Autism is a disorder of neural development, characterized by impaired social development, communication, emotion regulation and by restricted, repetitive behaviors. A study by the Ministry of Health on children between the ages 18 to 26 months showed a rate of 1.6 in 1000 children, or approximately 1 in 625 and it is rising (MOH, 2014).
Early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) would usually start around two to six years of age. Common prevalent symptoms are; not being scared of danger, either being too sensitive or not sensitive at all to pain, avoiding eye contact, has difficulty expressing what they want or need, unusual fears, have an overall difficulty in interacting with others, repeated body movement, such as hand flapping or rocking, unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines. They possibly will experience sensitivities in the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.
So, is there a cure to Autism? A frequently cited 2008 review of research studies found that from 3 to 25 percent of people eventually reversed their autistic symptoms. In addition, two extensive U.S. studies have found 4 to 13 percent of children lose their ASD symptoms, but that is debatable as it doesn’t always mean a full “recovery” from developmental problems.
Intervention for autistic children comes in a variety of methods, notably behavioral, developmental and nutritional intervention. These interventions typically address specific areas of autism. For example: behavioral interventions focus on teaching children new behaviors and skills using specialized and structured techniques while developmental intervention focuses on relationship development of the child and the people around them, primarily social and communication skills.
In conjunction with various intervention to rehabilitate patients with ASD, Dr. Paula Weerkamp-Bartholomeus developed and pioneered “ReAttach Therapy”. A new therapeutic intervention based on Bowlby’s attachment theory, ReAttach Therapy can be of great importance for people with ASD. This is concluded from the continuous practical research by Dr. Paula into the advantages that can be reached for people with Asperger’s syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), autism spectrum disorder, or with a mental disability and autism, using the ReAttach therapy.
Dr. Paula Bartholomeus is the developer of the Viki’s View intervention (2010). From advancing insights, she developed the ReAttach method in November 2012. A noteworthy aspect of ReAttach is the fact that positive changes are made in several developmental areas of this pervasive developmental disorder at the same time. It has garnered positive measurable changes of patients on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) that is notably recognized by the Autism Research Institute. The results of children with severe communicational problems, who have for instance lost their ability to speak and have not spoken for years, are overwhelming. Three children with comparable developmental problems have regained their ability to speak. On top of that, they have made comparable progression in the areas of play, social functioning and behavior.
What makes Dr. Paula’s Reattach therapy effective is its method of intervention that requires proximity, distance, touch, voice and emotional expression. Additionally, it is also easy to be taught among newly trained professionals. This in turn allow practitioners to practice effectively without needing to attend months if not years of intensive training.
Dr. Paula Bartholomeus will be coming to Malaysia for the first time as a keynote speaker at the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Conference 2019 (www.CounselingMalaysia.com) which is held on 23-24th March 2019 and to train and certify psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists and child therapists in ReAttach Therapy at the post conference workshop 25th-27th March 2019. The conference is cohosted by the International Psychology Centre (www.Psychology.com.my) and the Malaysian Association for Psychotherapy (www.MalaysianPsychotherapy.net)
This article is contributed by the International Psychology Centre. For more information on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Conference 2019 please email: Info@Psychology.com.my or call +603 27277434 and visit www.CounselingMalaysia.com and read free downloadable book: Autism: is there a place for ReAttach? https://www.fioritieditore.com/en/libri/ebooks/