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Free Listening Programme, Edinburgh University

Posted by: | Posted on: December 3rd, 2013 | 40 Comments


Children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) experience difficulties with communication, social interaction, and appropriate behaviours.  Processing and understanding auditory information is often considered to be a crucial aspect of such difficulties.  This 40 week study will test a filtered music listening programme, to determine whether regular listening habits can create positive changes in a child’s ability to engage socially.

Over a dozen music listening programmes are advertised on the internet, claiming to provide specific stimulation that trains the brain to process sound more accurately.  These interventions vary in many ways, including theoretical bases, type of music used, modifications made to the music, and listening protocols.  Some of the programmes have preliminary studies that show promise for treating autism and auditory processing difficulties, but few have reliable, scientifically based research to support their claims.

My study will determine if the programme I’ve selected is effective in improving aspects of social engagement.  This will help to provide more accurate information about music listening programmes for parents, educators, and health care professionals.

You are invited to participate in this study if you are a parent with a child aged 4 to 8 years diagnosed with autism, and live in the UK.  The study is part of my PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.


Dorothy Lawrence
Research PhD student, Clinical Psychology
School of Health in Social Science
University of Edinburgh


Comments (40)

  1. IAN JORDAN - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    we see many children with APD – do you want referrals
    we also use synesthetic interventions in APD – you are welcome to come and visit if you wish – it might give you other ideas

    best wishes

  2. Cass Thomas - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    Hi, interested in your listening study please. I have a 6 year old son with autism.

  3. teresa clarke - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    Hi Dorothy I would be really interested to hear more about your listening programme. My son is 5 and non verbal but has some words. We live in Derbyshire.

  4. - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    Hi all, Dorothy will be in touch. Thanks Ian for dropping by, please yes mention this study, as well as any others and our services to your patients. I have met you before and you have also seen my son. Keep up the good work! Lorene

  5. Joanne Roberts - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    Hi – I’m interested in learning more about your listening programme. My son is 4 years old and non-verbal, diagnosed at the severe end of the spectrum. Regards Joanne

  6. Mary Kidson - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    Hi Dorothy/Lorene,

    Is it OK if I post this on my blog?

    Best wishes,

    • - Reply
      December 3, 2013

      Of course Mary, the more children can benefit the better! Many thanks for this. I’ll visit your blog later on too! Lorene

  7. Farrah Mackenzie - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    i would be interested in this very much i have a six year old nonverbal child with asd and would be happy to take part in the study.

  8. tracy adams - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    Hi Dorothy i would be intrested in finding out more about you’re study please i have a 6 year old autistic daughter. thank you.x

  9. Natalie McClay - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    Hi Dorothy,

    I’d be interested in the study.
    My son has an ASD diagnosis & is 3 years old.


  10. Tracey Hickson - Reply
    December 3, 2013

    Hi, I have a 5 year old boy diagnosed with ASD. He is at the milder end of the spectrum, he is verbal, but listening and concentration are his weakest areas.
    I would be very interested in hearing more about this study.

    Many thanks

  11. Lesley Brownlie - Reply
    December 4, 2013

    My son Bryan is 8yrs old he was diagnosed at 3yrs old and I would like him to participate in this listening programme and feel he would benefit so much from it.

    Best Regards

  12. Angela Webb - Reply
    December 4, 2013

    Hi, I have two sons who have autism with associated sensory issues, would love to be involved in the study. Kindest regards

  13. Fiona Stevens - Reply
    December 4, 2013

    Hi there, I have 5 year old twin boys with Autism and am very interested in this programme for both of them. They both have a diagnosis of Autism. Thanks, Fiona xx

  14. Fiona Stevens - Reply
    December 4, 2013

    Hi Dorothy, me again, also mean to say that we live just outside of Edinburgh. Not sure if this makes a difference. Thanks. Fiona xx

  15. Liz bonapace - Reply
    December 5, 2013

    Hi Dorothy. We are interested in joining the course. Our son is 4.5 and has a very mild autism high functioning but finds making friends very hard. Am very interested to try this out. Thanks. Liz

  16. Eva Phillips - Reply
    December 5, 2013

    Hi Dorothy
    my son is 19 but I was thinking of setting a listening programme for him as he finds it extremely difficult to sit, to concentrate,he is always on the move he is just starts to learn he is none verbal he made sounds
    can you give me some tips that will be useful for him please

    • - Reply
      December 6, 2013

      Dear Dorothy. There are potentially several avenues you can explore with your son, based on his specify needs. I suggest that you contact the Autism Europe Yahoo parent group to learn from the experience of other parents: Alternatively, by all means do contact AT+ to discuss how we might be able to assist you. Tel 0131 558 7444. Best wishes. Lorene

  17. Varun Das - Reply
    December 9, 2013

    Hi Dorothy/Lorene,
    I have a kid aged 7 who is non-verbal and would like to participate in this. However we are based in London and would be difficult for regular travel to Edinburgh for this. Is there only a single venue ?

  18. Emma Billings - Reply
    December 9, 2013

    Hi Dorothy I have a six year old son with high functioning autism and would be very interested in finding out more.


  19. Azra - Reply
    December 9, 2013

    Hi Dorothy, I have a 5 year old daughter with autism and would be very interested in taking part in this programme.



  20. Zuzana Fitzpatrick - Reply
    December 9, 2013

    Hi, I would love for my son to participate; he is almost 4 years old and on the asd spectrum; non verbal apart from a couple of words.

    Thank you,


  21. Mirela - Reply
    December 9, 2013

    Hi, would like to enrol my daughter age 6 in the Listening Program. We live in Cambridge. How do we proceed?
    Best wishes

  22. Saira - Reply
    December 9, 2013

    I have a 6 year old son with ASD> I would like to take part in the listening program. We are based in Hillingdon (West London). Wat is the procedure for enrolling?

  23. Andrea - Reply
    December 9, 2013


    I would like to my son to participate please. He is 7 years old and non verbal.


  24. shah - Reply
    December 10, 2013

    Hi My son is 7 and diagnosed with autism and id like to enrol as well please thank you


  25. e deltchinova - Reply
    December 10, 2013


  26. Anne Asher - Reply
    December 11, 2013

    I’m interested as I have a 5 year old daughter with emerging language and socialisation skill with her brother and very few select friends

  27. Suzi Cuthbert - Reply
    December 12, 2013

    Hi there. I have a 5 year old boy with autism. He is currently non verbal. I would be interested in the study.

  28. sharmin faruque - Reply
    December 20, 2013

    Hi there, I have a 6 year old with ASD. We would like to join this study. Thanks

  29. Kelly - Reply
    January 13, 2014

    Hello, our son is 4 and has ASD with significant language problems. We would be happy to take part in your study. Thanks

  30. connormcgeehan - Reply
    January 18, 2014

    hello dorothy my son is 3years 7months he has autism he is non verbal we would be very interested in your programme

  31. Mhairi Blyth - Reply
    January 23, 2014

    My daughter, Carys is 7 and has ASD. I emailed last month but haven’t heard anything?

  32. gill Thomson - Reply
    January 23, 2014

    Hi I would be interested in your listening study. My boy is 7yrs old was diagnosed ASD when he was 5yrs and has just been diagnoseg ADHD also on 13th January 2014. He is not on any medication for his ADHD as I would prefer to try alernative treatments first. Many Thanks Gill Thomson

  33. Aradhana - Reply
    March 6, 2014

    I have a 4 year old autistic sone , and I would like to be included in study.

  34. Bel Solomon - Reply
    March 25, 2014

    I have a 5 year old son with ASD. He is in reception class at a main stream school. I would like to participate on the program .


    B Solomon

  35. Ruth Wood - Reply
    June 17, 2014

    Hi, I really hope it isn’t too late to enquire about this. I would be interested in this programme for my son, now 6 years and diagnosed with ASD at 2 years. Thank you.

  36. Paula - Reply
    July 11, 2014

    Hello, we are very interested in taking part in your research program.
    Our son Zak has been diagnosed with asd and would like to be considered for this.
    I hope to hear from you soon
    Paula Smitkova

  37. Eric Linforth - Reply
    September 18, 2014

    Hi, my son is 3years 11months old he was diagnosed aged two with autism and is non verbal. I would be very interested in the program if its still available?
    Thank you

  38. Khatera Ahmad - Reply
    March 16, 2015

    I have a five year old boy with autism,I am very intrested in your research study and want to take part if it is still available.
    My son loves listening to the music and obsessed with putting headphones on,I am sure he will benefit from this study.
    Thank you
    Khatera Ahmad

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