Friday, June 13, 2008

Clinic Notes: Prosopagnosia (Face blindness), Autism, and Art Therapy

Prosopagnosia is a neurological condition where people have difficulty recognizing faces. The disorder may be genetic, caused by strokes, or head trauma. Children with autism or Asperger's may also have Prosopagnosia. Some studies have shown that children with autism and Prosopagnosia have less difficulty sometimes if faces are presented upside down. Other studies suggest that children with autism fixate on certain parts of a face and do not see the entire face. It as been suggested that one reason that children with autism have problems understanding emotions in other people is because of Prosopagnosia.
I remember when I was working in a head trauma clinic I encountered patients with Prosopagnosia and the only thing I could suggest was for everyone to wear name tags. Now I wonder if children with Prosopagnosia would profit from "art therapy" where they learned to draw faces. In my clinic we are in the process of identifying children with Prosopagnosia and starting art therapy.


Melbourne Walkers said...

do you have any further 'results' of how art therapy has helped children with face blindness?

Anonymous said...

No that's all of the work that I know of. Dr. Brown