:: Volume 9, Issue 1 (Winter 2020) ::
Shefaye Khatam 2020, 9(1): 139-151 Back to browse issues page
Investigating the Effect of Drama Therapy Techniques in Improving the Symptoms of Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
AmirFarzam Dehnavi *, Mohsen Sherafati
Department of Drama Directing, Tonekabon Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran , Farzam.amir8484@gmail.com
Abstract:   (2045 Views)
Introduction: Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder are an exceptional group who exhibit symptoms, such as defects in social interaction, poor interpersonal relationships, and complex verbal communication as well as stereotyped behaviors and movements. To partially improve these disorders, the use of palliative supportive interventions, such as art therapy and theater therapy, is common in Europe, the United States, and Canada. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of drama therapy techniques in improving symptoms in children and adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder. Materials and Methods: This experimental study was performed using a pre-test-post-test group design, the study population consisted of all 8-18-year children and adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder referred to a rehabilitation education school in Sa'adat Abad, Tehran, Iran. Of this group, a sample of 10 people was selected through convenience sampling. All of them were pre-tested and after applying the techniques, they underwent post-tests. The Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-First Edition (GARS-1) was used for the study. Furthermore, the paired-samples t-test, the independent t-test, and Pearson correlation coefficient test were used to examine the hypotheses. Results: The mean of autism spectrum disorder and its components (stereotyped behaviors, verbal communication, social interactions) in the pre-test and post-test are significantly different. Among the components of variable autism spectrum disorder, stereotyped behaviors, and social interactions among boys and girls were significantly different. In stereotyped behaviors and social interactions, boys and girls had significantly more improvement in autism spectrum disorder symptoms, respectively. In the components of social interactions and verbal communication, girls and boys had the highest mean improvement, respectively. The value of the correlation coefficient of the variable autism spectrum disorder and its components with age was positive, indicating that theater therapy and its techniques at younger ages improve the symptoms of children and adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder. Conclusion: Drama therapy techniques can be effective in improving the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and enhancing social skills, verbal communication, and modifying stereotypical behaviors.
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Population, Communication
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Type of Study: Research --- Open Access, CC-BY-NC | Subject: Psycology
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