these reviews and studies have found promising results; however, the quality of the included studies varied. As well as, promising results, applying rigorous study selection criteria, have been found in a recent study focused on the feasibility of using the concert harp as a communication channel for CWA (Kissinger & Worley, 2008).
In psychotherapeutic methods such as music therapy, the term dose or dosage clearly must be understood metaphorically, not literally. In this direction, Howard, Kopta, Krause, & Orlinsky (1986) have argued that the number of music therapy sessions has been widely accepted as a measure of dose opening a discussion on whether the dose relationship in music therapy is linear, or whether the first sessions have a greater influence than subsequent sessions. In addition, the same paper sustains that although a therapy model's proposed active ingredients (such as interpretations, empathic reflections, etc.) might be considered as the most theoretically coherent unit of treatment, these are not easy to measure. However, the number of therapy sessions a patient has received is most likely correlated to a patient's exposure to those ingredients and can therefore be used as a readily available proxy measure.
To date, this discussion is still ongoing, and therefore the present study aims at examining both possibilities. In addition, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of music therapy on the communication improvement of CWDD by measuring the heart rate not only ex-ante and ex-post the music therapy session, but also in the middle of it. On the other hand, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for children (STAIC; Spielberger et al., 1973) was used, for the measurement of subjects’ anxiety. All subjects, from both groups, completed the STAIC scale, alone or with their parents’ collaboration. For trait anxiety subscale once, just about twenty minutes before the music therapy or watching television session and for the state anxiety subscale twice, just about twenty minutes before and just after the above procedure.
CWDD from five different European countries (Greece, France, Germany, Cyprus and Italy) were examined.Using a lottery-wheel, we randomly selected two special schools and 20 children (subjects) from each country (ten form each school) who fulfilled the inclusion criteria such as participating only in one music therapy program and having developmental disabilities. Afterwards, communication was made with each one of the selected subjects with regard to the research aims. In addition, a written informed consent was obtained from the parents of each child in order to participate in the research. Before the beginning of the research it could be certified that all the children do not suffer from any unusual disease and that they do not take any unusual medication. Additionally, their parents asked to answer a questionnaire about their personal medical history and any special health problem, while a research assistant and a special pathologist were present in order to give any extra clarifications. Finally, 60 subjects who were found to fulfil the exclusion criteria that is parental agreement, unusual health problems, unusual medication and extra participation in other research programs, were excluded from the research.
A total number of 40 children (18 boys and 22 girls), ranging from 7 to 12 years of age (mean=9.8 and standard deviation=1.7), volunteered to participate in the research. All of the subjects had developmental disabilities. In particular, 26 of them had Down syndrome, four had Fragile X syndrome and the rest had Autism Spectrum disorders. They were, then, divided into an experimental group; (A) which participated in music therapy activities (MT) and a control group (B) which was discussing, playing, having fun, enjoying them-selves or watching television (WT). However, the control group was matched in all respects with the experimental one except for the participation in the MT program, which is the factor, who has been willing to investigate.
Before the beginning of the research, a presentation of the main aims and a brief description of the general requirements were given to the parents of the selected children. In addition, psychological instruments and instructions were presented and explained in detail for each one of them. Moreover, an approval for the conduct of the research was given from the committee of each institute, where the children were members, after the aims and the design of the research were described and after the certification that the procedures were in agreement with the ethical standards of the Declaration of Helsinki (World Medical Association, 2000).
Then, the subjects of the group A participated in a MT program while the subjects of the group B were asked to stay in a separate room, free to discuss with each other, play or watch television. The duration of the above procedure was sixty minutes for both groups and repeated five times in total during a two months period.
Scales of measurement
The STAIC was used, for the measurement of anxiety. It is comprised of separate, self-report scales for measuring two distinct anxiety concepts: state anxiety (S-Anxiety) and trait anxiety (T-Anxiety). Both S-Anxiety scale (SAIC) and T-Anxiety scale (TAIC) consist of twenty statements, each, that describe how respondents feel right now, at this very moment, and how respondents usually feel, respectively. The STAIC is similar in conception and structure to the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory(STAI), which provides measures of anxiety for adolescents and adults (Spielberger et al., 1970). Moreover, the STAIC was administered both to the children and parents prior to theircompleting a novel nonverbal task.
All subjects, from both A and B groups, completed the 40-item scale, alone or with their parents’ collaboration. For trait anxiety subscale once, just about twenty minutes before the MT or WT session and for the state anxiety subscale twice, just about twenty minutes before and after the above procedure. Children respond to each item on a three-point rating scale, checking one of three alternatives that describes him or her best or indicates frequency of occurrence. The score of each subject ranges from 20 to 60 degrees according to the above three-point rating subscale. Children generally require eight to twelve minutes to complete each subscale, and less than twenty minutes to complete both.
In addition, heart rate (HR) response to MT was monitored for assessing probable MT effect. So, just before the MT session the special pathologist measured the subjects’ baseline HR during two ten-second periods. Besides, the HR measurement repeated twice, in the middle of the MT session and just after the termination of the procedure.
SPSS V.16 for Windows was employed for both descriptive and multivariate statistical analysis of the dataset. Descriptive statistics was used in order to compare the MT effect between groups including means, standard deviations, paired t-tests and non-parametric tests. In particular, the non-parametric Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to evaluate the normal distribution of the sample and the paired t-test was used to evaluate significant differences between measurements, that is before and after the MT or the WT session, while the independent groups’ t-test was used to evaluate significant differences between groups. According to the similar literature the level of significance was set to p<0.05 (Mavrovouniotis et al., 2009).
Multivariate statistical analysis of the groups’ A dataset was used in order to classify the subjects and to determine possible relations between MT effect and personal or other characteristics of groups’ A subjects. In particular, two-step cluster analysis (SPSS, 2007) was used to classify the subjects in discernible clusters in order to explore the reasons of different levels of SAIC scale measurement and different HR response to MT and a categorical regression model (Kooij & Meulman, 1997) was estimated to determine the relation between subjects’ characteristics and STAIC scale measurement or HR. Finally, Reliability analysis (Bohmstedt, 1970; SPSS, 2007) was used to determine the extent to which the items are related to each other to get an overall index of the internal consistency of the scale as a whole, and to identify items that had to be excluded from the scale. Figure 1 (next page) presents the general methodological framework of data collection, statistical analysis and obtained results.
Although, the number of subjects is too small, for multivariate statistical models, the results indicate great attributive values. Therefore the explanation of the clustering, in combination with the relative importance measures and descriptive statistics, can prove extremely valuable.
General methodological framework
Figure 2 presents the minimum, maximum and mean values of all measurements of group A subjects’ HR just before the MT session, as well after 30 and 60 minutes respectively. Findings from HR alteration analysis revealed that MT helps calm young children with mental retardation. More specifically, 30 minutes after the beginning of the MT the HR mean value decreased from 105.7 bps to 101.9 bps and just after the end of the session decreased more to 100.1 bps. A very interesting point of this observation is that the major part of the HR decrease (67.85%) realized at the first half-hour of the session suggesting that the dose relationship in music therapy is not absolutely linear.
HR alteration during music therapy session (group A)
Descriptive statistics for each STAIC measure assessed prior to and following the MT and WT sessions and the significance of any demonstrated change are shown in Figure 3. In regard to SAIC, it is obvious that, it was observed a larger decrease in the mean value after the MT session (M=-2.44, SD=3.48) than after the WT one (M=-0.31, SD=1.98). On the other hand, both SAIC and TAIC factors present similar mean values between groups indicating that the control group was very well matched in all respects with the experimental one. Moreover, from paired t-tests, it was found out that SAIC score was significantly influenced by the MT (t=5.36, p<0.001) as well as it was not significantly influenced by the WT session (t=1.02, p>0.05: NS).
Alterations to SAIC factors and TAIC mean values for both groups
The two-step cluster analysis extracted automatically the optimal solution of three clusters. The majority of the subjects (10 or 50%) were included in the second cluster while 6 (30%) and 4 (20%) of them included in the first and third cluster respectively. Regarding the distribution of observations in the above clusters, it is shown in Table 1, that mainly female children with Autism Spectrum disorders
Distribution of observations each cluster (frequencies and percentages)
1. Down syndrome
2. Fragile X syndrome
3. Autism Spectrum disorders
6. SAIC decrease
7. HR decrease
8. SAIC increase
9. HR increase
10. Communication Improvement (YES)*
11. Communication Improvement (NO)*
12. TAIC mean value (>28)
13. TAIC mean value (<28)
* Subjective estimations of the research assistant
constitute the first cluster. It is important to point out that all the SAIC and HR mean values, related to the subjects of first cluster, decreased just after the MT session indicating the positive effect of MT on the children with Autism Spectrum disorders. As well as, according to the research assistant estimations, all the subjects of the first cluster improved their communication ability after the MT session. On the other hand, female children with Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome constitute the third cluster. All the subjects of this cluster presented large TAIC values (>28) while the majority of their SAIC and HR mean values increased after the MT session indicating the negative effect of MT on the children of the third cluster. Finally, the second cluster mainly includes male children with Down syndrome who affected rather positive regarding their SAIC change and rather negative regarding their HR change. In tabloid form, we could describe the subjects of the first cluster as music sensitive, of the second cluster as rather music sensitive and of the third clusters as music reactive.
Reliability analysis (Bohmstedt, 1970; SPSS, 2007) was then employed in order to determine the extent to which the eight continuous variables of Table 2 are related to each other and to investigate the reliability of the selected scales. The value of Cronbach’s alpha (α) reliability coefficients (SPSS, 2007) were found equal to 0.79 for the SAIC scale measurement and 0.82 for the HR change scale. So, the selected scales are reliable as the related coefficients exceed the constant value (>0.70) suggested by Bohmstedt (1970). In addition, Friedman two-way analysis of variance, with x2=2,118 (α=0.00) and Hotelling’s T2=1,186 (F=40.24 & α=0.00), indicated the significance in differences of item means. Having accepted the consistency of the eight items, the average rankings for each subject were used as the numerical values of the dependent variable SAIC or HR decrease which along with the categories of eight independent variables are shown in Table 2.
Selected independent variables
1. Trait anxiety value
1=over 28, 2=under 28
1=Greece, 2=France, 3=Germany, 4=Cyprus, 5=Italy
1=under 8, 2=9-10, 3=over 11
5. IQ value
1=under 24, 2=25-39, 3=40-54, 4=55-69, 5=over 70
6. Communication Improvement
1=no, 2=rather no, 3=neither yes nor no, 4=rather yes, 5=yes
7. Special education
1=2 or less years, 2=3-4 years, 3=5 or more years
8. Developmental Disability
1=Down syndrome, 2=Fragile X syndrome, 3=Autism Spectrum disorders
Then, investigating further the dependent variable SAIC or HR decrease in order to find out how SAIC or HR mean values influenced by personal characteristics of each clusters’ subjects we employed the categorical regression model. Categorical regression (Kooij & Meulman, 1997) was used to handle the optimally transformed categorical variables. It yielded R2 values ranging from 0.756 (1st cluster) to 0.868 (3rd cluster) indicating moderate relation between the SAIC or HR decrease and the group of selected predictors (Table 3). However, since R2>0.70, it is indicated that more than 70% from (75.6% to 86.8%) of the variance in the SAIC or HR decrease rankings is explained by the regression of the optimally transformed variables used. The F statistic values from (8.16 to 8.28) with corresponding α=0.00 indicates that this model is always performing well.
Relative Importance Measures
Relative Importance Measures
Trait anxiety value
Trait anxiety value (0.512)
Developmental Disability (0.236)
Dependent variable: SAIC or HR decrease
The relative importance measures (Pratt, 1987) of the independent variables show that the most influential factors predicting SAIC or HR decrease in the first cluster correspond to Communication improvement (accounting for 58.4%), followed by Developmental Disability (22.6%), and Gender (12.5%). Respectively, the relative importance measures of the independent variables, which are reported in the second cluster, are higher for the variables of Developmental Disability, Communication Improvement and Trait anxiety value. Finally, the relative importance of the above independent variables in the third cluster is presented high for the variables of Trait anxiety value, Developmental Disability and Gender. The total percentage of the SAIC or HR decrease which is explained by the estimated three independent variables, in each cluster, is calculated in the last column of Table 3. In particular, the additive importance of estimated independent variables accounts for about 93.5%, 90.6% and 85.1% for the first, second and third clusters respectively.