What Do We Know About Autism?

Autism; It is a neurodevelopmental disease.

It is a disorder characterized by difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication, stereotyped and repetitive behaviors, problems in social relations, limited interests, and these limitations cannot be explained by intellectual disability or developmental delay.

Although it has been a long time since autism was defined by Kanner (1943), its causes have not been fully determined. Children with autism exhibit repetitive behaviors. For example, they can eat the same food and wear the same clothes. They may want to keep what they are used to, be addicted to familiar objects, and engage in some behaviors such as shaking themselves. Their interests are very narrow, they may not make eye contact, they may choose to be alone, they may suddenly become angry and afraid, and they may show variable emotional behaviors. The diagnosis and acceptance process can be difficult for some families. It is known that factors such as uncertainty that occur with autism, autism awareness, its prevalence in the community, and the severity and duration of autism make it difficult for families to adapt and accept the diagnosis. Therefore, it will facilitate successful adaptation to the presence of a child with autism; It is very important for families to receive psychological support in a way that will help reduce problems and make it easier for them to cope with these problems.

Early diagnosis and treatment help autistic children reach their full potential. Special individual education in autistic children is very useful. The aim is to develop skills that enable the child to fulfill their responsibilities. Autism symptoms and behavior patterns can be of varying degrees and vary in intensity. Individual symptoms may also change over time. Therefore, training should be done in line with individual needs.

Children with autism generally respond well to appropriate individual training. The most successful education is the one that adds communicative, social, behavioral, adaptive aspects to the child’s life and helps the family. In addition, speech, physical and occupational therapies can be applied. Speech therapy can help a child develop language and social skills and communicate better. Physical therapy can help improve coordination and motor skills.

Occupational therapy helps children with autism process information from the senses, such as hearing, sight, touch, and smell, in more manageable ways. One of the most important things in autism is the family’s approach to the child. There are studies that show that mother-child interaction is directly related to the child’s cognitive, language and social development in both normally developing children and children with developmental disabilities. It is known that parental characteristics such as being sensitive, responsive, directing, success-oriented, and warm in interaction are good for the development of children.

Parents have more influence than anyone else in tracking their child’s development. The fact that children with autism have limited social skills increases the value of the parent-child relationship in daily interaction. Therefore, it is necessary for the parent to develop and maintain a balanced interaction.

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