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Non-directive play therapy for young children with autism: A case study.

Josefi, O. and Ryan, V. (2004) Non-directive play therapy for young children with autism: A case study. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 9 (4). pp. 533-551. ISSN 1359-1045

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This article presents exploratory research on the feasibility of non-directive play therapy for children with autism. Video recordings of 16 sessions of play therapy with a 6-year-old boy with severe autism were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The study concluded that this child was able to enter into a therapeutic relationship and demonstrated attachment behaviour towards the therapist. Key areas of improvement were in the child’s development of autonomy and pretend play, while ritualistic behaviours showed only mild improvement. Changes in therapy were concurrent with the changes reported by the boy’s mother at home of increased independence and empathy. One implication of this preliminary research is that non-directive play therapy may enhance and accelerate emotional/social development of children with severe autism. More research is urgently needed; non-directive play therapy and behavioural treatments may complement one another to provide an overall treatment plan for children with severe autism.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2009 11:20
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2009 11:20
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359104504046158
Status: Published
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/1359104504046158
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5840

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