Advanced Techniques in Biology & Medicine

Advanced Techniques in Biology & Medicine
Open Access

ISSN: 2379-1764

+44 1223 790975


Is Storytelling Therapy Useful for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Severe Mental Retardation?

Fabienne Giuliani, Béatrice Couchepin Marchetti, Viviane Perrenoud and Pierre El Korh

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.