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A qualitative study on the social-emotional benefits of Drumtastic Ability Beats® for children with autism spectrum disorder

Lyn G. Litchke, PhD, Mary Margaret Bracken, MSRLS-TR


This qualitative collective case study explored the social-emotional benefits of Drumtastic Ability Beats® in a dyadic partnership between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a college graduate student (GS). Fourteen male campers, ages 5-14, engaged in eight, 1-hour Drumtastic Ability Beats® sessions, twice a week, at a 4-week camp for children with ASD. Data collection focused on observational narrative field notes completed by the campers’ GS partner after each session. Thematic analysis revealed three primary themes: (1) familiarization through synchronization, (2) creative self-expression, and (3) self-regulation of emotions. These findings underscore the potential value of group drumming as a means to promote opportunities to enhance social-emotional regulation through facilitating relationships for children with ASD.


autism spectrum disorder, drumming, creativity, social-emotional, self-regulation

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