Music therapy literature provides evidence that the use of music is very effective in improving daily living skills for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) all over the world. However, each country may have and use their preferred music therapy approaches and interventions for clients with ASD because of cultural differences although music therapy comes from the same origin.
The aim of this research was to discover the cultural differences between American and Korean parents of children with ASD by comparing two countries in various categories, such as care systems, benefits and challenges in raising children with ASD, and therapeutic approaches in music therapy and other therapies used for these children.
The data that was gathered from the survey consisted of 4 participant groups: American parents, Korean parents, American music therapists, and Korean music therapists. This study examined the differences and similarities in the parental perspectives of children with ASD and music therapy treatment practices for individuals with ASD between two countries through the survey methods, integrating quantitative (closed-ended) and qualitative (open-ended) survey questions.
The results of the findings indicated that there were several kinds of cultural differences in treating children with ASD, such as care systems, benefits and challenges in raising their children, and therapies used for children with ASD between American and Korean children. Overall, Korean parent participants reported experiencing fewer benefits than American parent participants in the question concerning country-level benefits. Statistically speaking, the study could not find any significant differences in using therapies for children with ASD as well as music therapy treatment practices between America and Korea. However, the study found that there were some differences in the music therapy approaches and preferred music therapy interventions for ASD-diagnosed children which were summarized in responses from parents and therapists. The primary difference noticed that American music therapists preferred behavioral and neurologic techniques, while Korean music therapists preferred behavioral and Nordoff-Robbins techniques.
Because of some of the study limitations, the results may not be generalizable. In future research, many more participants need to be engaged with a narrow range of conditions.