Dr. Karen Levine discusses treating fears and phobias in people with Williams syndrome, followed by a question and answer session.
Karen Levine, Ph.D., is a Developmental Psychologist, an Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Clinical Director of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities program at Cambridge Health Alliance, and is in private practice. She has a special interest in young children with social and emotional challenges, anxiety, developmental delays, and/or emotional regulation difficulties. Dr. Levine provides diagnostic evaluations, short-term treatment, IEP consultation, and emotional and behavioral consultation to families as well as to schools.
Dr. Levine was co-director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Williams Syndrome Program in the early nineties. She has published numerous articles on Williams syndrome in the medical literature and in the WSA newsletter, Heart to Heart and her book, Replays: Using Play to Enhance Emotional and Behavioral Development for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, co-authored with Naomi Chedd.
This video clip (as discussed in the presentation above at about minute14:47) is excerpted from a 1 1/2 hour session with Dr. Levine, a 6 year old boy with WS and his mother at the WSA National Convention in St Louis. The boy had been terrified of having his blood pressure taken even with the home kit the family had obtained. Through use of gradual exposure and the Replays approach, Dr. Levine and his mother get him increasingly comfortable with the process, his fear, and the real cuff as seen in this clip. For more information about this approach see the book Replays (Levine and Chedd).