11th IACAPAP Lunch & Learn Webinar

Rethinking Services for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Low Resource Settings

Quand ? 17 mai 2023 à 14h

Orateur : Naoufel Gaddour, MD, Associate Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia

A major challenge when practicing in a low resourced setting is to implement appropriate care for a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Most of international recommendations insist on highly sophisticated techniques involving specialized professionals. This may lead professionals to feel helpless in front of such disorders despite a skyrocketing incidence.  

This presentation refers to our experience in managing ASD based on parental guidance, and coordination with front line professionals in special education or speech therapy, which led to consistent results. It origins from the conviction that the actual solution for autism does not reside in copying sophisticated interventions, but in helping family to understand, identify and work efficiently with the child to correct his/her developmental pathway. It refers to a modern view of autism as a dynamic process rather than a fixed disability based on a genetic-environmental interplay. 

Interventions aims at strengthening parents in implementing communication skills at three levels (1. Basics of communication. 2. Symbolic communication and 3.Advanced social communication.) and managing challenging behaviour. 

Each acquisition was explained with appropriate actions proposed to parents as “homework” and checked and rated at follow-up sessions 

In our experience, practical and simple actions, proposed by clinicians with a minimal level of structuration,  and applied by parents and educators under supervision, can lead to robust improvements for children with ASD. 

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