The term "pre-autism" is becoming more widespread as a result of growing awareness of the importance of a child’s first three years of life in diagnosing behaviors which, if untreated, can develop into autism. In this book we are shown the problems parents can experience when their young child does not respond to them in a "typical" way, how they often voice concerns that something is "not quite right" with their child, and how it is important to address these concerns, which may be signs of pre-autism.
This book is about a new approach called "Re-Start", developed by Stella Acquarone, to diagnose and treat early autism. In the Re-Start infant/family program, a multidisciplinary team works with the parents and through the family relationships to reconfigure dysfunctional dynamics with the aim to "change destinies."
In the first section of the book we learn about the up-to-date research in psychoanalysis, neurobiology, and pediatrics which underpin the Re-Start intensive program. In the second section, the program itself is described in three parts: assessment, therapy, and follow-on care continuing the progress made during treatment in the child’s home environment. With this three-pronged approach, a child’s early behaviors can be monitored and changed, giving a baby the best chance to develop into a healthy child, and even enter mainstream education. A sample timetable of the three-week intensive intervention is included as well as the scales and graphs used to assess the relationship and monitor progress in four areas: interpersonal, sensorial, motor and affect. In the third section we are presented with the testimonies of parents who have taken part in the program.
This book is equally important both as a documentation of a successful treatment model for researchers and clinicians, and as an aid for concerned parents to understanding pre-autistic behaviors and taking the necessary steps to help themselves and their children.
Table of Contents:
About the Authors and Contributors
UKCP Series Preface—Alexandra Chalfont and Philippa Weitz
Foreword by Valerie Sinason
Part I: Underpinnings of Our Approach
1) Understanding early signs of autism in babies—Stella Acquarone
2) A psychoanalytic approach to treating early signs of autism—Stella Acquarone
3) Neurobiological development and autistic behaviours—Isabel Jimenez Acquarone and Dominique Hawksley
4) How paediatric assessment helps in early diagnosis of autism—Denise Challis
Part II: A Model for Treatment
5) Re:Start: an infant–family treatment programme for young children displaying pre-autistic and autistic behaviours—Stella Acquarone with Isabel Jimenez Acquarone
6) Joseph (aged two years): an in-depth case study—Stella Acquarone
7) Geronimo (aged three years, two months): a complex child—Stella Acquarone
9) Filippo (aged eighteen months): a focus on siblings—Stella Acquarone
9) Nicola: an intensive treatment with an eight-month-old—Stella Acquarone
10) The parents—Geoff Ferguson
11) Working with the children in their context: home visits and follow-up—Stella Acquarone and Isabel Jimenez Acquarone
12) Integration into mainstream education following the Re:Start intensive family treatment programme—Isabel Jimenez Acquarone
Part III: Parents’ Feedback and Author’s Conclusion
13) Testimonials: feedback from four families who have undergone the Re:Start programme
Conclusion—Stella Acquarone and Isabel Jimenez Acquarone
Appendix I: Scales and graphs: measuring the effect of the intensive intervention (the “numbers” and how they are calculated)
Appendix II: A glimpse inside the mind of a therapist working with children with autistic behaviours—Isabel Jimenez Acquarone
About the Editor:
Stella Acquarone, Ph.D., is the Director of the Parent-Infant Clinic of the School of Infant Mental Health in London and its branch in the USA. She is a practising adult and child psychotherapist and has worked in the NHS for thirty one years. She is a member of the British Psychological Society, the Association of Child Psychotherapists and the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She has pioneered studies in early infant clinical research and development, and lectures internationally on all aspects of infant-parent development and psychotherapy. She has written extensively in professional papers, journals and chapters in books. She has taught infant observational studies and new clinical strategies in working with disturbed children.