S-BRATA and Japan: A Novel Art Therapy Framework for the Treatment of ASD and Comorbid SID
by Peyton Yamanaka
Abstract – Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly experience low levels of attachment to their parents. This, in turn, causes caregivers to question the efficacy of their own parental skills and increases their rates of stress. In Japan, as in much of the world, the frequency of ASD diagnoses in children is increasing. Interventions like the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) have recently been adapted to a Japanese cultural context, but few exist for art therapists. However, Durrani’s Sensory-Based Relational Art Therapy Approach is a novel framework that addresses sensory-integration disorder (SID) and impaired attachment directly and thus is a possible intervention for children with ASD in Japan who exhibit impaired attachment to their caregivers. In this paper, the author first discusses in broad terms ASD, art therapy, and their overlap. The author next investigates the status of parents of children with ASD in Japan before examining Durrani’s S-BRATA Framework and its seven themes. Finally, the author proposes the adoption of the S-BRATA Framework with cultural adaptations by Japanese art therapists.