Is Storytelling Therapy Useful for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Severe Mental Retardation?
|Fabienne Giuliani1*, Béatrice Couchepin Marchetti1, Viviane Perrenoud2 and Pierre El Korh1|
|1Psychiatry and Mental Development Department (Community Psychiatry Service, Psychiatry Department), University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland|
|2Etablissement de l’association Le FOYER, Lausanne, Switzerland|
|Corresponding Author :||Fabienne Giuliani
Site de Cery, 1008 Prilly, Switzerland
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received: February 02, 2016; Accepted: February 08, 2016; Published: February 15, 2016|
|Citation: Giuliani F, Marchetti BC, Perrenoud V, El Korh P (2016) Is Storytelling Therapy Useful for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Severe Mental Retardation? Adv Tech Biol Med 4:166. doi: 10.4172/2379-1764.1000166|
|Copyright: © 2016 Giuliani F, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
Numerous studies highlight the importance of therapeutic context when learning social skills for young ASD patients. Therapy approaches become more complex when the situation involves young ASD patients with a severe mental disability. Indeed, when working with this population, it is difficult to get their attention and have them mimic actions (through video modeling, for example) or interact with peers on a playground. Nevertheless, our study tried to demonstrate the possibility of working on the social skills of young ASD patients with a severe mental disability using a therapeutic storytelling approach. The study involved 10 children (average age of 10.6 +/- 2 years). All study participants were diagnosed with ASD and severe mental retardation. 62 sessions divided across two years and twenty repeated assessments were taken during this study, and the results obtained show that the children learned, in a significant way, to imitate the story's actions. They also significantly reduced their behavioral issues. A physiological assessment (eye-tracking) was taken both pre and post-test during the storytelling workshop. The results obtained confirmed a significant increase in attention given to the storytelling scene.