In January 2018 researchers from China published the results of their study to assess the effect of music and maternal talking to the unborn foetus on the development of autistic-like behaviour during early childhood. A total of 34,749 parents were involved in the study. Information on the music played and maternal talking to the unborn foetus was collected via self-administered questionnaires. Autistic-like behaviour was then assessed in the children when they were aged 3 years, and the results compared with the information gathered from the questionnaire. Results showed that playing music and maternal talking to the unborn foetus appeared to be associated with a reduced risk of autistic-like behaviour in the child, and as the exposure to music and talking increased so did the reduction in risk. A further analysis revealed that children who frequently experienced music and maternal talking at the same time whilst in the womb had the lowest risk of autistic-like behaviours, whilst children whose mothers never talked to them whilst in the womb and who only sometimes experienced music had the highest risk.
Ruan ZL et al. Antenatal Training with Music and Maternal Talk Concurrently May Reduce Autistic-Like Behaviors at around 3 Years of Age. Front Psychiatry. 2018 Jan 11;8:305.