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Synactive Theory of Infant Development

Describe The Synactive Theory of Infant Development by Hedi Al.

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It is a well-known fact that human infants are in continuous communication within their environment. It is imperative that one understands their method of communication in order to assess and meet their needs. Dr. Heidi Als, Ph.D. has revolutionized a method by which this understanding may be achieved, which primarily consists of understanding how to "read" preterm infant's cues. Through years of prolonged observation and analysis, Dr. Als has provided us with a greater understanding of what infants are trying to communicate to us. Many nurseries have utilized Dr. Als' methods into their nursery practice, and much has been written on this topic.

The following is a brief summarization of the main points of her theory and a few examples of how it is applied to infant care. Dr. Heidi Als' theory has been given the name: The Synactive Theory of Infant Development, which gives an outline for understanding the behavior of premature infants. According to this theory, the infant's behaviors are grouped according to five "subsystems of functioning", they are:
1. MOTOR - this is observed as the infant's motor tone, movement, activity and posture
2. AUTONOMIC - this is observed as the infant' skin color, tremors/startles, heat rate and respiratory rate, which are all indicators of basic physiologic functioning of the body which is imperative to survival
3. STATES - this is observed by the level of the infant's central ...

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Synactive theory of infant development is determined.

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