No Boundaries for Disabled Teenagers

Project location: ITALY
Project start date: September 2001 - Project end date: June 2002
Project number: 2001-11
Beneficiary: C.O.E.S.


Socio-educational rehabilitation project for adolescents suffering from mild cognitive retardation, borderline and behavioural disorders.

Year 2006


Person in charge: Dr. Calzaretta Teodorino Carmine

The "Camelot" project has reached the end of its fifth year.
The socio-rehabilitation experience of this year, as well as that of last year, has been definitely positive for the great majority of patients thanks to a greater precision in therapeutical projects offered as per the initial evaluation made. Our patients could express to a greater extent and in a more evident way their areas of excellence as well as their areas of trouble for which therapy must be continued, as indicated in the neuropsychological evaluations made.
This year, in fact, we could offer to any patient, in a more profitable way, the possibility to make topical his or her cognitive, motor, relation-building and emotional contents thanks to more patient-tailored therapies and group settings with an increased number of participants.
A greater precision in individual evaluations as well as a greater possibility to create intra and extra moenia activities of significant importance such as outings focused not only on the improvement of self and social autonomy (supermarket, movies etc.) but also weekends in tourist places and tours of art cities (Naples, Florence etc.)
Two therapeutical experiences of play and recreational nature turned to be of a particular importance. Each of them lasted one week and were carried out in Florence and at Acquapendente (Viterbo) respectively, during the summer (July 2006).
These two experiences were characterized by the possibility, for the patients, to put into actions their adaptation, correct behaviours, self and social autonomy and a greater emotional autonomy also in relation to their being away from their families. To the great majority of them, that was the first experience of a "holiday" made outside their family.
Within the therapeutic activities, the meetings with three experts to get a greater knowledge of food culture (food education), society organisation (civics) and emotional and sexual aspects (sexual education) were of great importance, as well as the splitting of the group into two subgroups according to the skills and possibilities of patients.
As concerns the meetings aimed at providing sexual education, they will continue also next year.
Contacts with local health structures dealing with adolescents as well with school structures (WGH) and play and recreational structures were important; psycho-educational and therapeutic meetings with families and parents were important, too.
This year we activated a cognitive support carried out by specialised therapists (logopaedists and neuro-psycho-motor therapists of developmental age) in schools, with the aim of developing cognitive and school performances of our patients.
Our group of patients has increased to include three more patients.




Final Report
Andrea S.

Andrea, aged 17, has been diagnosed with a mild mental retardation and relational and emotional difficulties; he goes to the third year of a vocational school for graphic arts.
During the year, although showing behaviours more suited to his age and interest in some activities, Andrea was erratic in his attendance, and this was mainly due to strong family tensions.
In fact, in his family difficulties and conflicts have become stronger and difficult to solve.
He still shows behavioural problems in less structured settings.
However, the therapeutic activities carried out in the "Camelot" project gave to this boy a positive contribution for his progress at school, which has been assessed as adequate as shown in the WGH (Working Group on Handicap) made at his school.
During this year psychological support was necessary for his mother only, since his father seems to be absent.


Manual Activities (woodwork)

As already seen last year, in woodwork activities Andrea has completely changed his attitude, in both his motivation and commitment.
His approach to these activities and knowledge of tools used for their performance remained consistent and he showed to possess good capabilities in using the necessary tools.
Andrea's behaviour has been more fit-for-the-job, and his provocative attitudes were greatly reduced and replaced by emotions expressed with less inhibition and by a special commitment and attention towards other group members.
Andrea shows such a greater compliance with rules and a greater awareness of them that he can now be a model for the other group members His moments of positive relationship with the therapist have increased and now he accepts and works out in a suitable way all messages proposed by the therapist.
In the last months the therapist has become an important adult partner for Andrea, so that Andrea now opens his heart to him and in great confidence he tells him about his feelings and family experiences.

Computer Therapy

In this third year of computer therapy, Andrea expressed a more mature and interested approach towards IT activities and often had intuitions that enriched his knowledge.
He continued to show a sincere interest in his work and used laboratory spaces in a more autonomous way both in looking for topics of his interest and in requesting more and more complex IT inputs.
When working in a small group, Andrea has greatly modified his relational skills and has collaborated with and helped his group members with extreme competence and clarity.
He has shown commitment as copyrighter (drafting, making up, arrangement and selection of texts and images); as web pages designer he showed a constant commitment and got very good results, thus becoming an indispensable element for future projects.
In the light of the good results achieved in word processing and editor applications, a continuation of proposed activities is strongly desirable.

Final Report
Stefano C.

Stefano C., aged 15, has been diagnosed a specific learning disability with provocative and opposing behaviour.
He goes to year 2 at "P.Bassi" vocational school.
His still unsolved problems concerning the separation of his parents have a great impact on his psychologic and physical well-being as well as his participation in our project, which is extremely erratic.
His neuro-psychiatric assessment has been carried out in the Camelot project and concurred with the above mentioned diagnosis.

Parental meetings were necessary also this year to provide the needed psychologic support to his parents.


Occupational and Expressive Activities

His erratic presence and increased conflict behaviour have not allowed Stefano to benefit from proposed inputs, as it has been the case for last year.
Therefore, the only positive outcome of this activity was registered in Stefano's relational and emotional behaviour, since he used this opportunity to express and communicate some experiences linked to his difficulties in integrating problematic aspects and situations in which he adapts himself better

Computer Therapy

In this third year of computer therapy, Stefano showed an improved relation with the computer and effectively achieved the proposed goals.
He attained excellent competences in word processing and in the use of Internet, showing he was capable of a great independence.
Great behavioural difficulties are still present in his relations with other group members, though his relation with the therapist has improved.
Due to Stefano's interest in this activity and the results achieved, we strongly suggest a continuation of this therapy also to improve his behavioural patterns.

Activites to guide him in the listening of Rock music

After initial difficulties in showing his interest and desire for this activity, Stefano showed some motivation and interest both in the listening of rock music (first by choosing the music he brought and then that brought by other group members), and in the knowledge and improvement of his relations with other group members and with the therapist.
Although he had a sometime inconsistent behaviour towards the motivation at the base of this activity, Stefano made positive experiments in the production of music with other group members, in the listening of music with others, in the selection of the music instruments heard in the musical excerpt, in his verbal and non verbal expression of inner feelings, in developing a significant relation with other group members and with the therapist, in increasing progressively his attention time, in taking turns with other group members and being listened to and listening to others. .



Final Report
Aldo M.

Aldo, aged 18, is diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disorder.
He lives with his family, formed by his father, his mother and younger sister; his family is a normal and well structured one.
Aldo goes for the second time to year 3 of a Vocational School for graphic designers. He shows a great intolerance for school structures. Parental meetings of psychologic support have continued also this year.

Decoration and construction of music instruments.

In these activities Aldo has been greatly motivated and committed and he showed attention protracted for a long time and good realisation of designs, painting works, assembly and disassembly activities, manual works, even those requiring great precision.
He also expressed a desire to help other group members showing greater difficulties.
This choice of being a facilitator and a more experienced partner was greatly encouraged by therapists and happily welcomed by other group members.
However, relational problems arose due in particular to provocative behaviours still present in this patient.

Manual Activities (woodwork)

Aldo showed more and more his strong motivation and even proposed some activities to be performed, which is to be considered an important step forward.
He reached good knowledge and activity organisation levels as well as full awareness of all working phases and was able to operate independently.
Some behavioural problems still remain difficult to solve since they come from emotion management deficits (sexuality and aggressiveness), but he can better express them now.
Aldo's interest in this activity is so strong that we can increase the number of sessions in view of Aldo's future employment possibilities.


Final Report
Andrea T.


Andrea, aged 16, is the only son of divorced parents. He presently lives with his mother and sees his father on a regular and continuous basis.
He has been diagnosed with a Prader Willy Syndrome, associated to an Average Mental Retardation and a specific trouble of the linguistic and behavioural area. His emotion management results to be particularly compromised.
He is in year 2 of a Business School.
As last year, psychological support was given also this year to his parents.


Cognitive and Occupational Activities

During this year Andrea seemed to be calmer, more collaborative, more proposal-making and more attentive, and he could often respond to the tasks in useful and adequate ways. In comparison with his early project stages, now Andrea is more "controlled", less "overexcited" and more able to find better emotion handling strategies.
Andrea has significantly adjusted his behaviour to the various situations he lives; in fact, during experiences external to the Camelot setting, Andrea could implement adequate behaviours and autonomously control his impulses and act in an adequate way, for instance, when in a supermarket.
We suggest continuing this therapy since it is of great importance from both cognitive and emotional/relational viewpoints.


Decoration and construction of music instruments.

Andrea has recently showed improved manual skills (work and prepare objects), improved learning capabilities as well as improved relational capabilities.
Provocative attitudes towards other group members can be considered as disappeared and his attention is almost exclusively focussed on the tasks to be carried out.
Andrea can use materials and tools in a suitable way and in some phases of his work he shows intuition and deduction capabilities that allow him to overcome problems without the help of the therapist.
His clear satisfaction for the work he produces can be used as positive element to strengthen this activity. In subsequent project phases, in fact, this activity could have a positive impact on his cognitive strengthening as well as his behaviour.

Cognitive and Occupational Activities

Andrea has recently shown improved relational capabilities with other group members, his attention in the tasks to be carried out has increased, his capability to control himself in difficult emotional situations has increased too.
He has fewer contrasts with the provocative behaviours of other group members and can better control the anxiety caused sometimes by the group.
He is enthusiast of this activity and extremely able in performing the requested tasks.

Computer Therapy

This therapy is new to Andrea, who faces it for the first time. He shows to be motivated and interested in the use of a PC and can use it with some familiarity, since he does it also for school reasons.
At first, Andrea started with the basic use of the PC, then he learned how to use Microsoft Word and the Internet, though his ability in this latter field is limited.
The fact of being in a small group helps him since it fosters his attention and powers of concentration.

Final Report
Federico D.


Federico, aged 14, is the sole child of divorced parents. He lives with his mother and sees his father on a regular basis. He is diagnosed with a Mixed Type Specific Learning Disorder and suffering from prior language disorder.
His parents are separated; he lives with his mother and sees his father on a regular basis.
He is in year 2 of a Hotel and Catering College and comes to our Camelot project once a week.
As last year, meetings to provide psychologic support to his parents continued. His father showed great difficulties to accept Federico's problems and this led to a difficulty in allowing Federico to participate in our project.

Cognitive and Occupational Activities

The patient seems to have grown, and some of his childish behaviours have diminished.
His relation with therapists and group members has improved, as also his emotion handling skills, and, what is more important for him, he shows a better self- confidence.
He is more available to others and responds to adult's requests with good results.
In the light of results attained, we suggest a continuation of these activities.

Computer Therapy

The patient shows to have grown up a lot, both in his language capabilities and in his behaviour.
He collaborates more and pays more attention to what he does and is more tolerant about frustration.
During our meetings Federico made more proposals and was more interested in the setting, though some mistrust towards some of his group fellows remains.
Federico showed to possess greater verbal capabilities to express his feelings; unlike past situations, these capabilities allow him to solve conflicts with some group members.
Activities carried out have also treated his motivation sphere and tried to soften anxiety, which often arose when he had to perform some tasks or face some difficulties.
The fact that he has reached an almost total independence in performing some cognitive tasks can be considered as an important achievement.
We suggest the continuation of this experience to strengthen autonomy (money knowledge, watch reading, etc.).
His cognitive strengthening and greater self-esteem have enabled Federico to use the computer in a more autonomous way and increase the use of this tool.


Final Report
Giovanna A.

Giovanna, aged 19, is diagnosed with consequences from serious head injury and widespread problems to cognitive functions as well as optic atrophy to her left eye.
She lives with her family, her parents and an elder brother; she goes to year 4 of a vocational school for tourism and trade.
Her attendance to the Camelot project was erratic due to her worsened physical and psychologic conditions. As last years, meetings to provide psychologic support were held for her parents.

Decoration and construction of music instruments.

Due to her worsened physical conditions, this year Giovanna attended this activity only, but even in this case she was often absent.
Although she alternated moments of active and joyful participation and other moments in which she wanted to return home because of her physical malaise, this activity strengthened her self-esteem and gave value to what she realised. It also helped her to better control her distress and helped her to accept it.




Final Report
Alessia B.

Alessia, aged 17, is diagnosed with a Learning Disorder and associated Attention Deficit. She lives with her parents and an elder brother. The family feels the effects of the parents' highly anxious behaviour.
She is in year 3 of a Vocational School for Social Sciences. From the meetings held with the didactic team through the Working Group on Handicap (WGH), it appears that she has improved her PEI and also her relations with her classmates.
In accordance with what decided at the beginning of our project, meetings to provide parental support were organised, especially for her mother who still has great difficulties to accept her daughter's problems. In fact, upon her request, Alessia's presence in the Camelot project has been suspended since September and her mother committed herself to undergo some psychotherapy to better accept her daughter's problems.

Cognitive and Occupational Activities

During this year, Alessia greatly improved her cognitive, relational and reality management capabilities.
In fact she was more collaborative and more interested in the activity, and showed an adequate behaviour full of interest and enthusiasm.
Alessia has become friendlier, and shows care for her companions experiencing difficulties; she has refined her communication skills and seems able to listen to others and intervene, also with empathic skills, in a "tonic" dialogue.
Her contact with real events is still creating problems, especially when she tells about herself and her experiences.
Since her intelligence is mainly practical and situational, Alessia can fully perform non-complex tasks requiring abstract thinking.
Some goods capabilities linked to personal and social independence allow her to enjoy autonomy in small daily tasks.
In the light of results achieved, we plan for the continuation of this therapy.


Final Report
Flavia C.

Flavia is a 16-year-old girl diagnosed with post-vaccination Autistic Syndrome, serious development block in several psycho-cognitive, behavioural and relational areas.
She lives with her parents and an elder brother.
Flavia is in year 2 of "L.Pirandello" pedagogic school.
As we did last year, this year, too, meetings have been held with her parents to provide them with psychologic support.


Music Therapy

Flavia participates in the Music Therapy doing both an individual programme and a small group activity.
In both cases no significant changes have been detected. Her relation with the therapist has strengthened and has been improved by elements such as prolonged eye contact, used to get support as well as to share experience and confidence.
Her relation with other group members is good; Flavia shows caring and a liking for them and calls them by name, smiles to them and sometimes kisses them on their cheeks.
She likes very much the activities carried out individually as well as her participation in the small group and her interest and attention seem to have improved both in quality and quantity.
She uses spontaneously all music instruments. These have been changed during the year and she gives priority to the use of her body movements and her voice as chosen communication tool in individual meetings.


Theatre Therapy

Flavia shows attention and a friendly attitude, smiles in tune with witty remarks and participates in group activities within the setting.
She understands and adequately performs the requested tasks.
The presence of a new group member led Flavia to withdraw into herself, withdrawal expressed by a greater passiveness and a peculiar attitude (head deep set between her shoulders, arms along her bust and tensed, the palms of her hands and her eyes lifted up).
She has a positive and caring relation with her therapist.


Manual Activities

Flavia has good manual skills and abilities with different materials.
She can clip out images from a paper and make a collage.
Her erratic presence in this activity has not allowed her to reach the proposed goals.

Final Report
Mirko R.

Mirko, aged 20, is diagnosed with a serious Average-Serious Mental Retardation and complete blindness since birth.
He lives with his family, his parents and a younger sister.
His family seems to be completely centred on his rehabilitation needs and shows a strong social and relational isolation, aspects that are equally pronounced in Mirko.
He presently goes to several learning and rehabilitation centres.
He started an individual psychotherapy 6 years ago and still continues it.
As we did last year, this year, too, meetings have been held with her parents to provide them with psychologic support.


Music Therapy

Mirko participates in the Music Therapy doing both an individual programme and a small group activity.
In his individual programme Mirko experienced sounds different from those he heard last year; the therapist used amplified instruments that stimulated Mirko and renewed his interest and desire to explore and look for different sounds; this make it possible to start a new therapy in which integrated technologies and classic instruments will better meet the inputs suggested by Mirko.
In the light of what above, we suggest a continuation of therapy.
In the small group therapy, characterised by the presence of two therapists, Mirko showed a liking and caring for a girl of his same age that he often calls by her name; he also shows happiness and involvement in the activities.
His relation with the therapists is good, though he shows a preference for his male therapist.
He shows prolonged attention when he participates in the production of sounds aw s well as when he spontaneously decides to listen to sounds.
Mirko has also improved his language skills.
Conflict behaviours, though decreasing, are still expressed at the end of meetings.
Therefore, proposed goals were achieved and we decided to stop this therapy.


Theatre Therapy

Mirko likes to work in a small group and in a larger group; he can make proposals also when no music instrument is available.
He pays great attention and responds and rapidly performs the requested tasks. In fact, during this year he has progressively improved his postural and verbal expressions and become more visible to the other group members. He now talks more, intervenes in group discussions in a more fitted way and plays a more active presence in the Camelot Project.


Manual Activities

Mirko participated in these activities as member of a small group.
Though a reference adult was present in the activity and played a basic role of mediation at the beginning of activities, it was almost impossible to involve Mirko in these activities





Final Report
Martina G.

Martina is a 15-year-old girl diagnosed with a fair-light cognitive retardation and language disorder, probably due to emotiveness.
She lives with her family: father, mother and younger brother.
She is presently repeating for the second time the year 1 of the third School of Arts.

As we did last year, this year, too, meetings have been held with her parents to provide them with psychologic support.


Computer Therapy

This activity was a positive experience of fundamental importance for Martina since it confirmed her calm approach to the computer. The computer has been very helpful for her to organize and manage her ideas and put them in writing.
Her word processing, text drafting and making up skills have improved.
The group is very important for her, although sometimes she shows conflictual behaviours towards group members.

Cognitive and Occupational Activities

Martina has assiduously participated in the activity with positive results.
She is more mature in comparison to the beginning of the year, more able to develop the tasks given to her and more able to hold up the comparison with the group.
Her language difficulties seem to have slightly decreases, while the perception she has of herself, her body and of her abilities remains a problem.
Her anxiety in carrying out a task remains anyway very high.
Expressive Activities

As concerns this activity, Martina confirms her quite good skills in fulfilling her tasks with suitable skills .
It is therefore important to continue this therapy and enrich it with a wider range of inputs and requirements.
It must be noted that she has a high level of anxiety in carrying out her work and precise relation difficulties with her group members, since she cannot hold up the conflicts she meets in the rehabilitation setting.
In the light of what above, no relevant changes have been detected in comparison with last year.


Psychological Support

Meetings held with Martina aimed at strengthening her woman identity and give her the possibility to get in touch with her real desires and needs.
Marina shows protective closeness and therefore less availability to a therapeutical relation.
Many meetings were necessary for the girl to show trust and real "opening" in the therapeutic setting.
She has just begun to achieve these goals and therefore we suggest the continuation of therapy next year.

Final Report
Jacopo L.

Jacopo, aged 16, is diagnosed with a Light Cognitive Retardation and motor, memory and space and time difficulties due to a neurologic deficit of unknown origin.
He also has continuous epileptic crises.
His parents are divorced and Jacopo lives with her mother.
Jacopo goes to year 2 of the Vocational School for Opticians.
As we did last year, this year, too, meetings have been held with her mother to provide her with psychologic support.


Cognitive and Occupational Activities

In the last year, thanks to an improvement in his health conditions and epileptic crises, he seems calmer, more available and collaborative; he has improved his tolerance of frustrations and diminished his use of seductiveness in his relations.
When assigned a task, Jacopo shows interest and involvement, thanks also to a more constant attention.
His emotive and cognitive aspects seem to be better harmonised and his critical skills have increased, and therefore he can make choices that are more in tune with his needs.
No changes have been detected in comparison with last year.

Neuro-cognitive therapy

Jacopo is more motivated towards this therapy and more collaborative in its activities.
Conflict and sometimes provocative behaviours have decreased.
He can keep focussed and attentive on something for a longer time, though this increased capacity is always connected to his health conditions.
He listens more to other group members and intervenes in the discussions, at times also in with a critical mind.
His memory in remembering events has improved, though his long term memory is still showing deficits.
In problem solving, if helped by the therapist leading the processing of problems to be solved, he is more and more able to frame the initial situation and understand its goal.
We suggest continuing this therapy so to increase his cognitive capabilities and attempt to minimize his obvious deficits.


Manual Activities

During this year Jacopo significantly modified his attitude in the activities; he is more motivated and has a greater proposal-making attitude, whereas his "histrionic" behaviour has greatly diminished.
Attention and participation have increased, and now in carrying out the assigned tasks he tries to find possible problem-solving strategies even without the help of the therapist.
His manual skills and knowledge of tools have improved.
His relation with the therapist and other group members is good.
We suggest continuing this therapy so to strengthen acquired skills.


Psychologic therapy

Meetings of psychologic support aimed at helping Jacopo understand his real sexual orientations, strengthen it and his "emancipation" from the symbiotic relation he has with his mother.
During the meetings Jacopo implemented defensive mechanisms and was less open to the therapeutic relation; in the setting sometimes he used his seductiveness and manipulation skills, other times he explicitly refused the therapeutic relation. Very rarely does he tell the truth about himself. This ambivalence expressed during meetings made it very difficult to carry out a therapeutic action.



Final Report
Mario S.

Mario, aged 18, suffers from Average Mental Retardation and behavioural disorders as well as general immature behaviour and development.
He lives with his uncle and aunt to whom he has been entrusted; his family situation seems to be very complex.
Mario is in year 2 of a Vocational School
As we did last year, this year, too, meetings have been held with his parents to provide them with psychologic support.


Manual Activities (woodwork)

Thanks to a constant presence, Mario has been able to profit of such experience in a meaningful way; in fact both his ability to interact with other group members and his increased knowledge of the activity contents, the application techniques and tools seem to have been modified, with consequent greater confidence in planning the work to be carried out.
What most, Mario also modified his ability of acquiring abstract concepts and transferring them in an adequate way to new work to be developed.
His relation with the therapist and group members has improved, since he now has a better knowledge of social rules.
The satisfactory results achieved hint at the possible successful acquisition of further objectives to be pursued, as for example an improved knowledge of social and behavioural rules and a greater orientation towards reality.

Computer Therapy

In this therapy Mario had to use a personal computer as support in carrying out basic writing and reading tasks and overcoming some spelling difficulties.
During this year, his strong desire to improve his writing and reading competences made it possible a great commitment in overcoming his literacy limits.
The therapy was carried out in a small group and also in individual settings.

Decoration and construction of music instruments

Mario has always shown a good motivation and commitment, and has always focussed on the given task and enjoying his work, despite his difficulties and limitations.
In fact he can now remain attentive for a longer time and could handle colours, brushes and musical instruments in an easy way.
His greatest problem is his difficulty to behave spontaneously, since Mario uses stereotypes and is influenced by television models which are highly significant to him.

Final Report
Giorgio T.

Giorgio is aged 12 and suffers from Light Cognitive and Language Retardation associated with attention deficit and poor behavioural control.
He lives with his parents and a 16-year-old sister. Family atmosphere is serene.
He is in year 1 of middle school and his school relations are good.

Manual Activities

Thanks to his liking and affection, Giorgio has been able to get involved in the activities without great problems and he has not taken much time to acquire the stimuli provided by the therapist; he has succeeded in fact without particular difficulties in translating such information into actions, performing some tasks composed of simple passages and getting satisfactory results.
Giorgio knows how to make proposals, with simple ideas and fit to his possibilities; he succeeds in brightly overcoming all those possible difficulties that may arise during the performance of his tasks by using simple but functional strategies..
With the passing of time, his learning and attention abilities improved so much that often Giorgio did not show any sign of frustration or tiredness for the whole duration of the activity.
However, Giorgio shows difficulty in putting his actions into words, since he has a poor vocabulary and a difficulty in the correct use of words and verbs.
In the light of a strengthening his cognitive and practical abilities, we suggest to continue this therapy.


Computer Therapy

In this third year of activity, Giorgio maintained unchanged his motivation and desire to perform the proposed tasks, characterised by a playful use of personal computer as well as its merely technical use (Microsoft word and Internet applications).
For what above, the continuation of this therapy is very important. .


Music Therapy

This therapy has been characterised by a significant consolidation of his relation with the therapist and by an active participation in the activities.
Giorgio increased his self-esteem and thus could express greater confidence in performing some musical ideas or in inventing a story or expressing some emotions.
During our meetings Giorgio expressed curiosity, desire to share his experience, joy, wish to know and explore things, though often coupled with anxiety and restlessness, also motor restlessness, which demanded control strategies.
However, his attention and ability to fix his mind on a thought remain very poor.
It is therefore necessary to continue with this therapy.

Final Report
Michele A.

Michele, aged 13, suffers from Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness, but his cognitive development is almost normal.
He lives with his parents and an elder brother.
His parents show great difficulties in the management of the complex education and relational situations of their children.
He is in year 3 of middle school.
Family meeting were organised to support his parents.

Manual Activities (woodwork)

The progress achieved by Michele in these activities continues in a satisfactory way, though huge behavioural problems still remain.
Michele shows great interest in this work, diligently performs the assigned tasks and shows good manual skills.
Michele is greatly satisfied when he can plan and perform small woodwork tasks and shares their practical content with his group members in a suitable way. He has a good interaction with other group members, though he shows perhaps too much "exuberance" in it.
It must be noted that the way in which Michele uses his logic reasoning has improved the implementation of problem solving strategies, and in this way Michele was often able to cope extremely well with obstacles arisen during working phases.


Decoration and construction of music instruments

Although showing great relational problems with other group members as well as with the therapist (provocative attitudes, difficulty in complying with the rules), in this activity Michele succeeded to perform the give tasks adequately and in a precise way, with longer attention times. It must be noted, however, that he generally modified his attitude and behaviour and now has huge abilities to control and elaborate his limitations.

Psychologic Therapy

Since November 2006, psychologic meetings have been held every two weeks to allow the patient to acquire a greater awareness of his emotional, cognitive and relational aspects.


Final Report
Sara D. M.

Sara, aged 15, shows a fair-light Cognitive Retardation with lack of attention, dysarthria and dyslexia.
She lives with her parents and an elder brother.
She goes to year 3 of the Middle School and has joined our Camelot project last year.
She apparently enjoys a serene family atmosphere, although this last year a sort of generalized anxiety has interest the whole family and some problems in managing this anxiety have arisen.
Parental meetings have continued to provide psychologic support to her parents.

Decoration and construction of music instruments

At the beginning of this activity Sara showed difficulties in the ideation and planning of a project.
With the help and stimuli provided by the therapists, she succeeded in performing the assigned tasks in a creative way.
Once become more confident about her abilities to perform manual tasks and controlled in her continuous anxiety, Sara showed a good level of learning and attention which allowed her to use colours, brushes, scissors, various materials and an awl in a positive way.
She showed increased abilities in her relations with the other group members.


Theatre Therapy

After some initial difficulties due to high levels of anxiety that forced Sara to look for strategies to avoid the assigned tasks, she has recently expressed less problems in being involved in the setting, she seems to pay more attention to what goes on and to show more confidence in her relations.
In fact, since she wants to be independent, Sara tries to establish relations with those stronger group members who inevitably overcome her in her abilities and personality.
Sara's most important achievement was an increased ability in establishing and carrying out relations.



Final Report
Valeria M.

Valeria, aged 18, shows learning difficulties and retardation in symbolic, graphic and practical performances.
She lives with her parents and a sister:
She dropped out school due to problems with her schoolmates.
This is her second year in the Camelot Project.
In the light of the great relational problems already present in her family but increased during this year, specific meetings to support her parents have been organised.


Decoration and construction of music instruments

Ambivalent and divergent behaviours were noted in her involvement.
When motivated, she showed a prolonged attention, good abilities to perform manual work and a good use of the necessary tools to carry out these activities; when feeling bored and showing conflictual behaviours, she expressed difficulties in complying with rules (switch off her mobile during the activities, not to use a bad language, etc.) conflict and devaluing relational behaviours with the therapists that required the therapists to exert a control on these behaviours.
However, Valeria, despite her relational difficulties, succeeded in establishing a good relation with other group members, sharing the work and helping those group members less able to carry out the given tasks.

Computer Therapy

Valeria continued to show great interest in computer experiences, and worked in tune with the proposed goals; in fact she is getting very good results in the use of word processing programme. Although showing some conflict behaviours, of a merely emotional nature, she showed to possess the necessary qualifications to acquire further computer skills; in fact, she achieved good results in the use of Microsoft Office applications and in drafting and making up texts and images as well as in creating graphic interfaces for the Web.
In this activity, too, Valeria, when calm, can establish very good relations with her group members and can help them and make proposals.


Psychologic support

Meetings held with Valeria aimed at strengthening her womanhood, increasing her self-esteem and making her aware of the reasons that push her to establish conflict relations with her family, especially with her mother, so to make it possible for her to achieve a state of inner well-being.
During our meetings Valeria showed openness and availability, despite her difficulties and resistance in discussing family-related problems.
This therapy is now taking her fist steps, and therefore we suggest the continuation of these activities next year.

Final Report
Gianluca Q.


Gianluca, aged 14, suffers from Down Syndrome with fair retardation.
He lives with his parents, an elder sister and his maternal grandparents.
He goes to year 3 of Middle School.
This is his second year in our Camelot Project
Parental meeting continued with his mother, since his father cannot take part in them, at least for the time being.


Computer Therapy

Gianluca is motivated and interested in the use of the computer as an IT means and a working tool (use of word processing and Internet), and a play tool.
He has established a good relation with the therapist, though at the beginning he seemed to make the therapist the object of a morbid behaviour and this made it difficult to work with other group members.
Now Gianluca shows greater tolerance towards frustration that may arise when facing difficulties in achieving his tasks.
Due to his interest and motivation and also due to the partial achievement of proposed goals, we suggest to continue this therapy.

Manual Activities

Motivated and interested in this activity, Gianluca showed good skills, abilities and appropriate actions in performing the assigned tasks and in using tools; his manual skills have improved.
His aggressive use of words and "jocose" behaviours that troubled the work of other group members have decreased.
His relation with the therapist and other members is good.
It is therefore desirable to pursue this activity.

Final Report
Elena G.

Elena, aged 18, is of Rumanian origin and has come to Italy in 1995; she lives with her foster parents and two foster brothers.
She shows a mild mental retardation as well as serious genital and urinary problems and terminal renal insufficiency treated with haemodialysis.
She is in year 1 of a vocational school.

Cognitive and Occupational Activities

Elena's serious and complex relational problems made us give priority to individual settings.
Her erratic presence due to her precarious health state did not allow the carrying out of the planned therapy.
However, the therapist could establish good therapeutic relations with her and this gave confidence to Elena who could better control herself.
It was also possible to start work on her difficulties in coping with her womanhood identity, her relation with members of the male gender and also on her health condition.

Theatre therapy

Since September Elena has worked in an individual setting aiming at controlling and processing her deep and complex psychologic difficulties and also her difficulty to participate in a more orthodox individual psychotherapy setting.

Final Report
Eleonora R.

Eleonora, aged 15 years and nine months, lives with her maternal grandmother to whom she has been entrusted; she shows a borderline cognitive disorder with difficulty in the organisation of perceptions and an oppositive behaviour.
Due to her very serious family situations, psycho education meetings were held in collaboration with the RMD IV Local Health Unit for her grandmother with the aim of producing an impact also on her mother and make the family system more functional from an educational perspective. She goes for the second time to year 1 of a cinema school.
This is her first year in our Camelot project.

Decoration and construction of music instruments

Eleonora shows an extremely inconsistent behaviour with great psychologic and relational problems increased by her rebellious behaviour caused by the adolescence phase she is going through.
Therefore, in this activity she alternated refusal and disregard on the one hand and collaboration and agreement on the other.
Although she always kept a devaluing, protesting and provocative behaviour, she participated in our activities and showed good manual skills that allowed her to use positively nails, scissors, cork, awl, etc. as well as different materials such as shells, cloths, rice and barley. She still has difficulties in her relations with other group members and the therapists.


Expressive Activities (body-sound-movement).

Eleonora participated together with another girl in this activity, in which our expressive aim was to give patients the possibility to express their inner emotions, their creativity through the movement of their bodies, music instrument, their voice, drawing, and music listening.
In these activities Eleonora expressed difficulty, embarrassment and shame in assuming spontaneous initiatives , often remained just an observer of what was happening and showed provocative and conflict behaviours. Her constant presence was assured only by the presence of the other girl for which Eleonora shows great affection and with whom she identifies herself.
Her serious life situation is compromising her presence in these activities and requires a serious reflection on the proposal of activities more fitted to make her reflect on her life experiences and find the right elements to build up her identity.


Final Report
Leonella D. A.

Lella, aged 17, lives with her adopted parents and shows a light homogeneous retardation with narcissism and emotional and relational idealisations.
She goes to a class to become professional hairstylist.
This is her first year in our "Camelot" project.
Meetings are scheduled with her parents to strengthen her parental abilities.


Expressive Activities (body-sound-movement).

Lella joined our activities in a regular and constant way and fully shared our proposals and goals; she collaborated, was motivated and interested; only sometimes did she behave in a provocative and inconsistent way, but this was due mainly to her difficulty of understanding the meaning and reason of our activities.
In general Lella successfully used musical instruments, percussion as well as melodic, her voice and singing, the drawing of her musical experiences and body movements related to music, the sharing of music to listen, the discrimination of musical instruments present in the various songs brought by group members, the verbal and non verbal expression of her inner state, the development of a significant relation with the other girl and the therapist, the progressive increase of her attention.
Her interest in these activities made her plan and prepare a short show for young children for which she shows great attention.


Activities to guide her in the listening of Rock music

These activities were characterised by conflict behaviours between Lella and the other male participant.
This conflict was expressed through anger and provocations, mainly quarrels to see who had to be acknowledged more power; and, in all this, a visible sexual conflict.
The Italian pop music that Lella cherished was not in tune with the English music (Profilax, Nirvana) preferred by the other group member.
Thanks to the help of the therapist, after a stormy beginning, the two personalities and tastes could be put together and all the specific stimuli of this activity could be shared.



Final Report
Fabio B.

Fabio, aged 16, lives with his parents and a sister and goes to year 1 of a vocational school.
She suffers from an average mental retardation with troubles in managing his aggressive, sexual and relational behaviours with an inclination to escape reality and take refuge in an imaginary world.
This is his first year in our "Camelot" project.
Meetings have been organised with his mother to provide her psychologic support.

Decoration and construction of music instruments

Fabio took part in these activities and showed great commitment and motivation; he has a basic ability to use brushes, colours, scissors, etc.
He clearly manifested his joy to be in a group and willingly accepted the help of other group members.
During our activities he often implemented isolating behaviours, but, once requested to finish his task, Fabio succeeded in remaining in the situations and could therefore understand and benefit from the experience.

Manual Activities
Fabio failed to get involved in the group setting.
His mind was often wandering in an imaginary reality evoked by some realistic elements (construction of a sword or other war equipment).
With a tailored setting we succeeded in channelling his interest on carving activities.
His relations with other group members and the therapist - for whom he expresses functional behaviours - are difficult.




Final Report
Sara M.

Sara, aged 16, lives with her parents and suffers from an average mental retardation.
She goes to year 2 of a Psycho educational school.
This is her first year in our "Camelot" project.
Meetings were organised to provide psychologic support to her parents..

Expressive activities

Sara had great trouble in getting involved in the group, mainly because of her low self-esteem and anxiety in her relation with other group members.
She often said she was not up to her task, although, when strongly stimulated by the therapist, she could carry out several tasks, but never complete them.
Thanks to the actions of the therapists, Sara could produce some work (a flowerpot and dish painted and carved) although her lack of manual skills is great.
From a relational perspective, Sara was not able to establish a real relation with other group members, and preferred relations with reference adults.
We suggest to increase her involvement in these activities so to stimulate more her cognitive, manual and relational abilities.


Final Report
Gianmarco F.

Gianmarco, aged 14, lives with his parents and goes to year 3 of middle school.
He suffers from average mental retardation and has a congenital bone malformation of a probable organic nature.
This is his first year in our "Camelot" project.
Due to a difficult and complex surgery operation, his participation in our activities was erratic and therefore it is impossible to provide a final evaluation of his achievements.
Meetings were organised to provide psychologic support to his parents.


Final Report
Thomas D.

Thomas, aged 14, has recently been accepted in a therapeutic community due to his family's serious situation of social distress.
He goes to year 3 of the middle school.
We could only made a neuropsychological assessment of his situation, which shows a light mental retardation with troubles in establishing relations at school and adapting himself to situations.
Due to difficulties of organisation, both his family and his community therapist cannot take him to our Camelot activities, and we are waiting to start a socio- rehabilitation programme with him.
In the light of his family difficulties, parental meetings are scheduled to provide psychologic support to his parents.

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