Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Child Development


Child Development Graduate Program


It has been argued that clinicians should use caution in employing dynamic psychotherapy in the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). At the same time, some authors have argued that a psychodynamic approach can contribute to developmental gains for children with ASD (Hoffman & Rice, 2012), especially when used in conjunction with a developmental approach (Alvarez, 1996; Crown, 2009). It has furthermore been argued that when clinicians are able to keep both psychodynamic and neurodevelopmental concepts and approaches in mind, rather than relying too heavily on one or the other, psychodynamic work has a place for children with ASD (Drucker, 2009). This paper uses case material from my work as a therapist with two children with ASD-like symptoms. Examples of how Floortime- and psychodyamically-informed strategies benefited these children lay the foundation for an argument that training for and practice of child therapy should be looked at through both a developmental and a psychodynamic lens.