Expository Essay on Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children: Mentalizing Deficit Theory

3 pages
562 words
Boston College
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Research paper
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Autism spectrum disorder affects an individuals communication and interaction with others. This disorder is caused by complications in the nervous system associated with sensing, movement, and cognition, the brain, and the spinal cord. ASD in children is neither bad nor suitable for some reasons. In autistic children, the lack of pretense has been explained through various theories such as weak central coherence, impaired response inhibition, and weakened mentalizing. The research was carried out to get empirical results of these theories and analysis of regression discovered that mentalizing independently and significantly predicted pretense. Lack of formality in play is an apparent behavior that is a primary symptom of autism manifested in the early diagnosis of autistic children. It was observed that autistic children have a deficiency in essential mind sharing activities, and these initial actions foresee later capability of producing pretense. The findings thus support the mentalizing deficit theory.

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Development of Autistic Children

The primary assumption of therapy is that the underlying deficit in autism is a block in how the child develops emotionally and at a rudimentary level of positive development. In autism spectrum disorder there would be a shortfall of neurobiological progressions which give way to the formation of suitable connections between the symbols formation, motor planning, sensory processing, and emotions. Thesedeficits in development result in the child engaging in repetitive things for no reason others develop problems with mind theory development, empathy, or mutual interactions. The elements of therapy are applied conferring to the ability of the child in enriching communication channels and allowing interaction with their environment. Various contexts in treatment are effective in bringing down the childs obsessive behavior and consolidating achieved goals, hence reducing repetitiveness in the treatment relationship.

Therapeutic Approach

The complexity and multi-symptom nature of autism spectrum disorder pose a challenge regarding developing effective treatment. For children with HFSD (high-functioning spectrum disorder), social losses include deficits in social communication skills, social behaviors, and complex social-cognitive processes. Therefore, social skills groups happen to be one of the most effective psychosocial approaches for treating children with HFASD. Techniques applied in this therapeutic approach include parent training, repeated practice, reinforcement, feedback, role-play, modeling, and explicit instruction to enhance social skills. Studies have led scholars to make conclusions that definethese techniques as promising for autistic children since they are evidence-based. On the other hand, social skills have been criticized since they focus narrowly and do not offer full range treatments for broader development and symptoms. Therefore, other models in comprehensive treatment have been encouraged since they address individual needs of children, more general functioning, symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, and targeted skills.


With the increase of Autism Spectrum Disorder prevalence, the obligation of supporting families dealing with challenging autistic behaviors falls on GPs (general practitioners). The GPs are mandated to come up with health care plans by applying multimodal approaches like psychopharmacology and behavior therapy. Today, practitioners are widely practicing the care for autistic children by giving prescriptions as well as managing psychotropic medications for the affected children. Although general practitioners portray an excellent understanding of psychotropic drugs, they still need specialists’ help for administering the medicines for autistic children. Research has confirmed that general practitioners in partnership with psychiatric specialists have contributed to the rise in psychotropic prescriptions leading to a surge in the application of psychopharmacology in the treatment of autistic children globally.

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