Autism: How to identify the first symptoms in children?

Vera Otonelli Durli

Lack of knowledge or acceptance? Parents and guardians need to be aware and seek professional help.

April is a month dedicated to autism, but that doesn’t mean other months should be forgotten. That’s why we started the month of May with a special report on the spread of knowledge on this subject. Why is this topic interesting and should it be taken seriously? In recent years, the incidence of autistic births has increased significantly. Previously there was 1 autistic child for every 10,000 people. Today, for every 46 people born, it is 1 child. This increase has deepened the knowledge of more professionals about Autism Spectrum Disorder – ASD. Lectures, publications, articles, workshops and especially the Internet provide access to information and many parents want to know about this disorder and its features.

Vera Otonelli Durley, a specialist in special education and with more than 20 years of experience with autistic children, reports some symptoms that should be assessed by parents:

Speech delay: Usually the baby says the first word in about a year and a half; Seems deaf, because he doesn’t answer the call; Different behavior: When the child goes to a party, does he cry, stay away, hide from others, or does he play alone? Does he just look at one thing? Create an indoor routine: Every day is spent in the same place. There is a time for everything and when he changes activities he cries and throws himself on the floor; Food selection: Do not mix food on the plate. He only eats one type of food, “said Vera. However, pedagogues say that symptoms cannot be assessed in isolation or defined by the parents themselves, but they should seek professional help to make an accurate diagnosis.

According to professionals, some parents may confuse excitement with the notable features of autism. How to differentiate an outbreak from an ASD crisis or a tantrum show? “When a child does not have what he wants, he cries for it. If the family gives what they want and the crying stops, it is probably because of a resentment she does. This is different with autistic people. When she is in crisis and does not get one, the crisis is prolonged and she will not stop crying even if her parents give her what she wants. Crisis can last for hours. Crying is different and behavior is more painful. Autistic people can’t wait. In situations that bother him, he will have a sensitive discharge where he will overflow in the form of an outbreak and crisis, ”Vera teaches.

Despite having some obvious symptoms, some parents do not always notice or ignore that there is a different behavior. Vera says that sometimes, family members and teachers notice the first atypical attitude. How to warn parents that their child has ASD traits? It is not always easy to warn them, but it is important that communication takes place and that parents take instructions. “It’s normal for the family not to notice, especially when the child is ideal. At school, we guide teachers to monitor their children’s development and assess their age. The parents of the school team should be consulted to indicate that they are a neuropediatrician and want an assessment with the team, ”Vera suggests.

Once diagnosed at an early stage, the child soon begins professional care that allows for cognitive progression, especially when autism is between stages 1 and 2. In this case, it is possible for them to lead a normal life. “Autism is one of the most difficult disorders to work with because it comes in many forms and at different levels. There is no cure yet, but there are drug therapies that pediatric neurologists prescribe to target certain parts of the brain that improve a child’s memory, comprehension and even behavior.” Will, ”said Vera.

In addition to the symptoms, it is important to understand autism and raise the issue. The Association of Parents and Friends of Autistic People – has played a role in bringing information to the AMA community and other entities in Campos Novos. Not only in April, but also in other months of the year, AMA is conducting programming activities to train professionals and promote community understanding. “We need a lot of knowledge to get the information right. We have scheduled training for the rest of the month to train network professionals on early diagnosis. We are resuming work on development throughout 2022 in our Action Plan. Today, we are invited to talk about autism. People are taking it to companies, to government agencies. Previously, the demand was not large or spontaneous, “said Vera, who is also an associate at AMA.

Riding therapy

Recognized by medicine as a beneficial short-term therapy, riding therapy has come to Campus Novos through AMA. In operation for one year, the Equine Therapy Center is already showing good results. Vera and AMA employees are proud of the achievement of a project that is a reference in the state and in Brazil. “This is one of the largest projects in the country in terms of attendance. It makes us happy because we have been able to create a riding therapy center for me and at the same time we offer it to 400 people with disabilities. We are covering 14 more municipalities,” he said. Due to the epidemic, the organization has not officially launched the center, but will soon bring together those involved for the official launch of the site.

The project will continue till 2023 with free services for 14 municipalities Following that date, the company plans to open agreements with other municipalities “Today SUS recognizes hypotherapy and health plans approve it. We will consider this agreement in the future. It will also help us maintain the center. We spend about $ 30,000 a month,” says Vera.

* Report published in the magazine ‘O Celero’, 1727 edition 5 May, 2022.

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