Background: To date, many researchers in Japan have assumed that the cause
of autistic spectrum disorders is attributable to some disorder in the abil
ity of the child. However, we have been working on the premise that autisti
c spectrum disorders are brought about by relationship disturbances in earl
y infancy and have been attempting to validate this hypothesis through earl
Methods: We have examined the developmental process of affective communicat
ion in infants with autistic spectrum disorders. We have postulated that ap
proach-avoidance motivational conflict (Richer) is the: primary factor impe
ding the development of affective communication and have focused therapeuti
c intervention on this perspective.
Results: As a result, attachment behavior was markedly improved in children
, but affective communication with their mothers was not. framing the mothe
rs' images of themselves in infancy in mother-infant psychotherapy, problem
s that the mothers had themselves in infacy with attachment behavior to the
ir own mothers affected the mothers' internal representation of their child
ren, leading to active evolution of mother-child interaction and developmen
t of affective communication between the mother and child.
Conclusions: In this: context, the basis and significance of the internal r
epresentation of both par-ties bring determinants in the quality of mother-
child communication are discussed. Our goal in early intervention is not th
e elevation of a child's linguistic-cognitive abilities, but the creation o
f a comforting relationship in which both parent and child can live securel
y, without strain.