Matching Items (4)

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Leo Kanner and the psychobiology of autism

Description

Leo Kanner first described autism in his 1943 article in Nervous Child titled "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact". Throughout, he describes the eleven children with autism in exacting detail. In

Leo Kanner first described autism in his 1943 article in Nervous Child titled "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact". Throughout, he describes the eleven children with autism in exacting detail. In the closing paragraphs, the parents of autistic children are described as emotionally cold. Yet, he concludes that the condition as he described it was innate. Since its publication, his observations about parents have been a source of controversy surrounding the original definition of autism.

Thus far, histories about autism have pointed to descriptions of parents of autistic children with the claim that Kanner abstained from assigning them causal significance. Understanding the theoretical context in which Kanner's practice was embedded is essential to sorting out how he could have held such seemingly contrary views simultaneously.

This thesis illustrates that Kanner held an explicitly descriptive frame of reference toward his eleven child patients, their parents, and autism. Adolf Meyer, his mentor at Johns Hopkins, trained him to make detailed life-charts under a clinical framework called psychobiology. By understanding that Kanner was a psychobiologist by training, I revisit the original definition of autism as a category of mental disorder and restate its terms. This history illuminates the theoretical context of autism's discovery and has important implications for the first definition of autism amidst shifting theories of childhood mental disorders and the place of the natural sciences in defining them.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Parent behaviors and children's interest in play: examining behavioral contingencies for children with and without autism

Description

The present study examined the behaviors of parents and children during a free play interaction in 20 children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 20 matched, typically developing children. Observational coding

The present study examined the behaviors of parents and children during a free play interaction in 20 children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 20 matched, typically developing children. Observational coding was used to measure sensitive versus controlling parenting behaviors as well as children's responsivity and interest and investment in play. The study also documented whether the child or the parent primarily directed the play interaction. Finally, the study examined the influence of parenting stress on parents' behaviors during play. Group differences in behaviors were assessed along with associations between parent and child behaviors. Further, sequential analyses were conducted to identify whether parent behaviors temporally facilitated children's responses and interest during a play interaction. Results demonstrated group differences in parental sensitivity, parenting stress, child responsivity, and proportion of child-directed play. Parental sensitivity was also associated with child interest and investment as well as the proportion of child-directed play. Finally, sequential analyses demonstrated a temporal association between completely child-directed play and child interest and investment, and between parental sensitivity and child responsivity. These results extend the existing literature on the behaviors of children with autism and those of their parents within play settings, and have important implications for parent-focused play interventions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Joint attention and its relation to social outcomes: typically developing children and children with autism

Description

Previous research has suggested that the social interactions parents engage in with their typically developing children are critical to the relationships children form with peers later in development. Fewer studies,

Previous research has suggested that the social interactions parents engage in with their typically developing children are critical to the relationships children form with peers later in development. Fewer studies, however, have investigated the relation between parent and child interactions and peer relations in children with autism. The current study aimed to investigate the relation between parent-child joint attention skills, social competence and friendship quality in children with autism and in typically developing children. A matched sample of 20 preschool-aged children with autism and 20 preschool-aged typically developing children were observed interacting with their parents in a laboratory setting. Approximately one year later, parents filled out a questionnaire assessing their child's social competency and quality of friendships with peers. Results indicated significant group differences between children with autism and typically developing children in all study variables, with children with autism displaying less initiation of joint attention, lower social competence and low quality friendships. Additionally, child initiated joint attention was positively related to social competence for both groups; effects were not moderated by diagnosis status. It is concluded that parent and child interactions during the preschool years are important to the development of social competence with peers. Intervention and policy implications are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010

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Compliance and school liking in children with high functioning autism and typically-developing peers: relations with temperament and parent pehaviors

Description

The constructs of compliance and temperament play an important role in children's school liking and engagement, and these constructs may differ between typically-developing children and children with autism because of

The constructs of compliance and temperament play an important role in children's school liking and engagement, and these constructs may differ between typically-developing children and children with autism because of the deficits associated with autism. The present study examined group differences among temperament, parent and child behaviors in a compliance context, and school liking and how these processes related to each other. This was the first study to examine school liking in children with high functioning autism and to explore the associations among school liking, temperament, and compliance in this population. Participants included children with high functioning autism (n = 20) and typically-developing children (n = 20) matched on language and mental age, and their parents. Compliance to a parent was observed in a laboratory setting, and temperament and school liking data were collected using parent-report measures. The findings revealed that children with autism had significantly lower Effortful Control (EC) and school liking scores than typically-developing children. However, there were no group differences in compliance, and no significant relation was found between temperament and compliance. Additionally, school liking scores were related to compliance and EC. These findings are discussed with respect to implications for potential future research and use of interventions for children with high functioning autism.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011