This is a kind of insistence on sameness. In daily life, if the mother is always with her child, he takes the close presence of his mother as a matter of fact, and with the rigidity of his mind, cannot accept being without her. When his mother leaves him behind, he might protest and cling to her because the absence of his mother is unacceptable.
But when he leaves his mother behind of his own free will, he has no trouble doing so because he is focused on his own playing only, and forgets about her. With this type of attachment, the nearness of a caregiver is important, not interaction, and is enough to keep him calm so that he needs no interaction with her. Of course, when a child feels relaxed pleasure at the presence of his mother it means that he is able to enjoy interaction with her. Some autistic children also want to be near to their mother, but only because of resistance to change or insistence on sameness. This kind of attachment in autistic children is based only on rigid recognition.
- Attachment of seeking pleasant stimuli: If children see their caregiver only as a source of stimulus, their attention is only focused on tactile or vestibular stimuli and pleasant interaction with caregiver rarely happens. An autistic child can focus solely on sensory stimuli and is not conscious of human events. Of course, even if a child seeks his mother as a provider of stimulation, when he feels relaxed pleasure from sensory stimuli, his scope of attention broadens and he is able to enjoy human events and interactions. Autistic children sometimes seek body contact with their mothers, but experience little, if any, relaxed pleasure. Even when they are in contact with their mothers, it comes with no feeling of satisfaction, and they focus on pleasant stimuli of contact, thus they cannot enjoy interaction with people.
- Attachment of seeking fulfillment of the desire for food: This kind of attachment behavior appears when a baby is hungry, for example, as crying or demanding behavior. Once his desire is satisfied, however, this type of attachment behavior disappears. In the stages of no expression of relaxed pleasure, even when the desire is fulfilled, the baby feels no satisfaction and only becomes calm. After the fifth stage, if the desire is fulfilled, relaxed pleasure appears and is maintained. Thus the baby’s mood becomes appropriate for enjoying interaction with his caregiver and close relationships are maintained.
- Of course, like their other children, autistic children seek fulfillment of the desire for food and try to avoid displeasure. Unfortunately, though, autistic children experience no relaxed pleasure, even when their desires are satisfied. Autistic children just become calm without feeling relaxed pleasure, even after having eaten a favorite thing. Their body tension remains and their way of behaving remains unchanged, just maintaining focus on what they want to do.
Basic feelings of attachment: Attachment behavior is expressed fundamentally on the basis of feelings. When a person feels security and enjoyment with another, he wants to be with them and searches for connections with them. Feeling security and enjoyment is the basis of human bonding, and is formed by relaxed pleasure. In babies, attachment feeling begins at around 6-7 months, when relaxed pleasure begins to appear. Before 6 months, babies rarely show distress from their mother’s absence.
Knowing who is mother is not so important, but the feelings connected with them are. To clarify this problem, it is best to differentiate the various kinds of attachment behavior.
With this emotion as well, we can enjoy the cause and effect relation in our interaction with other people. When we do A, we anticipate the person will respond by doing B. And when he does B, we feel relaxed pleasure because our expectation was fulfilled. In this way, we can enjoy the interaction with other people.
In these interactions, we become interested in the intensions of other people. What is he going to do next? What is his action indicating? In this way, relaxed emotion facilitates the understanding of other people’s thoughts. As autistic children show little relaxed pleasure (relaxed laughter), they cannot enjoy an event with an antecedent and result, have no interest in human events, and learn from them.
When babies start asking for food and eating it at around 7 months of age, they often have a relaxed smile, a relaxed body and breathe deeply. These expressions seem to be the beginning of the feeling of satisfaction.
When a baby feels relaxed pleasure enjoying the sequence of preceding event and end events, he becomes a seeker of a results and goals. A baby understands that when the preceding event happens, the result will follow it, and when a person does something, the baby thinks that a result will follow it. Thus when a familiar person does something, the baby anticipates something will happen and is eager to see what, because he wants to enjoy this kind of event with precedent and result.
Having interest in the meaning of adults’ behavior:
Babies at this stage begins to understand that adults’ behavior has a relation with another thing. This means that when an adult does something, a baby tries to find out what it is related to. We can say that the baby seeks the meaning of what the adult did. For example, when someone points their finger, a baby predicts the following event, and begins to look for it. And he finds a toy and realizes it is the result, meaning that the pointing connects with the toy. He understands the pointing indicates something. He understands the meaning of the pointing, and that it indicates the toy.
When a baby hears a word, “apple,” he similarly seeks the result, finds an apple, and understands the word indicates an apple. In this way, he spontaneously seeks the meaning of people’s behavior. He is curious to know what it means, and actively learns and learns. To round up what we have learned thus far, relaxed pleasure from the pattern of a stimulating preceding and an ending event is the basis of learning from people.