Albert Einstein, a world genius behind the famous E=mc, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Wolfgang Mozart, the two great maestros who altered the face of classical music, and Keanu Reeves, a versatile Hollywood actor who rose to the ranks of fame and fortune: great achievements by great people. All these men have two things in common. History, that each of them had made in their own fields, and gifts, that have driven them to their fullest. Who would have thought that their being “extraordinary” could bring them this far? Very little is known that these persons were not as “great” as the others when they were still young. Sadly, they were even less to some who consider themselves higher than the rest.
Why? Because unlike others, Albert, Ludwig, Wolfgang, Keanu and all the others, were born with a condition called as autism (Dr. Rhandy Pebenito, 2004)
Autism is a disability that interferes with the normal development of the human brain in the areas of reasoning, social interaction and communication skills, typically appearing during the child’s first three years (“What is Autism?”, the Autism pages 2004, from the Autism society of America). It occurs in roughly 15 to 20 of every 10,000 births and is five times more common in males than in females (“Autism: What to look for”, pamphlet by the Autism Society of the Phils.). Although recent advances have been made with respect to possible roots, the exact cause of this condition remains unknown. Children and adults with autism typically have deficiencies in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and leisure or play activities, making it a big obstacle for them to relate to the outside world.
They may exhibit repeated body movements like hand flapping, rocking or unusual responses to people or attachments to objects, and resist any changes in routines. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be even present. Certain behavioral, educational, and pharmacological interventions have been demonstrated to be helpful for many individuals with autism, however, there is currently no cure for the disorder.
In this great pursuit to find a solution to the difficulty brought by Autism, both for the individual and the care givers, discoveries on symptomatic interventions for autism emerged. Some of which are sensory-motor therapies, facilitated communication, auditory integration training, and sensory integration therapy. Even those who have directly or indirectly encountered this condition were involved in this constant search for answer.
Two of them were Martha Welch and Temple Grandin. Dr. Martha Welch coined that a mother’s restraint and holding of a child would lead to normal responses to maternal cues and nurturing interactions and would put an end to the child’s avoidant behavior.
Holding therapy caught wide-spread attention when Dr. Welch began using it as a means of working with children with autism (www.autism-pdd.
net/treaforme.html). Temple Grandin, on the other hand, is an adult with autism who has written two books about her life: “Emergence Labeled Autistic”, and her recent book, “Thinking in Pictures”. She describes her severe anxiety and how her discovery of deep pressure ultimately helped her reduce the anxiety’s debilitating effects (Edelson & www.autism.org/hugbox.
Research has played a vital role in this continuous struggle, by providing an avenue for discovery, and refinement of existing knowledge (Polit & Hungler, 1999). It is for the same reason that this study aims to further investigate the effectiveness of holding therapy in relation to behavioral outcomes and emotional attachment of preschool autistic children to their primary caregivers, which Martha Welch and Temple Grandin have once proposed. Since it is yet to be again proven that these measures, through this study, are therapeutic, hopes arise for possibilities of newer trends to be applied to nursing practice and even in the emphasis on the primary caregiver’s role with these special children. .