EDAI starts an innovative therapeutic group with five boys and girls diagnosed with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Since October 2022, EDAI Sant Martí has started a therapeutic group with five boys and girls diagnosed with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

This initiative was designed for children who had already undergone individual therapy, showed some improvement, but had reached a plateau. We believe this group format is a good way to revitalize repetitive dynamics and present new challenges to children who had been in individual therapy for a while.

In the group sessions, there are a psychologist and a psychologist/psychomotor therapist who meet with the children three times a month, and a fourth session – also in group format – with the parents.

With the children, we work to promote bonding, relationships, and interactions, with the goal of helping them connect more with their environment so they can feel the need to share moments of connection and play with each other and the therapists. We also aim to enhance their social interaction and communication skills, which, at this point in the therapy, means they can start making requests, expressing their desires, and their needs. We believe that the group dynamic can help broaden their interests and exploration abilities, and we think that working in the psychomotor therapy room in this format also fosters an increased awareness of their own bodies and danger.

After a few months of sessions, we have observed some improvement in their emotional and behavioral regulation in challenging contexts, and this aspect also helps them better tolerate frustration and accept limits.

With the work in the parents’ group, we aim to offer a space to share questions, doubts, and general concerns, and we also try to make it a space for collective reflection on parenting and the organization of daily situations. While it is intended to foster the parents’ capacity for understanding the difficulties and needs of their sons and daughters, we also value the fundamental aspect of being able to confront and share experiences with other people who understand what they explain in a experiential and personal way.