Autism is a behavior characterized by the lack of social behaviors or communication as well as strange and recurrent behaviors. According to the description of the condition given by Leo Kranner in 1943, a number of trials have been made to explain this state. The prime paradigms that have been made are cognitive and psychodynamic ones (McAfee, 2000). This article tries to explain and assess the ides of these approaches towards understanding of the causes, diagnosis, and treatment measures.
According to psychoanalysts, autism is a disorder that is characterized by lack of self-development and alteration of sense of others. It is explained in terms of psychoanalytical aspects, such as dysfunctional behaviors of a person and his / her identification (Campbell et. al, 1996). The conceptual explanation for autism involves the object relations theory, which explains that a certain stage is prolonged in the normal development and object relations are more focused on during the process of their perception ( Meltzer, D. 1975). It is an explanation that focuses less on cognitive symptoms and puts more emphasis on social deficits. There is a distinction between autism and other kinds of psychological disorders. Just as there is a distinction from the outside world, only two major psychoanalytic approaches are distinguished for explaining autistic conditions. The first approach is a regression to the other stage of development; while the second one explains that autism is a way of defense against stressful situations (Harlow & McKinney, 1971).
A number of arguments have been suggested in favor of psychoanalytic views of autism. For instance, it is believed that in the past autistic children assisted in the study of pathology, and there are a number of research that have been conducted to indicate that autistic children show a qualitatively different experience when exposed to psychoanalytic terms with complications relating to the ego development that contribute to social misconduct witnessed in their actions. In the past, psychoanalysts believed that autism is psychogenic, and there are still similar approaches in application today.
There is an argument that the method of social participation, which results into identification, is critical in the development of autism (Mudford et al, 2000). The development of autism has been based on two major principles: the destruction of the ego and the adhesive identification or the biological relations control ( Mayes, L. C., & Cohen, D. J. 1994). The process of the destruction of the ego refers to the belief that autistic patient’s ego is divided into a range of senses to ensure they do not perceive the world properly, and all perceptions are combined (Gray, 1994). Bio-dimensionality is a condition where the autistic child relates to libidinal objects without the ability to understand more than the surface objects ( Mayes, L. C., & Cohen, D. J. 1994). It is related to bio-dimensionality where self that results into difficulty in articulating ideas can identify the surface objects only. Autism has also been explained in terms of feeling of fear by an infant by the construction of an illusion that the inside worlds merge with the outside world ( Meltzer, D. 1975). Autism has also been described as a condition where drives are diffused with the most common being death drive.
In spite of controversies, there is an extensive use of psychoanalytic theories in treatment of autism (Mayes, L. C., & Cohen, D. J. 1994). The main focus of psychodynamic approach is the focus on the worker-child relationship instead of focusing on the attempt to minimize changes in behaviors. It also stresses on interaction between the practitioner and the child (Mahler, 1965). The therapy is focused on ensuing strong parental attention with more emphasis being put on the physical affection. The refrigerator mother hypothesis has been more significant in affecting intervention measures for the last decades (Moore & Shiek, 1971). It has also been argued whether the thorough autism psychoanalytic approach towards the improvement of autism prognosis is important, but less attention is paid to this observation. This paper is an illustration of the major theories concerning autism and methods that can be applied to cure the condition psychoanalytically.
There have been explanations for the etiology of autism since the 1940s. The main hypothesis that held strong support was the ‘refrigerator mother’ in the 1960s (Mudford et al, 2000). The idea was contributed by Bruno Bettelheim and published by Kranner who described the condition to be caused by the lack of genuine maternal assistance for the growth of a child (Helm, D. 1976). The attempt to make people believe in the theory of ‘refrigerator mother’ did not succeed to make sense due to the discovery that most of the children they studied did not have autistic siblings (Meltzer, D. 1975).
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In addition, parents have been challenged on the methods they should use to treat autism complications in their children (Winner, 2003). It is coupled with the fact that most training institutions do not provide professionals in the field of autism psychology. In addition, the currently existing methods for treating autism do not concur well with the accepted scientific principles of treating the complication (Moyes, 2001). There has been the need to develop means of diagnosing autism in the times of pre-school periods and assist the affected children without the use of medication. It has also been discovered that the consequences of autism are very detrimental to the affected person (Mudford et al, 2000). This is because, when it attacks a person, all his / her functionalities get affected unlike other illnesses. Because of the concern of parents towards the health of their children, they are likely to use any method that could cure the condition (Charman, 1999). However, these approaches may not be relevant and can contribute to vulnerability of their children to more serious conditions. It has resulted into the need to develop a psychoanalytic approach that can be recommended for application by these parents towards coping with autistic children (Helm, D. 1976). This study also tries to explain the conditions that may be demonstrated by a child to show autism. Normally, children with the condition look strikingly handsome and do not show any external abnormalities. This impression has made many parents, caretakers, and teachers unaware of the symptoms and signs that are evident for autistic conditions (Rumsey & Hamburger, 1988). This article explains some of those signs as a guide to mothers of both normal and autistic children. The treatment methods for autism are also variable based on the conditions of the child and a particular psychotropic medication that may be effective in improving particular symptoms of a person; while they may not be effective in improving the conditions of another person (Meltzer, D. 1975).
The prime objective of this article is to illustrate that the psychoanalytical approach can be used to treat autism with great chances of success ( Pennington, B. F at al 1997). It is aimed at addressing the problem of autism that has been estimated to affect at least one person in every 150 individuals around the world (Mudford et al, 2000). The major aim of this treatment is to address developmental delays that take place as a person grows from childhood to adulthood. This paper explains the importance of a psychoanalyst in assisting children with autism through decoding of their thinking, feelings, and actions. The decoding also assists in ensuring what the child is saying makes sense to the mother and ensures the mother has confidence that she can understand her child (Pennington, B. F at al 1997). This paper explains the approach when behavior, mood, and emotions of the child are used in order to introduce some signs to the child and then to ensure that he / she understands them accordingly. This stage is an indication that the therapist has entered the child’s world.
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It is an illustration that the psychologists need to be part and parcel of the package because it is not always easy to get what the children are trying to communicate. It shows that it is possible to reverse autism with early intervention such as psychoanalysis (Langdell, 1973). This is because the brain can be controlled with a reasonable amount of therapy. This paper provides literature reviews of the approaches that should be used by pediatricians to screen children for autism (Meltzer, D. 1975). It emphasizes the identifications of early signs of autistic disorders such as not turning when the mother asks the child to look at a place, not pointing to their mother to show an interesting place (Pennington, B. F et al 1997). It may also include not smiling immediately or inability to make eye contact with other people.
This article explains that autism is a condition that can be treated, and there are cases where children exposed to this therapy have been successfully cured, and they had been better behaved compared with when they started the therapy. It recommends the need for parents to relate to their children irrespective of their state.
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As a result of lack of specific treatment for autism, it is necessary to increase information regarding autisms spectrum disorders and increase the level of research concerning its causes, prevention and treatment (Helm, D. 1976). The main purpose of all the approaches used is to allow children lead healthy as well as normal lives (Gajewski, Hirn, & Mayo, 1998). Other techniques that have been used by parents to treat autism include the change of diet, but it is worth noting that diversity of the population does not allow one approach to work for all parents with autistic children. It is not clear concerning what works and what does not work. However, there is a need to carry out more researches on intervention measures that can work for children with autism (Cohen, 1994).
The study of psychoanalytical diagnosis of autism is very significant knowledge for both parents and anybody who has people under his / her care. For instance, mothers with young children need to ensure that their children are normal in their behaviors. At school, teachers also need to be aware of the methods they can assist autistic children to learn in normal learning environments ( Mayes and Cohen 1994). The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the use of psychoanalytical techniques in treatment of autism by acquisition of the right amounts of skills to do the task. It also teaches parents on the behaviors they need to observe their children if they suspect that their children are affected with autism. By using the recommended approach towards treatment of autism, parents are likely to prevent any possibility of making mistake of using the wrong approach in accomplishing the purpose of treating their children. By doing the primary research, this paper comes up with a recommended approach for getting insight approach for managing autism complications by ensuring that parents and family members are educated with regards to what needs to be done in cases when children have been diagnosed autism.
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It is also a useful guide for teachers when it comes to assisting handicapped children as well as assisting adults to cope with their lives in case they are still autistic in adulthood. It ensures they manage their lives well and become able to do their job and become independent as other people of their age ( Mayes and Cohen, 1994). This study also emphasizes that there is a need to take care of oneself by handling emotions, fears, as well as complications that ensure a child suffering from autism is helped. By using the recommendations suggested in this article, I believe it will be possible to prevent the chances of people experiencing depression or stress-related complications.
This paper also gives insight into some of the beliefs that have initially been associated with autism, such as refrigerator mother condition and Asperger condition, as well as their limitations.