A multimodal intervention for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders: ‘ReAttach’

Paula Weerkamp-Bartholomeus, Ph.D.1, Prof. Dr. Vladimir Trajkovski2

1ReAttach Therapy Institute, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, e-mail: info@reattach-therapy-institute.com

2Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Philosophy, University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” Blvd. Goce Delchev 9A, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, e-mail vladotra@fzf.ukim.edu.mk

 Abstract

Introduction: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication and restricted and repetitive interests/behaviors, which has considerable impact on daily life functioning. ReAttach is an intervention based on attachment, arousal regulation and training multiple sensory integration processing.

Aim: investigate the effectivity of ReAttach in terms of improvement of daily life functioning.

Method: Eight therapists were trained to perform ReAttach with a group of participants (N=58). Comparison of the mean scores on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) was conducted with a paired sample t-test.

Results: In this study we have explored the potential of 5 sessions of ReAttach to significantly improve the ATEC scores of participants diagnosed with ASD within a short period of time. The results revealed significant decreases of problems (p<0.001) in the subscales: I. Speech (t=9.96, df=57, p=0.000), II. Sociability (t=13.72, df=57, p=0.000), III. Sensory Cognitive Awareness (t=11.91, df=57, p=0.000), IV. Health / Physical / Behavior (t=11.64, df=57, p=0.000) and total scores of the ATEC (t=15.23, df=57, p=0.000).

We made comparison of mean total scores in various diagnosis within the whole ASD group: Autistic disorder (N=6, age M=18.67, SD±6.92, males were 100%) t=4.78, df=5, p=0.005; Asperger syndrome (N=24, age M=27.75, SD±12.88 males were 70.83%)  t=10.56, df=23, p=0.000; PDD-NOS (N=24, age  M=22.17, SD±11.68, males were 83.33%), t=9.26, df=23, p=0.000; ASD and Intellectual Disability (N=4, age M=26.75, SD±16.17, males were 75%) t=4.40, df=3, p=0.022.

Conclusions: This study confirms that ReAttach has a positive impact on daily life functioning. Practical research confirms the hypothesis that this intervention has a positive effect on various developmental areas described in the ATEC. The results further suggest that people within the entire range of ASD can benefit from ReAttach and the method itself might provide important clues to efficient ASD treatment.

Keywords: autism, innovation, treatment

Citation: Weerkamp Bartholomeus P, Trajkovski V. Multimodalna intervencija za decu i odrasle sa autističnim spektrom poremećaja: „Reattach“. Zbornik rezimea ‡ IV stručno-naučni skup sa međunarodnim učešćem „Aktuelnosti u edukaciji i rehabilitaciji osoba sa smetnjama u razvoju“. Beograd, 24-25 oktobar, 2015; 19.