The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Music therapy for children with delayed speech development

    Children with delayed speech development are at risk of acquiring other cognitive (reasoning), social-emotional, and school-related problems.

    Researchers in Germany studied the effects of music therapy in these children.

    First, the details.

    • 18 children with delayed speech development were assigned to a treatment group.
      • Individualized music therapy
      • No treatment Individual music therapy
    • All participants received each treatment twice, with an interval of about 8 weeks between treatments.
    • Before and after each period, a speech development test, a non-verbal intelligence test for children, and music therapy assessment scales were used to evaluate speech development.

    And, the results.

    • There was positive development after receiving music therapy.
    • Both phonological capacity (sounds of speech) and the children’s understanding of speech increased under treatment.
    • There was also improvement in cognitive structures, action patterns, and level of intelligence.
    • The children, according to the Nordoff-Robbins scales, showed clinically significant changes in client-therapist relationship and communication.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Music therapy may have a measurable effect on the speech development of children through the treatment’s interactions with fundamental aspects of speech development, including the ability to form and maintain relationships and prosodic [intonation, pitch, rate, loudness, rhythm, etc] abilities.”

    It’s a small study, but the results suggest that music may have a complementary role in the treatment of children with delayed speech development.

    7/29/10 11:30 JR

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