Objective: The global incidence of autism has rised up. It can appear the importance of interventions and family struggles, because music is attractive for children we can use it as an effective intervention. The goal of this article is a review of the ASD children problems and interventions and the music effects for treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Finally, since music is always accessible and the human body utilizes it on a daily basis, we can use music as a complementary method in occupational therapy.
Materials & Methods: Comprehensive electronic search of keywords "music therapy", "autism interventions" and "vagus nerve stimulation" was done in international electronic databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar and Google Books between 2000 and 2021. In the first part of the search, based on the considered keywords, 30,446 articles were obtained. After reviewing the abstracts of articles, 30,405 articles were discarded due to lack of entry criteria, and finally 41 articles were selected. Among these, 30 articles focused on autism and its interventions and another 11 articles focused on the vagus nerve.
Results: children with autism have lots of problems in different aspects and communicate with them is not like normal children. One best way to break this barrier is music. According to Physics, music is placed in energy spectrum as one part of sounds and volumes, which can affect on our body energy. On the other side the rhythmical and compositionality feature of music reinforce this consequence. Due to these features, music is more popular and we can utilize it for children with autism, who don't have enough eye contact and communication. We often use music in our daily lives, for example, from ringing the doorbell to using the phone or waiting in the elevator to reach the desired floor and etc. it is one common and available supplementary way that we can use it for treating beside the other methods. The music plays an important role in activation of Parasympathetic Nervous System via the vagus nerve stimulation. The vagus nerve is a tenth nerve of twelve pairs cerebral nerves. The tenth nerve is one of the most important nerves which originates from the brain and is responsible for innervating face, thorax, abdomen and etc. It is a motor sensory nerve. The vagus nerve is also involved in the Parasympathetic Nervous System. The parasympathetic nerves have a great effect on the relaxation of the body. Vagus nerve has two sensory ganglia that transmits sensory impulses: the superior and the inferior ganglia, by which we can affect on parasympathetic nerves for improvement. Generally these ganglions innervates different part of body such as: ear (where the most stimulations happen in this place) , larynx, heart, pulmonary system, abdomen and abdominal viscera. Because of this innervation vagus nerve stimulation can change the activity of pulmonary system, heart, abdomen, intestine and etc. and contributes to relaxation. The music stimulates the vagus receptors of the ear.
Conclusion: Since music is an accessible and attractive resource, it can be used as a complementary method along with medication and other methods, due to which the connection with the child with autism is established and under the shadow of relaxation, learning and more concentration is provided.
Keywords: Music Therapy, autism interventions, Vagus Nerve Stimulation