Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Remarkable moments: Communicating trust in the relationship between the child with autism and the parent/caregiver
by Weber, Sandra L., M.A., San Diego State University, 2011, 142; 1493197
Abstract (Summary)

Very little solid scientific research has been conducted that directly documents a specific neurobiological structure in the human brain, regulating the innate perception of “basic trust.” As an alternative, researchers are pursuing studies in analogous components of the “trust factor” to answer the question, “is there a biological basis for ‘basic trust’?” Because perceived caregiver trust is a key component in autistic behavior remediation, this study affirms, articulates, and expands on the idea that there are actual biological indicators that reflect “basic trust.” In addition to synthesizing previous applicable research regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder, this study illustrates the ways in which trust is communicated between parent/caregiver and the child with autism. To explore this topic, the study gathered both qualitative and quantitative information using a demographic survey and interview format. The participants of this phenomenological qualitative investigation consisted of twelve parent/caregivers whose children had been professionally diagnosed with autism. Collected quantitative demographic survey data and in-depth qualitative narrative information was evaluated for common themes within the respective parenting experiences. The long term benefit of illuminating the importance of trust formation in the success of therapeutic autism intervention programs outweighed the potential risk of emotional discomfort from retelling/reliving of some unpleasant memories. Anonymity was preserved through coding of the informational materials for the parent/caregiver participants. Interviews were done at a location and time selected by each volunteer to maximize personal comfort, convenience, and to promote the narrative process.

None of the current commercially-based methods for therapeutic intervention have produced consistent results in every diagnosed child. Regardless of the degree of disability, the ultimate goal for the ASD child is behavioral compliance. Without it, appropriate socialization at any level is impossible to achieve. The underpinning for behavioral compliance that leads to socialization is the ability to experience a sense of “basic trust” and to perceive the caregiver(s) as trustworthy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ritblatt, Shulamit
School: San Diego State University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Early childhood education, Special education, Individual & family studies
Publication Number: 1493197
ISBN: 978-1-124-61752-7
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