“Your child has autism” – 5 tips parents heard the news

Your suspicions were confirmed, and the child autism spectrum disorder. What to do in the first place? How not to lose precious time? How to start work and rehabilitation? Will drugs? “Pravmir” prepared algorithm of the first things parents of autistic children. Thanks for the help in material preparation Maria Nikolaevna Maltsev, occupational therapist, clinical psychologist, associate Professor of the Department of pedagogy and psychology of the First medical Institute.

Photo: timothyarchibald.com

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1. Don’t miss the warning signs

Even before an accurate diagnosis is essential not to lose time and start early intervention. The earlier parents will pay attention to the first symptoms of the child, indicating possible autism spectrum disorder, the sooner and more effectively can be helped.

Here are some of the possible signs-guidelines for referral to a specialist: sounds the same in all situations (hunger, anger, interest, irritation, joy), the reluctance of tactile contact, the suspension during the embrace and caresses, the reluctance to extend tactile contact, no reciprocal smile and eye contact, reduced sensitivity to pain, unusual attachment to objects, aggression.

Maria Maltseva

Maria Maltseva: “the First is any gross difficulties in communication with the child. He’s not smiling in response, when my mother or grandmother look at him. He’s not answering eyes: if a small child just to look in the eye and smile, he immediately eyes the eyes will look and will also start building faces. This from a child with autism, you will not see. The child with autism will not be correctly formed it and even the sounds that precede her. Any mum to two months knows that he whimpered, because the stomach ache, that woke up, here he is bored, here on the pens want to, because these sounds – the precursors of speech. If the sounds strange and is always the same, it is a reason to start looking for professionals at least for the primary diagnosis”.

Here you can pass certified online test may increase the risk of autism in a child, designed for children aged 16-30 months. Passing the test takes a few minutes.

2. Make sure the diagnosis is correct

In international practice, the diagnosis of “autism” puts one doctor and a team of specialists, to avoid possible error. If you as a parent think that there is reason for concern, don’t wait and show the child to experts.

Comprehensive diagnosis of autism may include: observation of the child and his interaction with people and objects in different environments, physical examination, psychological tests, genetic testing, neurological examination, assessment of speech and sensomotoric, assessment of cognitive abilities, family history. The diagnosis can be made in a psychoneurological clinic.

Maria Maltseva: “Autism is not a disease but a syndrome. And this syndrome give different reasons and sometimes is a genetic disease, sometimes it is due to the fact that the child in the body is not assimilated or not formed the necessary amino acids. And such a child urgently they need to compensate, but not on the eyes. And if my parents have financial and physical ability to apply genetics and get help, it is better to make sure that no genetic syndrome and safer to live. Because of the genetic autism is treated, when the metabolism is adjusted”.

The diagnosis will take some time. Autism is a diagnosis that is impossible to put for one visit to the doctor. For accurate diagnosis it is best to contact the organizations system of early care and specialized centers. In the absence of in your city specialized center for early intervention, first step to diagnosis will be the primary visit to a GP and getting referrals to the following specialists.

The danger of inaccurate diagnosis can lead to what is autism your child will be “revealed” perinatal encephalopathy, hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, organic brain damage, alalia, followed by “treatment”.

Maria Maltseva: “Alas, good professionals on the diagnosis we have one, and not all cities they are. Really the best option – if the city has such a structure as the system of early intervention. In any case, it is better than the district neurologist or psychiatrist who, most likely, will not normally be able neither to diagnose nor to help.

Just because in our country, yet these professionals do not teach nor to diagnose autism, nor, especially, to correctly assist. We are part of this diagnosis by psychiatrists who do not even know the modern nomenclature. Again, because they are taught by the old Soviet programs, and they either neodialectic autism or diagnosed as “schizophrenia”. This is incorrect diagnosis and incorrect help. In the same way can miss a neurologist who in any country of the world except Russia, this diagnosis does not put”.

Here you can sign up for a consultation and diagnostic tests.

3. To contact the therapist themselves

The news that your child has a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder, traumatic. It is the stress that most parents are not able to cope on their own. Here is the rule applied in plane: “Put the mask on yourself first then on the child.” Mom, struggling wants to help their child (to rehabilitate themselves, to socialize, to acquire useful skills), you first have to help myself to accept the news and learn how to maintain a resourceful state. Best of all this task can help a good therapist.

Maria Maltseva: “If the child got any serious diagnosis – autism, cancer, cerebral palsy – the first thing parents need to do is to go to a psychologist. To good, definitely not what got. He will teach parents to maintain their emotional state, to help the child. Without psychological assistance to parents very quickly or burn out, or comes to neurosis and not be able to help the child for as long as necessary.

A child with autism need to help years and decades, this will actually be a second job. If the mother will sink into depression, the child drowned after her. But to avoid depression in this diagnosis is almost impossible. Hugely important for us, so mother went to a psychologist. When mom is tense and scared, the child is frightened even more by himself.

And my mother a year and a half after diagnosis is afraid of everything and everyone: in the street people are afraid, afraid of the specialists, to the other children afraid to come. Imagine how the child is to live with it? How to live with a mother who continuously non-verbal signals that “we’re gonna beat the?

Crisis support and counselling over the phone for residents here.

4. Find parents of autistic children need specialists in your city

First and foremost, meeting with other parents is necessary for the support and understanding that you are not alone. In the space of people experiencing similar to your situation, easier to navigate, share fears, feelings, heart to heart talk. Another problem, which is solved by a community of parents – search and verification of information.

If a parent joins an existing group of people, it can take advantage of their knowledge and experience and save their time, effort and money. You can look for such communities in social networks”, autismnow city”, “special detinatorii city”, to ask contacts to other parents from the experts, contact us by e-mail to the representatives of the audited funds or to look for information on the sites, request information from the coordinator of the Association “Autism-regions”.

Maria Maltseva: “it is Advisable to go to the parent community of the city. However, the goal is to make her Sorry then we helped the neighbor Petya It does not happen. But in order to find experts, which have good reviews. This will most likely be complex.”

Here you can see a list of Metropolitan and regional associations assisting children with ASD.

Therapy for autism is always complex. Choosing the optimal methods and construct a certain sequence of actions should ideally be involved, several specialists: psychologist, occupational therapist, art therapist, therapist, educator, physical therapist. It is impossible to build a program of therapy, universal for all autistic people. In each case it will be the individual complex. Observation and the development of methods of therapy can take from several months to several years.

Maria Maltseva: “There is such a profession, occupational therapy, which in our country rarely represented, unfortunately. We tailor the environment for the development of the child, removing from it unnecessary, interfering factors. For example, sometimes a child in school can not concentrate, simply because he has too many objects and people flashed before my eyes. Put him on the Desk screen, so he could concentrate. Someone, maybe the headphones will help, not to hear unnecessary sounds.

A child with autism is a competent physical therapy, therapeutic movement. Through movement the child will be better to feel his body, through the feeling of his body we generally understand the world. Very often the child with autism source is broken this ability to perceive your body correctly. What we call “body image” or “image motion”. A physical therapist will teach your child a better sense of your body. This has a positive impact on the perception of the world. Sometimes the quality of how the child walks, jumps and runs, affect quality of speech.

Complex that will help the child to develop normally, is, as a rule, the effects on the body, different forms of therapeutic movement, adaptation, environment and different structure of training. And most importantly – to teach the child to control your stress. For this you need a psychologist and sessions with him.”

5. Provide yourself with verified information

Unfortunately, not every major city in our country, especially in provincial centres or villages have the opportunity of obtaining professional, qualified therapy and help as parents of autistic children, and their children. And in this case, parents will have to take in question and study it as much.

The main rule: information must be reliable and high quality. On the websites of the leading Russian funds involved in autism issues, has collected a great number of articles, links, methods, and observations. Given below are links that may be useful.

Maria Maltseva: “I recommend to focus on the “Naked heart”. They have the most available materials on the Internet, it is a quality program. They focus on the latest knowledge about autism that exist in the world of science. It’s not homebrew methods are methods with proven efficiency. And they have a lot of programs designed specifically for parents. To go to their website, to read, to look for something similar in my region.

In any case the mother will have to master a search and most of the knowledge to the Internet. Learn will need. The main thing that makes the effect in the rehabilitation of such a child, is a daily, almost hourly support at home.”

Charity Fund “Orthodoxy and the world” helps the center for development and socialization of children and adults with intellectual disabilities “Space of communication” to collect money for rent and the salary of teachers. This is a unique space in which people with disabilities can feel comfortable and ready to help.

Go to the page collection at the Foundation’s website


Useful links:

The Fund “Naked heart”

Fund to facilitate the solution of problems of autism in Russia “Exit”

Center for social habilitation, learning and creativity of adults with autism “Anton near here”

Community “Special children are happy children!” in the “Live journal”

The Association “Autism-regions”

Federal resource center for Autism

Regional public organization of assistance to children with autism spectrum disorders

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