Thursday's Brown Bag Lunch to feature Presentation on the use of Music Therapy in Autism


The SWOSU Research Interest Group Brown Bag Lunch at Southwestern Oklahoma State University will take place this Thursday, November 15, and the public is invited to the free event that will feature a presentation on the use of music therapy in the treatment of autism.

The lunch will be held in the East Ballroom of the Memorial Student Center at 12 noon. Dr. James South, dean of the SWOSU College of Arts & Sciences, said drinks and dessert will be provided; bring a lunch or purchase one on the main floor of the union and bring it to the second floor.

Thursday’s topic on music therapy will be presented by Elizabeth Sommerfeld, senior from Derby (KS) and Dr. Sophia Lee, director of the SWOSU music therapy program.  Based on statistics released in 2012, the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder is 1 in 88 births.  Evidence-based neurologic music therapy protocols may hold the key in unlocking the normalization process of children with autism.  The presentation will first summarize the evidences of autism as a genetic and neurological disorder and the clinical effectiveness of music therapy in addressing the challenges of autism. Sommerfeld and Lee will conclude with survey results on how neurologic music therapists’ practices reflect the emerging studies in music therapy and children with autism. 

The SWOSU Brown Bag Lunch Series is for the purpose of celebrating and discussing research at SWOSU.  Everyone is invited to attend – students, faculty, staff and community members—are welcome.  The research will be explained in layman’s terms with the focus on making the work accessible to everyone present.

Although SWOSU’s primary mission is teaching, a large amount of research is conducted on campus, much of it involving undergraduate students working alongside faculty members.  South said this valuable research experience is typically available only to graduate students in larger institutions, but SWOSU has worked very hard to make research an integral part of many majors, and several faculty members at SWOSU have won national awards as research mentors.

The next brown bag lunch is scheduled for Thursday, January 31. For more information, contact South at 580.774.7152.