The development and design of the Musical Functional Assessment Profile (MFAP) in autism


  • Nuria Marsimian Independent scholar, Argentina



music therapy, autism, observational assessment, functional profile, supports, neurodiversity, person centred, strength-based approach


The Musical Functional Assessment Profile (MFAP) in autism has been developed as a specific music therapy observational assessment tool to provide qualitative and descriptive information about the functionality of the child on the autism spectrum. It allows for assessing seven developmental functions: social interaction, communication and language, flexibility and anticipation, symbolisation, memory functions, motor functions and sensory functions. The MFAP tries to value the strengths, challenges, difficulties, and supports provided, considering current autism diagnostic criteria and treatment issues viewed from the perspective of neurodiversity. It may also allow the delineation of music therapy treatment goals and intervention planning related to a person-centred and a strength-based approach. The development and design of the tool is presented, and its practical advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Further research studies are required to determine the precise scope and accuracy of this tool; future directions are established for its validity and reliability process.

Author Biography

Nuria Marsimian, Independent scholar, Argentina

Nuria Marsimian has a degree in music therapy from Universidad del Salvador, Argentina. She completed a Hospital Career in Music Therapy and Medicine at Rivadavia Hospital in Buenos Aires. She was a music therapist for the developmental disorders team at the Italian Hospital in Buenos Aires. Since 2014, she has been Director of the Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Postgraduate Course at the Italian Hospital University Institute. She has training in microanalysis, PECS program, functional behavioral analysis, DIR Floortime, and Denver Model and Mindfulness. She works privately as a music therapist since 2006. She is a supervisor of music therapists. []