Sunday, October 6, 2019

Behavioral and Socio-Emotional Approaches to Treatment and Research Proposal

Behavioral and Socio-Emotional Approaches to Treatment and Interventions for Individuals with Autism - Research Proposal Example Autism is a serious disorder affecting children. Thousands of parents in all parts of the world face the challenge of autism in their children. Much has been written and said about the nature and consequences of autism for children. Unfortunately, how to deal with autistic children remains a matter of hot professional debate. The complexity of the problem is associated with the fact that autism leads to the development of other, related disabilities, such as attention deficit disorder, language disorders, and even Tourette’s syndrome (Olney, 2000). Moreover, the complexity of autistic disorders mandates the development of unique, personalized approaches to individuals with autism. The current state of literature provides sufficient information to develop new and improve the existing interventions for individuals with autism. A combination of socio-emotional and behavioral approaches could become a valid response to the difficulties encountered by individuals with autism. Interventions and Approaches to Individuals with Autism: Historical Background Autism is rightly considered as one of the most complex and controversial neurological disorders affecting children. The history of autism research dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when scientific interest in the physical and natural sciences, as well as professional interest in psychology and social sciences rapidly increased (Schopler, 2001). Researchers in psychology and social sciences borrowed their research methods from physical sciences and scientific technologies (Schopler, 2001). More often than not, scientific methods were used to study complex cultural phenomena mediated by human and political changes (Schopler, 2001). At that time, the growing body of psychological literature was built on experimental studies and their results, but could not predict complex behavioral patterns in humans (Schopler, 2001). Autism represented a rare case, when a previously unknown disorder was saved from â€Å"the untested assumptions of psychodynamic theories that had prod uced a widespread misunderstanding of autism as a social withdrawal from emotionally cold parenting† (Schopler, 2001, p.10). The growing scope of the cognitive revolution and the rise of theoretical analyses brought renewed interest in the theoretical study of autism. Later researchers were no longer interested in autism as merely a stimulus-response mechanism but tried to look deeper into the nature of mental actions in individuals with autism, such as attending, comprehending, thinking, and feeling (Scholer, 2001). In the latter half of the 20th century, the study of autism displayed a number of parallel developments, including behaviorism and neuro-biological specificity (Scholer, 2001). New directions, including cultural psychology, were developed (Scholer, 2001). In 1995, the American Psychological Association was required to develop guidelines for the selection of the most appropriate interventions and therapies for psychosocial aspects of physical disorders and mental d isorders, and that was when autism came to the center of the research arena. Scholer (2001) writes that

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