Psychosomatic Causes of Autism in Children and Adults, Psychologists’ Views, and Paths to Healing

Autism is a mental disorder where a person becomes detached from reality. It often appears in childhood and can manifest from birth. Currently, medicine and psychology do not know methods for a complete cure of autism. Usually, therapy is aimed at maintaining a more or less normal state and functioning of the individual. However, understanding the psychosomatic causes of the disease can significantly improve and speed up the treatment process.

Autism Symptoms

The autistic person’s focus on their inner world is a characteristic symptom of the disease. Autistic individuals are introverted, unsociable, and detached from reality. There is a variety of autism symptoms combinations.

For diagnosis, the presence of three of the following symptoms is sufficient:

  • Silence, speech problems (autistics often start speaking very late);
  • Speech defects, excluding the pronoun I;
  • Unhealthy introversion, love for solitude;
  • Violent reaction to any changes in the usual environment, rhythm of life;
  • Stereotypical and obsessive actions (body rocking, head shaking);
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Inability to look directly into the eyes.

Early signs of autism should be separately noted:

  • Avoiding direct eye contact;
  • Lack of interest in other children;
  • Negative reaction to touches, affection, tenderness;
  • Categorical rejection of certain sounds, actions, and other external factors;
  • Tendency to line up objects;
  • Silence;
  • Absence of a healthy sense of danger, self-preservation instinct;
  • Hyperactivity or, conversely, passivity;
  • Frequent tantrums;
  • Stubbornness;
  • Disobedience.

The voice of autistics is calm and quiet, and their speech is monotonous. Their faces are expressionless, thoughtful. Autistics respond to questions with one word or remain silent. Most special children do not respond to their names or external stimuli. They are guided by their needs and immediate desires.

What is the Cause of Autism

Medical professionals see the cause in gene mutations, organic brain damage to the fetus during pregnancy (infections during pregnancy), and birth trauma (difficult labor, prematurity).

Psychologists cite different causes for autism. Psychosomatic aspects of autism:

  • Conflicts between parents;
  • Criticism and punishment;
  • Non-acceptance of the child (unwanted pregnancy);
  • Parents’ divorce;
  • Psychological disorders and problems of the mother (resentment, jealousy, hatred, stress, depression). Autism is a way to escape reality. A child retreats into a world of fantasy when the real world is unpleasant.

Important! Autism often arises due to a combination of factors (biological and social).

Adult Autism

Psychosomatic autism (without congenital deviations and pathologies) can occur at any age, including adulthood. In such cases, the causes can include:

  • Prolonged depression;
  • Cranial-brain injuries;
  • Mental disorders and illnesses. However, adult autism more often stems from childhood disorders.

Childhood Autism

In children, the disease develops for the following reasons (non-congenital autism):

  • Lack of affection, attention, warmth from parents;
  • Jealousy towards other family members;
  • Inadequate care for the child, ignoring their needs and interests;
  • Overprotection;
  • Incorrect or lack of daily routine.

Frequent changes of residence or school, lack of friends, high loads in educational institutions, an unfavorable psychological climate in the family – all these become reasons for acquired childhood autism.

Psychosomatics of the Disease

Autism is not yet fully understood. Researchers continue to search for a cure, new behavioral correction methods, and an explanation for the development of the disease. Autism can have different explanations in psychology. Let’s look at the theories of popular psychosomatic experts in more detail.

According to Lise Bourbeau

Lise Bourbeau explains the physical blockage in autism with symptoms like:

  • Detachment from reality;
  • Introversion;
  • Silence;
  • Withdrawing into oneself;
  • Avoiding eye contact;
  • Excluding the pronoun “I” from speech;
  • Loss of appetite. The emotional blockage, or psychosomatic causes, lie in some conflict between the child and mother before the age of 8 months, leading the child to reject this world.

Bourbeau also believes that autism can be a karmic response to a past life. Perhaps the child does not accept its new incarnation. In such a case, healing depends only on the child. They must choose: to close off or to accept and live through this new experience. What parents should do:

  • Accept and unconditionally love;
  • Support the child’s right to choose;
  • Share their own feelings about the diagnosis (but in a way that does not make the child feel guilty);
  • Communicate with the child. Parents should reflect on the lessons the illness teaches them. To understand the lesson’s meaning, identify what is most challenging within the illness’s framework.

According to Valery Sinelnikov

Valery Sinelnikov sees the cause of childhood autism in conflicts between parents. Even if the child does not see the arguments, they feel them, as well as whether the parents wanted to have a child. On an energetic level, the child knows everything about their parents: their thoughts, feelings, desires. But they cannot express it in words, so they react physically, at a health level. Moreover, children are responsible for their parents’ sins. The mother’s state during pregnancy also influences. Negative precursors include:

  • Thoughts about untimely pregnancy;
  • Fear of childbirth, future changes in figure and relationship with the husband;
  • Jealousy;
  • Arguments with the husband and/or parents;
  • Resentment. All these lay the groundwork for self-destruction. The child is born either already ill or with a very weak immune system, leading to constant illnesses. To correct autism, both parents need to reconsider their behavior and change their thoughts. The disease signals a lack of harmony in the family.

According to Vladimir Zhikarentsev

Vladimir Zhikarentsev sees the cause in adult behavior. They do not accept their child, perhaps because the child was born of the wrong gender or with the wrong eye color, or not at the time they wanted. Another reason is that parents themselves act childishly: shouting, arguing, being stubborn. They are fixated on false laws and social ideals. Healing affirmation: “This child is under Divine protection and surrounded by love. We proclaim mental immunity (non-susceptibility).”

According to Louise Hay

Louise Hay believes that adult infantilism is to blame for childhood autism. Also, their ideas of an ideal son or daughter and an ideal family, their demands, and expectations. Healing affirmation: “This child has Divine protection, is surrounded by love. We demand the inviolability of his psyche.

Treatment Features

The psychological cause of autism can be trauma, such as separation from parents or cruel treatment. Some parents are so busy with work that they lock the child at home alone for a long time or send them to play in their room. Over time, forced isolation becomes a habit, and the resentment and disappointment make the child even more introverted. This is also true for adults. Autism treatment always requires the help of a psychotherapist. Important! Autism treatment requires a comprehensive approach. Consultations with a pediatrician, neurologist, and psychiatrist are necessary.

Treating Childhood Autism

Autism cannot be completely cured, but the earlier therapy begins, the higher the child’s chances of successful societal adaptation. The treatment is aimed at this and consists of three parts:

  1. Medication is usually used to alleviate autism symptoms and consequences: aggression, anxiety, hysteria, nervous tics, hyperactivity, mood swings, etc. Medications for mental correction can only be prescribed by a neuropathologist and psychiatrist.
  2. Speech therapy. Autists always have speech problems. Some do not speak at all, others swallow letters or repeat words.
  3. Psychotherapy. You can consult a child medical psychologist, clinical psychologist, or psychotherapist. The specialist will develop a plan of work with parents and the child and help them find a common language.

The ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) method is effective in treating autism. Psychologists, parents, and educators observe the patient’s behavior and reactions to external stimuli. Later, using manipulations with external factors, they correct the child’s behavior. The main principle is well known in psychology: positive behavior is reinforced, and the patient repeats what brings them positive emotions.

Animal therapy is beneficial. Autists love interacting with dolphins, horses, dogs. It’s just necessary to determine what suits the particular child.

Together with parents, psychologists determine hobbies for the child. It’s important to understand what the child is interested in and what they are good at. Engagement is beneficial for physical and mental development. The therapy results will be more noticeable in such cases.

Important! For autists, it’s better to choose calm sports: chess, checkers, swimming. Speed and endurance games are not suitable – there’s a high risk of injury.

Recommendations for Correcting Autism in Children

Autism is usually diagnosed around the third year of a child’s life. At this time, all symptoms become noticeable, and the child’s behavior appears clearly strange compared to other children. Autistic children cannot be called sick. They do not have mental or physical defects. These children can be called special. They have their own norm. And they perceive their condition as normal, as they know no other world.

Deep immersion in their inner world becomes a good basis for creative development. Many outstanding artists, poets, musicians are autists. Every special child has their creative talents. It’s necessary to identify and develop them. This will become a link between parents and the child, and a means of socialization.

Autists have two main weaknesses: maladaptation and communication problems. The corrective work includes the following stages:

  1. Behavior formation: stimulate and develop speech, assist in forming speech communications, establish connections with other children.
  2. Elimination of undesirable behavioral reactions: reduction of self-stimulation and stereotypy, elimination of self-destructive behavior, using the ABA method, TEACCH programs.

Interesting! Autism has been diagnosed in famous personalities like Bill Gates, Robin Williams, Anthony Hopkins, Michelangelo, Mozart, and many others. The disease did not prevent them from achieving worldwide fame.

Recommendations for Parents

How to behave with a special child:

  1. Accept them as they are.
  2. Establish and maintain a daily routine and rhythm of life.
  3. Be attentive to verbal and non-verbal reactions to irritants. Learn to catch even the slightest signs of irritation.
  4. Do not leave the child alone. They want it, but it is not beneficial for them. Gently include the child in societal life.
  5. Explain things using visual materials.
  6. Do not overexert the child.
  7. Be patient, do not respond with aggression.

Important! The autism correction program includes several components: specialized education, psychotherapy, diet, behavior modification, medication. Collaboration of the family with a pediatrician, dietitian, neurologist, psychotherapist, educator, speech therapist, and social worker is required.

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