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The Stigma of Autism

Autism leaves a black mark on many families.

Families respond by staring with seeming disgust or pity, husbands blame wives and mothers feel shame and guilt.

Is it a natural reaction or a lack of information? In many families the news of a child being diagnosed with autism can prove to be extremely traumatic. Gloria Angelina Castillo an EGP staff writer reports on the importance of educating parents to get active in intervening in cases of autism.

reactions to autismMany of those diagnosed with autism also have sensory issues, and getting occupational therapy early can teach a child how to regulate the sensations they are feeling, she explained. A comprehensive behavioral assessment followed up with behavioral therapy can really change a child’s life, according to Nieves.
“When a child receives services early and appropriate to his/hers needs the child definitely can have a good and prospect life. Unfortunately in our community early intervention is not taken serious enough.”

“We have to break-down the fear, understand what Autism is, break-down the barriers to information, it is so important that we obtain that information,” Figueroa said in Spanish, to the predominately Spanish-speaking group.
“Unfortunately, sometimes in our Latin American cultures, there is always an aversion, or fear of facing difficult barriers … We must face reality and when we confront the reality we will be able to overcome the condition and the disadvantage that we might have,” he told parents.

She said when a child is three and has a behavior problem, it’s easy to pick him up and carry him away, or to stop him from running in the street, but when the same behavior is still going on at age 15 and the child is taller and stronger than mom, correcting the behavior is much harder. So early intervention with the right services, “such as speech therapy so the child can find a way to communicate” if they are in pain, sad, or happy is very important, she said.

When a person with autism turns 22 or graduates from high school, they lose all their services provided by the school, Iland said. “When that ends, eligibility for adult services is discretionary… If you leave the educational program unready for life, you are out of luck.”

“Every parent’s worst fear is what will happen to my child when I’m gone,” Iland said. Culturally, Latino parents are also less willing to consider institutional placement, she said.

“We have to break-down the fear, understand what Autism is, break-down the barriers to information, it is so important that we obtain that information,” Figueroa said in Spanish, to the predominately Spanish-speaking group.
“Unfortunately, sometimes in our Latin American cultures, there is always an aversion, or fear of facing difficult barriers … We must face reality and when we confront the reality we will be able to overcome the condition and the disadvantage that we might have,” he told parents.

Click here http://egpnews.com/2012/05/the-risk-of-doing-nothing/ for the entire article.

Are there any cultural considerations to recognize here? Please leave any comments and let us know your opinion.

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