Autism research, as well as ADHD, dyslexia and auditory processing disorder research, are using music processing and music learning as a tool to better understand each condition. This is because listening to and learning music engages so many different structures and functions in the brain and is a tool to study connectivity and neuroplasticity.
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This randomised study with young autistic children used a short (8-12 week) music intervention to see what impact it would have in their behaviour, memory and behaviour. It found that the music intervention boost connectivity in some areas (auditory and motor) and redirected the over-connectivity common in autistic children between the auditory and visual areas.
Imagine what type of changes a music learning intervention like this could make over 6-12 months. That would be a great study to see!
Check out the article here: http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/10/466/eaav6056.full