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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If you are a new parent ..

Diagnosis of ASD is one of the most shattering things that can happen to a child and his /her family .however the good news is that, currently, there is a lot of hope for our children.

Therapies such as ABA/VBA/DTT, SIT help our children to learn the things they missed out when they were sliding down the tunnel of Autism.

Biomedical approaches, prescribed in the DAN protocol combined with Ayurveda and homeopathy help them heal on the inside and climb out of the vortex in which they are trapped.

However, it is a lot of hard work for the parents, professionals and the child, sometimes for a long period of time depending on the age of the child and severity of the problem.

Key to success lies in

1. Early intervention seems to have a better prognosis
Every minute , the child spends without intervention is sending him deeper into the vortex of Autism , so don’t waste time , start ASAP .Get an assessment done by a neurologist , speech- language pathologist, psychologist and if possible a sensory integration therapist and special educator .If this team can work together it will be great .

2. Taking the help of the right professionals at the right time

Prioritize on ABA [Applied behavior analysis] /DTT [Discrete Trial training], VBA [verbal behavior analysis], Speech therapy and SIT [Sensory integration therapy.

Also consult a DAN doctor ASAP and start the child off on a GFCF diet and supplements etc as prescribed by the doctor. If possible consult a good Ayurvedic /homeopathic doctor who is aware of ASD and related issues .

Others such as Floor Time, RDI, Option method, AIT [Auditory Integration therapy], Music therapy. Hippo therapy /Therapeutic Horse riding are good if you have the time and funds.

Research the background and success rate of the therapist you are going to use .Talk to parents who have used the therapist earlier.

Ensure they are open to parental involvement as miracles often happen if the parent and therapist can work on the same frequency

Transparency of work is important – do not agree if therapist/Doctor is reluctant to let you watch her /him work.

If uncomfortable or unclear about the therapist/doctor, discuss openly and if this goes on for too long, a change in therapist/doctor may be warranted

Try to read and learn about all the approaches the therapist/doctor uses so that you can operate from a space of knowledge with the child and the therapist /doctor.

Ensure that you do all the homework required and that the child has a lot of exposure to the regular environment – school, social life, park etc as NET [Natural environment training is very important]

3. Complete parental involvement where this child is a priority

At least one parent needs to focus on the child , therapies , follow-ups etc – this is in itself going to be lot of work so the other parent needs to support with all other responsibilities [household , financial , other child etc ] or both parents need to balance and ensure the child gets enough intervention all the time .

Take as much help from family and friends in whatever form they can offer [Cooking, baby sitting, groceries, therapy] as the initial period is crucial to the child.

Mental health of the parents [and in some cases the others in the family like siblings , grand parents ] is very important .Counseling will help to overcome the hurdles posed by the grief – denial cycle and any other issues related to this high stress situation families are suddenly thrust into .

Parent support groups are extremely helpful. Finding a set of parents who live in the same locality can help to a large extent as resources and stories can be shared effectively .If this is not available or possible regroups are good too.

Egroups: US based group with a lot of Indian members from India and US Autism specific group

There are many more for each area like GFCF diets , ABA /VBA etc .


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