Autistic Spectrum

Autistic Spectrum is commonly called Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorders (P.D.D.) and includes the following syndromes:

  • Asperger
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Rett
  • Autism (Kanner syndrome)

Besides those four syndromes that compose the Autistic Spectrum, there is always the possibility of autistic behaviors be shown in other syndromes i.e. Down syndrome, mental retardation, static encephalopathy. They are not part of the Autistic Spectrum but they show few or many typical symptoms of the Spectrum.

There is not any pre – peri – postnatal medical check that can somehow state the possibility of appearance of any of the syndromes of the Spectrum. Diagnosis is solemnly based in observation that will indicate any symptoms even by very early ages (two to five months).

 

Indicative symptoms are:

  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest for the surroundings
  • Lack of interest for persons in the surrountings
  • Lack of motivation by environmental incentives
  • Lack of spontaneous mimicking
  • No respond in his/her name\
  • Lack of speech, echolaly, lack of functional speech

 

Progress of persons diagnosed with one of the syndromes of the Spectrum is not prognosed.

Researches for interventions on autistic population started in the U.S.A. by the middle of the ‘60s of last century.

After more than fifty years of intensive researches and scientific documentation, it has been proven that:

  • Early diagnosis – by 10 to 18 months – together with detailed evaluation and intervention “every minute that the person is awake” enable integration to main stream education for at least 60% of the toddles and very good progress for the rest 40%.
  • Intensive intervention by a team of professionals supervised and working with the autistic person “ every minute that he/she is awake” is appropriate for all ages.
  • Systematic education, support, supervision of immediate family members by the same team of professionals will eventually give correct, quick results.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis that comes from the science of Experimental and Applied Behavior Analysis, is the only intervention that has proven, scientific results is autistic people of all ages.
  • Sciences in the field of Mental Health are mostly considered social. Experimental and Applied Behavior Analysis is physical science that studies interaction of all biological species – like human beings – with the environment. Thus it is a biological science and explains how behaviors influence environment and vice versa.