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Exposure Therapy with a Non-Verbal Child: A Case Report

Journal: Athens Journal of Social Sciences (Vol.4, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 137-146

Keywords : CHARGE syndrome; Cognitive-behavioral; Exposure therapy PTSD;

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Exposure Therapy (ET), a component of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), has long been used to treat psychiatric disorders including anxiety disorders, such as, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and, more recently, Selective Mutism. ET aims to reduce the levels of anxiety an individual experiences by gradually exposing them to said distressing stimulus. Although effective, this treatment type has not been applied to children suffering with a complex combination of genetic and psychiatric disorders, and intellectual disabilities. The following case study focuses on a 10-year-old girl with a history of medical illnesses including CHARGE syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. After an emergency surgical procedure, the child developed a myriad of psychiatric symptoms associated with PTSD and Selective Mutism after experiencing a stressful medical hospitalization. An exposure-based intervention was developed and implemented with frequency data pertaining to the symptoms were assessed prior, during, and post intervention. Outcome data were positive, demonstrating a decrease in the child's anxious behaviors after a single exposure-based session.

Last modified: 2016-11-24 21:27:28