Parental Sensitivity and Attachment in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:56
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Category: Childhood

Type of paper: Essay

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The article that I chose is Parental Sensitivity and Attachment in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Comparison With Children With Mental Retardation, With Language Delays, and With Typical Development. I am certain that the article I chose is scholarly for several reasons. The most obvious is that the advanced search tool in the Kaplan library offers the option to exclude all results that are not scholarly work that has been checked through the peer-review process.

More proof that this article is scholarly is that it is based on academic study and research and it has the methods, manner and appearance of a scholar (Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 2010). Scholarly articles such as this one also make frequent use of charts and graphs and reference secondary sources accurately using citations and a bibliography.

In contrast, articles written for the general population that intend to arouse curiosity are called sensational or popular and can be found in magazines that appeal to the masses such as People or US Weekly as opposed to the more serious journals used in academia to report research and experimentation. The article that I chose was checked through the process of peer-review which is when other scholars or experts in the same field review scholarly work in order to make sure it meets necessary standards before it is published or accepted (Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 2010) .

Parental sensitivity is frequently documented as a key determinant of attachment. Bowlbys attachment theory describes the importance of the early relationship that develops between the infant and the primary caregiver to be the foundation for the childs later social, emotional and even cognitive development (Bowlby, 1982). The article I chose to study supports the possibility that Autism challenges this theory of attachment. This issue has evolved dramatically since the scrutiny that mothers of Autistic children were facing in previous decades as a result of the lack of knowledge and research available regarding Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Leo Kanner once used the term Refrigerator Mothers, or cold and uncaring mothers, to be the cause of the lack of attachment in children with what we now know to be Autism Spectrum Disorder. This scholarly study is intended to provide insight as to whether or not and to what degree parental sensitivity plays a role in the development of attachment in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as compared to that of nonclinical children and those with other developmental disorders such as mental retardation (Rutgers et al. , 2004).

The study also attempts to address whether children with Autism display less involvement with their parents and less attachment security and more disorganization of attachment? This study included 55 toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), mental retardation, language delay, and typical development and their parents. At 2 years of age attachment was assessed with the Strange Situation procedure, and parental sensitivity and child involvement during free play were assessed with the Emotional Availability Scale (Rutgers et al. , 2004).

Parents of children with ASD were equally sensitive as the parents of children without ASD, but their children showed more attachment disorganization and less child involvement. More sensitive parents had more secure children, but only in the group without ASD. Less severe social autistic symptoms predicted more attachment security. Overall this study supports the idea that Autism challenges the validity of attachment theory. This study fails to address whether or not and in what ways attachment behaviors in children with ASD differ from those seen in other children in the study.

More research is needed to determine how to best measure attachment in children with ASD as the indication may differ from children without Autism. Seemingly as important, a child with ASD may be able to develop a better sense of attachment with parents and caretakers if given more physical cues rather than psychological which is measured in this study by the level of sensitivity from the parent. Another helpful measure might be to compare the parent-child attachment for siblings of the children in this study at various points in time.


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