ERIC Number: ED294344
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Autism/Broken Symbiosis: Persistent Avoidance of Eye Contact with the Mother. Causes, Consequences, Prevention and Cure of Autistiform Behavior in Babies through "Mother-Child Holding."
A case study is reported in which early "autistiform behavior" in a 4-week-old baby was reversed through intensive mothering. The baby, who had been developing normally, was bottlefed by "strangers" for 2 days and then began to avert her eyes from all people, an autistiform behavior which persisted and grew worse as the mother tried to re-establish eye contact. In conformance with theories of autism as a disturbance of symbiosis, the mother was advised to avoid all eye contact at first, while giving her baby intensive "holding contact." With this approach the mother succeeded in restoring the symbiotic bond with the baby, thus saving the infant from further autistiform deterioration. Therapy developed by J. A. B. Allan and R. W. Zaslow emphasized various preventive holding methods and playful sensori-motor movement programs for parents to practice with disturbed babies in order to diminish their babies' autistiform behavior, improve their symbiotic bond, and prevent later autism. Also reported is a study using the Mother Child Holding Therapy with 104 autistic children with significant change reported in such characteristics as interest in human and visual contact. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A