Tendencies for delay have been pointed out in acquiring theory of mind among subjects with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). And even after its acquisition, such individuals are often prone to difficulties with group activities requiring understanding of ambiguous situations and contexts, partly due to issues with audible perception.
The Comic Strip Conversation (CSC) is a support method primarily utilizing visual perception, which children with ASD are good at. In CSC, children visualize the situation, conversation, and emotions of characters in comic strip format, using simple drawings, symbols, words and color. However, few studies have focused on cases using CSC in psychological interviews.
We report on two teenage boys with ASD for whom CSC was used continuously in monthly psychological interviews to address interpersonal issues. The efficacy and applicability of CSC for children with ASD in psychological interviews is discussed through description of change in CSC content, emotional expression, understanding of others, and adaptation in interpersonal relationships.
The two boys were good at drawing. Communication between the children and the therapist improved through the interviews with CSC, resulting in better understanding of their personality characteristics and clearer insight leading to provision of appropriate support. The contents of their CSC were object- or scene-oriented at the start, changing to people-oriented content through the course of the interviews. Emotional expression in the CSC increased, as did contact with friends, while decrease was noted in the number of interpersonal problems in their daily lives. These positive changes suggest efficacy of CSC in aid of the psychosocial development of children and adolescents with ASD.
Background: The occurrence of hallucinations can suggest the presence of various psychiatric disorders. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify differences between hallucinations in children and adolescents with and without schizophrenia.
Methods: Among 356 patients under 20 years of age, patients with hallucinations were enrolled through retrospective review of their medical records.
Results: Thirty-one patients (8.7%) had experienced some form of hallucination. Fourteen of the 31 patients were classified into a schizophrenia group, seven in a stress-related disorder group, nine into a developmental disorder group, and one into an other disorders group. Sixteen patients (51.6%) had experienced some type of traumatic event. Five patients with schizophrenia had at least one of Schneider's first-rank symptoms. Some hallucinations in patients without schizophrenia included command or criticisms, but none experienced voices commenting on the individual's actions.
Conclusion: Detailed descriptions regarding psychiatric symptoms might aid in rendering differential diagnoses in clinical settings of child psychiatry.