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Helping Young People with Pervasive Developmental Disorders Help Themselves: Roles for Hypnosis and Biofeedback
Laurence Sugarman, MD, ABMH
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD, including but not limited to Autism, Asperger Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified) are increasingy recognized in young pepple. There is a wealth of perspectives and creative approaches to helping these people cope with living amongst a world of so-called "neuro-typicals." Of these, there is little in the professional literature about the roles of hypnosis and biofeedback in their therapy. Can we use these strategies to help people with PDD develop skills in self-regulation? How might some of the neurological and behavioral characteristics of people with these disorders lend themselves to evoking internal resources for self-regulation? Is perseveration, so common in these disorders, a form of trance that can be utilized to reduce the inevitable stressors of being a person with PDD? We will summarize our understanding of PDD and, using clinical examples, discussion and demonstration, explore how we can help people with PDD adjust to the "neuro-typical" world using hypnosis and biofeedback. Come share your experiences and learn with us.
Attendees will develop a framework for assessing clients/patients who meet criteria for PDD with regard to their ability and motivation for self-regulation using hypnosis and biofeedback. Then participants will use strategies they have learned in the workshop to engage those they serve who meet criteria for PDD in hypnosis and biofeedback to relieve anxiety, find comfort, and decrease externalizing and self-injurious behaviors.
At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to…
- Define the Pervasive Developmental Disorders in terms that relate to the use of self-
regulation strategies (hypnosis and biofeedback);
- Describe at least three self-regulatory strategies for helping people with PDD cope with
the "neuro-typical" world; and
- List caveats and limits of teaching self-regulation for people with PDD.