Serena Wieder, PhD, Ron Balamuth, PhD and Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok, LCSW, PhD
Every child on the autism spectrum, just like every other child, has an emotional life and experiences a widening range of emotions as s/he develops, represented by various symbols used in play, conversations, drama, and arts. But climbing the symbolic ladder to abstract levels, as well as the full range of emotions and reflective function requires the integration of auditory/language and visual spatial knowledge and sequencing, the integration of affects and theory of mind. How perceptions turn into symbols, how the common symbols of childhood in play stories, books, dramas and ideas reflect the emotional levels of children, and the experiences which promote symbolic development were discussed.
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