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Support for relatives and professionals

Pic by Adam Winger

Since September 2020 I have been supporting institutions, professionals and relatives of people with autism.

In the course of my research work and the implementation of initial approaches in everyday pedagogical work, I further developed my concept. Through the intensive exchange with parents and professionals and the practical work with my autistic clients, a special focus came to the fore: the quality of relationships in everyday life.

How can a relationship be shaped between people who are equipped with different means of communication?

Autism is a contact disorder in which the autistic withdraws into his own world. Most of those affected have problems with social contacts, communication and language. On the other hand, parents and relatives who accompany an autistic person have a different orientation and instinctively follow different rules of communication. Therefore, autistic behavior can be challenging and distressing.

Even trained specialists come up against their emotional limits in everyday life when accompanying their autistic clients, because proven pedagogical approaches suddenly do not seem to work when dealing with their clients.

Targeted techniques and methods can be used to balance these supposed conflicts:

In which we build bridges on which we meet.

My therapeutic process work focuses equally on the client and the caregiver or accompanying person. In order to enable trusting cooperation, the needs of both sides must be taken into account. We can only guide an autistic person out of their isolation and reduce long-term challenging or auto-aggressive behavior when the channels of communication are open. A successful relationship is the basis for all further therapeutic processes.

The concept is holistic and supports institutions and specialists in reconciling the methods taught with the requirements of the institution. In the cooperation, individual solutions for the concrete everyday life are developed in order to initiate positive changes for the client and his entire environment in the long term.

To the concept



As a researcher, I research the effectiveness of music-based interventions for use in the autism field and investigate approaches to integrating music and sound into the everyday life of people on the autism spectrum.

In this context, I developed a body-oriented pedagogical concept in which a sound cushion serves as a sensory-stimulating aid. The sound pillow makes it possible to include auditory (music and sound), tactile (texture and vibrations), visual (colors and patterns) and kinesthetic senses (interaction) in a playful way and to process them more easily thanks to the calming properties of the music. This is intended to promote body awareness and reduce sensory processing disorders.

As part of my research project at the Aarhus Music Conservatory in Denmark, I worked closely with families and therapists in Germany on this topic and tested different approaches. An intervention was most successful when the aid was successively integrated into the client's everyday life using targeted methods and techniques and was offered in the various areas of life. The clients learned to use the sound cushion intuitively as a coping strategy and "mental retreat", which reduced overstimulation and stress.



DMEA sparks Young Talent Award 2020


My master's project Making Sense Of The World - The Creation Of An Interactive Musical Device For Children With Autism was selected as one of the five best master's theses for the DMEA sparks Young Talent Award 2020.

In addition to the prizes awarded by the expert jury, this year the audience had a say in the new category "Digital Audience Award". More than 1,000 participants answered the call and voted for their favourites. Clara Chill received the most votes in the master theses category with her work on an interactive sound cushion for children with autism.

In my presentation video I talk about the project and explain how music and sound can be used as an effective treatment method in the autism field.


“A new dynamic for Autism” - 12th Autism-Europe's International Congress

On June 16, 2019, my project made it to 11th place in the campaign “A new dynamic for Autism” of the 12th Autism-Europe's International Congress out of a total of 70 projects in less than 24 hours. Many of the projects were already online for months, that's why the result is particularly pleasing.

Thank you for your vote!

Autism Europe


Sound cushion is tested in the ATZ

Autismuszentrum der steg

Article by

Since the beginning of this year, the Autism Therapy Center has been involved in research work on the subject of music and autism

Berlin musician and composer Clara Chill explores the effectiveness of music in the context of autism. She is looking for ways to easily integrate music and sound into the everyday life of people on the autism spectrum and to develop a musical everyday companion for this. This should help to create mental retreats in order to process sensory overload.

As part of her research work, Clara Chill has been cooperating with the Danish start-up inmutouch since the beginning of 2018, which offers a sensory-stimulating system in the form of a soft cushion for people with dementia. Clara Chill follows this concept and works closely with families, therapists and educators to further develop the device and adapt the interactive sound world to the needs of people on the autism spectrum.

The effectiveness of the prototype is currently being tested by Clara Chill in a pilot study. The Autism Therapy Center was also able to gain initial experience with the sound cushion and has confirmed its extremely calming effect on many clients. It could be observed that some of those affected did not want to put the multi-sensory aid out of their hands. In some cases, self-stimulatory behavior was reduced as a result of use. We can well imagine that the sound cushion can support many people on the autism spectrum in their everyday life in the long term and we wish Clara Chill continued success with her project.


Honigreise Magazine – Spring Edition 2019

Article by

"Music expresses what cannot be said and about which it is impossible to be silent."
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Music touches us directly and appeals to our emotions. When listening to music, we ourselves become the scene of the action. Music is not tangible and only comes to life in us. Music allows us to escape from the chaos of the world... and this is especially important for those who are exposed to the stimuli unfiltered.

People with autism are often too sensitive to the noise of the world. Music is not easy for them to accept either. Sounds reflect on the wall or on objects and arrive in one ear, then the other at long intervals. Sometimes the most beautiful melodies sound distorted, or rhythms sound like rattling machines. The reactions in the autistic person to this are unpredictable: one moment the music unfolds all its wonders, and the next moment it just hurts.

As a composer, I look for ways to bring music and sound into the everyday life of autistic people. How can the effect of music and sound be used in a pleasant way despite the high level of sensitivity?

The idea was born to develop a musical everyday companion for autistic people, which should help to create retreats in order to process the sensory overload. It should serve as a bridge - a bridge on which we can meet. It doesn't require physical touch, or words, or even eye contact, which can be difficult for people with autism. Because music works on a completely different level.

When I met the start-up inmutouch from Denmark, I was able to implement my idea. inmutouch has designed a sensory-stimulating system for people with dementia. The music helps those affected to remember. Like autism, dementia is a perceptual disorder in which it can be difficult to classify stimuli correctly. This is where I start my project to further develop the device and adapt it to the needs of autistic people.

This resulted in an interactive sound cushion. Just by touching it, it unfolds a space of sounds that you can sink into and listen to. The music is interactive, but also structured to reflect patterns of thought and perception typical of people with autism. There is a basic sound that spatially "envelops" the listener and can thereby create a feeling of security. By pressing on the surface of the pillow, deep sounds trigger rhythmic vibrations that are calming and allow space for emotions and feelings. As the movements grow larger, this energy is reflected through melodic elements. In this way you can search for sounds, discover the world of sound with all its facets and at the same time experience peace and security.

Since the beginning of 2019, the effectiveness of the prototype has been tested in a pilot study with families and therapists. The participants gave the sound cushion a particularly positive rating, as it makes music tangible and visible, so to speak, and in this way can be used as a multi-sensory aid.

Honigreise Magazin


2019: Pilot study

Klientin Alicia

Since 2017 I have been collaborating with the Danish team from inmutouch to further develop an interactive sound cushion especially for children with autism. As part of my master's thesis, I conducted a five-week pilot study with families and therapists to examine the effectiveness of the prototype.

The results provided early evidence that the device is an effective tool for positively influencing areas that are commonly affected by overstimulation in the autistic system. The device was particularly effective as a coping strategy, for stress management, and as a "retreat" to reduce overstimulation. For more than half of the test participants with self-stimulating or auto-aggressive behavior who have integrated the sound pillow into their everyday life, this behavior could be redirected while working with the sound pillow. In addition, the results showed that symptoms such as sleep and concentration problems as well as hyperactivity and restlessness could be reduced by the application and thus a general improvement in the quality of life of almost all participants was achieved.

(The project was completed in June 2019)

Proceed to the abstract


Through the exchange with families with autistic children, I found again and again that music is an extremely effective therapeutic medium. Scientific studies also support my observations. It is therefore obvious that music therapy interventions should be used in everyday life to positively influence areas such as communication, body awareness and self-regulation.

My goal is to give autistic children a musical companion who can help them to feel themselves and find their space in a world that is often so chaotic.

In the course of my master's thesis at the Music Conservatory in Aarhus, I will tackle this project and question it scientifically. In cooperation with the Danish team from inmutouch, I am able to further develop the interactive sound cushion for children with autism.

(The project was completed in June 2019)

Proceed to the abstract

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