Jun 3, 2009

Attachment and Autism

let me answer your last question first. "Attachment Disorder" is a loosely defined term with wide variation in meaning. The five categories of patterns of attachment used in the research with adults (Secure, Avoidant, Preoccupied, Disorganized, and Cannot Classify) are research categories not clinical diagnoses. Same for the corresponding patterns defined by the Strange Situation Procedure (Mary Ainsworth).

Autism and Reactive Attachment Disorder a distinct disorders with distinct diagnostic criteria (DSM IV) and that require different treatments and approaches. One is caused by chronic early maltreatment within a caregiving relationship; the other is more of a neuological disorder).

The books you've mentioned I'm not familiar with. If you do want a good orientation to Attachment Theory and Attachment Research, let me suggest any of the following book:

1. Becker-Weidman, A., & Shell, D., (Eds.) (2005), Creating Capacity for Attachment, Wood ‘N’ Barnes, Oklahoma City, OK.
2. Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications 2nd Edition. Edited by Jude Cassidy and Phillip Shaver. The Guilford Press, 2008.
3. A Secure Base. John Bowlby, Basic Books, NY, 1988.
4. John Bowlby & Attachment Theory. Jeremy Holmes, Routledge, NY, 1993.
5. Parkes, C.M., Stevenson-Hinde, J., & Marris, P., (Eds.), (1991). Attachment Across the Life Cycle, Routledge, NY.

If you are interested in evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatments for Reactive Attachment Disorder and Complex Trauma, you could look at:

1. Becker-Weidman, A., & Shell, D., (Eds.) (2005, second printing 2008) Creating Capacity for Attachment.
2. Becker-Weidman, A., (2007) “Treatment For Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy,” http://www.center4familydevelop.com/research.pdf
3. Becker-Weidman, A., (2008) "Treatment for Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy" Child and Adolescent Mental Health Volume 13, No. 1, 2008, pp. 52-60.
4. Becker-Weidman, A., (2009) “Effects of Early Maltreatment on Development: A Descriptive study using the Vineland,” manuscript submitted for publication.
5. Becker-Weidman, A., & Hughes, D., (2008) “Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: An evidence-based treatment for children with complex trauma and disorders of attachment,” Child & Adolescent Social Work, 13, pp.329-337.
6. Hughes, D., (2008). Attachment Focused Family Therapy.

Also the folloiwng links may help:


You can then look at articles about Attachment theory, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Attachment disorder, etc.

I hope this helps.

regards. I look forward to hearing back from you.

1 comment:

Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD said...

I hope readers find this material interesting, informative, and useful