Development of the Attachment Promotion Therapy Program for the Children with ASD

Monday, 7 July 2008: 1:35 PM
So Woo Lee, PhD , International Nursing Department, Oita University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Oita, Japan, Oita, Japan
SeJin Ju, RN, PhD , Nursing, University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea
Sook Bin Im, RN, PhD , College of Nursing, Eulji University, Daejon, South Korea
Kang-E.M. Hong, MD , Nursing, Seould National Nursing, Seoul, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: understand the effectiveness of the Attachment Promotion Therapy Program as the important earliest intervention method for children with ASD and improving maternal attachment behavior skill.

Learning Objective 2: learn how to develop Attachment Promotion Therapy Program.

Hot topics in autism are deficits in face perception joint attention(JA) deficits & weak central coherence.

It is proposed that the attachment between the mother and the autistic child should be promoted foremost and as early as possible, to improve social deficits. So, It is utmost important to promote the attachment of mother and child in the initial phase of interventions for autism.

The purpose of this study was developed an Attachment Promotion Therapy Program(APT) using the attachment theory

The Attachment Promotion Therapy mandates the participation of both the mother and the autistic child, and consists of focusing on improving maternal sensitivity, nurturing behaviors, attachment security and acquiring joint attention skills.

On the basis of Attachment Behavior System, the 4 phases of the attachment promotion therapy was constituted. Those are phase 1 for Unconditional acceptance, sustained contacts, phase 2 for promote proximity & contact, phase 3 for maintain proximity and phase 4 for promote the children initiated interaction.

Therapeutic strategies using Integrated Model of APT according to the progression of attachment behavior was used. The program was consisted with play activity centered mother-child interaction, educational activity for parents, lecture, video-feedback, and support. APT program was effective to improve the attachment behaviors and attachment security.

For the evaluation of the program effectiveness, data was collected from thefeedback of the mothers. Their feedback was that APTP was helpful 1) to understand children's weakness and strength, 2) to learn how to play with their children, 3) to make social network among the mothers, 4) to minimize familial conflicts,5) to make them much more comfortable with their children.

This study suggests that the Social Cognition Promotion Program might be an effective intervention for the autistic disorder children in order to promote social interaction, joint attention, requesting, imitation, social adaptive behavior and language development.