Monday, September 27, 2010

The Cradle of Thought- Chapter One

In the preface of the Cradle of though, Peter Hobson asks, when we watch a baby interacting with their caregiver, are we merely watching her body, or do we see her mental state? What is she experiencing?

What I enjoyed about this book was how Hobson bridges the mental life of babies with exploring the origins of thought and how this typical development is affected in our children with Autism.

If we look at the mental life of babies, we don’t see language. We do see communication in the form of social engagement that clearly is effective in communicating with words. This social engagement links us together, sharing one another’s perspective.

From page two, I quote “ Social engagement is what provides the foundations for language. Not only does it serve as a motive for language to appear in the first place, But in the structure of what is exchanged between one person and another…

We know all to well that children on the spectrum have a hard time communicating ( even if they are talking) So in essence, Autism shows us what happens when this Social engagement is developmentally missing. And this is the topic of the Cradle of thought.

I just want to say, this book was copyrighted in 2002. The founder of RDI ® took the information from this book, and others, to bridge the understanding of that breaking point that caused our children’s neurology to be affected. The *theory* was then researched for a functional solution to help our children. By making the core of the foundation of RDI about Social engagement and thinking ( not skills, or behaviors) we are in essence *remediating* the Autism itself and not just the behavior created Because of the Autism. I can mention here also that Mr Hobson is involved with numerous research studies for RDI and its effectiveness to get to the core of the deficit in Social engagement.

As we go through the chapters in this book, we will be exploring perspective. The ability to give our own and to share with another person. We are going to talk about Flexibility and imagination. Our *socialness* has a huge impact on cognitive development of the neurodevelopmental system. By the time our children are Dx, they have been struggling with this development! They are struggling with understanding Perspective!

On page 10 of Chapter one Mr. Hobson touches on mother and child. What I took from his words were the lack of meeting of hearts and mind that we, as mothers depend on. We need the back and forth communication. I remember with my own children being so excited for that first smile, that togetherness without saying a word. Waiting for that connectiveness or losing it with regressive Autism ( I have experienced both) was just crushing!! And not just once, but twice. The heartache was just unmeasurable when I think back!

He continues in his  review, methods of clinical descriptions and touches on the ''compartimentalized brain'' theory. Where treatments have been tailored to specific regions of the brain- Not we'll work on language, now we'll work on social... They can't be separated, and as Hobson explains, it may cause more difficulty neurologically in terms of integration.

To restore a child’s developmental path we are not changing the child, we are restoring their developmental path. This is an important note because social engagement and thinking is a dynamic process which compliments each individual child’s personality. Restoring their pathway lets them be who they are without the additional struggle to understand the social world.

The connection within our own mind and how we perceive one another by thought and action is our “Social Engagement” When we look at how to help our own children, We need to grasp what typical look like within developing Social engagement to be effective in both short and long term goals.

Hobson ends the chapter with this quote-

And so we know our ultimate aim: to understand how nature dovetails the human infant’s innate capacity for social engagement with what a caregiver provides, and thereby creates an interpersonal cradle for the growth of symbolic thinking. P. 28

And so here we start..Understanding what goes right and then focusing on that to know how to help our kids with Autism!


Upcoming- Join me for the next blog on Chapter two- Before thought.