The author presents clinical research data, concerning bodily and psychological infraverbal interactions involved in the contact between autistic children and ponies. The aim is to collect descriptive and clinical data about what is happening between child and animal, in order to analyze precisely psychological processes at work, with a special focus on three keys fields in autism: relation, emotion and communication. Our thought stems from a group experience of six autistic children aged between six and eight having underwent equine-aided therapy involving ponies over a period of 18 months. Through a clinical case, we will show how a behaviour scale (CARS) put in counterpoint with a clinical scale (grille de Haag), could be an interesting complement to an approach essentially based on clinical observation and video support. Theoretical and clinical discussion will follow those data. Limits of clinical approach drive us to improve our thought with ethological hypotheses in order to comprehend interactions between autistic child and pony, but this time, from the “point of view” of the animal. Attentiveness and sensorial hypersensitivity are particular factors shared by both autistic child and pony, possibly facilitating contact between the two. A primitive form of communication established through cenesthesic sensitivity and affect-as-message seems not only to exist between the two but also appearing to benefit from modes of autistics contact conditions, while reassuring this animal.
|Publication Title||Neuropsychiatrie de l'Enfance et de l'Adolescence|
|Author Address||de Reure, A. Lorin, 11, Cours Lafayette, 69006, Lyon, France, Anne.LORINDEREURE@ch-le-vinatier.fr|
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