Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which affects an individual’s sensory processing, thus, manifesting in aberrations of speech, social skills & behavior. A child with autism may exhibit as hyperactivity, lack of response to their name, poor eye contact, the need for wanting particular things in a certain way, being greatly disturbed in any discrepancy from a routine, etc. Often, autism parents receive a very dreary response at the time of their child’s diagnosis. They may feel dejected and struggle with finding the right approach towards helping their child. However, there are several special schools, associations, NGOs, Forums & Support groups, for Autism, that a parent can approach.
The ultimate goal of a therapist is to enable the autistic child in rearing independence and making them more accustomed to their surroundings & the challenges that they may face on a daily basis. Therapists we have engaged with, have often said that after the diagnosis of Autism, parents tend to feel distraught. Their natural parental tendencies egg them towards wanting to see immediate improvements. These therapists explain that the earlier a child receives the right support & intervention, the better they are able to adapt to their surroundings. However, this undeniably does take time.
Ways To Achieve It
While the intellect of the autistic child may not be affected in the initial years of development, teaching techniques for these autistic children, need to be individualized. They may require special education, sensory integration & behavioral therapies. Therapies such as occupational therapy & sensory integration help the child adapt to their surroundings. This helps them focus better on what’s being said to them, which eventually affects their overall behavior & cognition. Most therapists state that as the child grows, teaching them in more practical environments & ways not only help them in getting closer towards being independent, but also helps the environment, or the ecosystem, that being the majority of neurotypicals, more accepting & understanding of the needs of autistic individuals.
Here’s what one such Autism & ID Consultant from South Africa had to say about creating an Autism Ecosystem in the world.