April 2 World Autism Awareness Day. Research is the key tool to develop a model of effective intervention for treating autism (ASD)
- Published: 02 April 2016
That is why since then, every April 2nd Planeta Imaginario Foundation gets covered in blue to divulge what autism is, how detecting it and the most important, how treating it.
The epidemiological data about the rate of ASD, according to different researches and webs of reference, is 1 over 681 2 kids. It seems this incidence is maintained in time concerning the number of boys and girls that are diagnosed, being between 3 and 4 times higher in boys. Currently in Spain there are about 50.000 children with autism.
The Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), the Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and autism are, general terms to refer to a wide and complex group of developmental alterations.
These alterations are characterized in different levels, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and the existence of repetitive behaviors…
ASD seems to initiate in early developmental stages of brain development. However, the most obvious signs and symptoms of autism tend to emerge during the ages of 2 and 3 years old.
Some ‘red-flag’ symptoms from six months onwards include 4:
· The child does not display big smiles or other joyful expressions from around six months onwards.
· No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months.
· No babbling by 12 months.
· No back-and-forth gestures like pointing, showing things or waving by around 12 months.
· The child does not use words by 16 months.
· Around 24 months, the child does not use meaningful two-word phrases (not including imitating or repetitions).
· Any loss of language or babbling at any age.
· The child does not turn when you call or seem to listen when you speak to him/her.
· No symbolic play after 18-24 months (for example playing with dolls in dollhouses or toy garages).
· Does not express “yes” or “no" either verbally or with conventional gestures.
· Frequently becomes angry and can have strong temper tantrums despite young age.
· Bothered by changes, for example changes to habitual routes, in the arrangement of objects, etc.
· Seems to gain self-stimulation from certain things, for example water, lights, staring at objects, spinning on the spot, looking out of the corner of the eye, making repetitive noises...
There is no pharmacological treatment for autism per se.
There is a wide variety of intervention proposals for tackling autism. Fewer approaches are supported from the point of view of empirical research however.
One branch of psychology – Applied Behavioural Analysis6 – has provided the greatest number of creditable scientific studies, published in peer-reviewed journals, demonstrating the effectiveness of various behavioural procedures and techniques in the reduction of inappropriate behaviours, as well as the enhancement of behaviours and skills.
Applied Behavioural Analysis has accumulated inductive empirical evidence over the course of more than 30 years for the treatment of autism. It is only in the last two decades that studies have been published on global treatment programmes with positive results for very young children with autism. At the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Lovaas and his colleagues carried out a controlled study of a psychosocial intervention, based on the techniques and procedures of Applied Behavioural Analysis, known generically as Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI)
An appropriate treatment is the best hope for those diagnosed with autism and their parents and families who work every day to get a better life-quality for their loved ones.
It is only when society takes part and conscience that we will be able to get Public Administration involved to develop laws that allow getting effective treatments for everyone with democratic prices.
From Planeta Imaginario Foundation we want to spread, even more, the defenselessness that autistic people suffer and their difficulties to get a proper treatment to their needs.
From Planeta Imaginario Foundation we would like to aware about the defenselessness people with autism suffer and the difficulties they have to overcome to get a treatment according their needs.
That is why we provide some links where you will find current and relevant information about researches and contrasted bibliography:
Today is time to get painted in blue and take conscience of the importance of getting to know therapeutic practices scientifically contrasted that are efficiently used nowadays by centers like Planeta Imaginario Foundation.
We keep working, always going further!
Fundación Planeta Imaginario