Reaching the autistic child

Reaching the autistic child

A Parent Training Program by Martin A. Kozloff

Due to my job as a financial advisor, I have taken up to read this book to know more about autistic children. This will be most helpful in the event I met some parents who have such children.
The onset of autism often occurs in the first months of the child’s life. Early abnormalities of development crystallize into “autism” around the age of 2 and a half. The most striking and pervasive feature of autism is a child’s difficulty particpating in the social world.
In particular, features of autistic behaviours are demostrated:
1) No linguistic content between child and others. Example mother and child express (communicate) excitement about their interaction; the interaction has structure (turn-taking which the infant partly understands; and each person engages in turn behaviour that seem contingent upon and that reinforces the other person’s behaviour.

2) There is “overselectivity” and “overreactivity” in attention and attachment.For example an autistic child may pay attention to stimuli that are irrelevant to a task (example a shiny bolt on refrigerator door, rather than the handle). They have “bizarre attachments to certain objects such as stones, curls of hair, pins, pieces of plastic toys etc” apparently on the basis of colour or texture.

3) Autistic child usually show uneven levels of competence across “functional domains”. Example the child may acquire speech sounds in typical fashion and learns to form words but are impared with respect to comprehension and language use.

4) Autistic child may engage in self-injury or even self-mutilation, especially if he or she is non-verbal.

The likelyhood that persons with autism will more competently participate in the social world depends very much on continuing education programs, living and working opportunities that are congruent with the learning needs and preferences of persons with autism and finally the skills and continued involvement of families.

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