A therapeutic approach for ASD: method and outcome of the DERBBI – Developmental, Emotional Regulation and Body-Based Intervention

Magda Di Renzo, Elena Vanadia, Massimiliano Petrillo, Davide Trapolino, Lidia Racinaro, Monica Rea, Federico Bianchi di Castelbianco


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder displaying individual impairments in social interaction, communication skills, interest and behaviours. In the last decade several studies have been published on the approaches that can be used with ASD children. 

This study illustrated the therapeutic approach of the DERRBI method, defined as a relational and body based intervention.  The research described the symptoms and emotional development outcomes of ASD children aged 21–66 months, after 2 of the 4 years of planned therapy; the study group included both children who had received a diagnosis of autism and children (under 30 months) who had a risk of developing symptoms.

Approximately 78% of the children with a more severe ASD symptomatology after two years of therapy maintained this diagnosis, instead, among children with a less severe ASD symptomatology, about the 67% after two years of therapy no longer fulfilled the ADOS-2 criteria for autism. Among the children who were at risk of developing the autistic symptomatology, about the 42% no longer showed this risk after 2 years of therapy. The improvements that the children showed in their ability to understand the intentions of others and to contact the emotions of others were also investigated. The findings of this study have underlined the importance of early positive indicators which, among the Autisms, could be defined a specific subpopulation that get better benefits from such a type of intervention.


Autism spectrum disorder; therapeutic approach; ADOS-2; Understanding intention; emotional contagion

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