More and more children are being diagnosed with any Autism Spectrum Disorder. According to recent studies, 1.6% of the child population is affected. This increase is due to several factors. The main ones are the broadening of the diagnostic criteria (now even the mildest cases are included) and the instability of the diagnosis (children who show warning signs of ASD before the age of 3 years, later, when they grow up, do not meet the basic criteria of diagnosis).
But, despite the fact that it is becoming more frequent, there is still much ignorance about it. And that is why many parents of children with autism have to explain to friends and family what ASD is and what it entails.
And now that? That's the question many parents ask themselves when their child receives a first diagnosis or is suspected of autism. Negative emotions surface: anger, helplessness, anxiety, sadness and even guilt. All these feelings predispose towards a mental state that will be detrimental to face this situation with integrity.
It is not easy for excited parents with "high expectations" for their little ones to receive the news that this presents a clear picture of ASD. 'Another' path opens up before them and for which they were not prepared.
Fortunately, there are different foundations with aid programs for children with autism and their families, such as: support at school, specialized accompaniment, groups for parents, specialized leisure activities, etc.
However, if we leave the family environment and the aid associations we find ourselves with a great lack of knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorder and this puts families in a difficult situation causing them to feel judged and provoking feelings of shame, guilt and fear.
No one is prepared to give or receive this kind of news. Many times explaining all the situations that are generated due to the Autism Spectrum Disorder that the child suffers is very complex. The environment may be reluctant to accept it or they may not understand why it occurs.
Therefore, it is important to follow a series of guidelines to positively assume the new situation and to be able to transmit the information effectively to family and friends. These are:
1. Explain what autism is
Many people around the child do not understand what autism is, so it is important to give the necessary information about this disorder in relation to the child.
2. Encourage communication
It will be good for parents to open up friends and family so they can ask about everything they don't know and want to learn so they can help. In this way, some of the most widespread false myths about autism can be eliminated.
3. Do it naturally
The news should be transmitted with the greatest naturalness. If the information is transmitted from alarmism, only a catastrophic message will arrive. Therefore, to transmit the changes produced within the family from the diagnosis of autism, it will be better to do it with calm and patience. In a serene and open way.
And, for parents to become the transmitters and can make this disorder visible, they must know what it is exactly. To do this, I propose information about it below.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental neurobiological disorder whose fundamental symptoms to be diagnosed are based on basic criteria such as: communication deficiencies, poor skills in social interaction and repetitive or restrictive behaviors, stereotyped very difficult to change.
Autism begins to manifest during the first three years of lifeIn fact, it is around the year and a half when some features appear, such as the lack of depth in the gaze or the use of the so-called social laughter. We can find other warning signs as the child grows, such as:
- Absence or delay of language
- That the child does not point to ask for things
- He prefers to play alone, as he has little interest in his peers
- Gets annoyed at unexpected routine changes
- Walk on tiptoe
- Reject certain sounds
- Does not know how to play symbolically
- Does not respond to displays of affection such as kisses or hugs
- Does not pay attention to people and only approach them when they need something
Thus, it is important symptoms are identified early. The brain of the child in early childhood has a lot of plasticity so it has a great capacity for adaptation. For this reason, it is important that the symptoms be recognized early so that through adequate stimulation, the diagnosis can be improved.
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