Diagnosis of autism in childhood helps to live better in adulthood – 06/17/2022

Autism Spectrum Disorder has difficulties with communication, social interactions, repetitive behaviors, among others.

The sooner people with autism know their condition, the better. This is what an unprecedented study has revealed, which investigated the impact of the moment a person receives a diagnosis on their future well-being. The study showed that knowing one’s situation at a younger age leads to a better quality of life in adulthood.

For children, speaking early can help them understand each other better and find more support. Research published in the scientific journal Autism has evaluated 78 college students with the disorder and talked about how they knew their diagnosis, how they coped with it, and how they felt about life today.

Autism Spectrum Disorder involves a variety of conditions that affect neurological development and have different levels. He has difficulty communicating, social interaction, repetitive behavior patterns, among other things.

It can be classified as 1st, 2nd or 3rd level (mild, moderate or severe), depending on the need for support, which will guide the individual therapeutic plan. According to data from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in America, it affects one in 44 children.

The problem is that because there are few specific tests and the diagnosis is essentially clinical, based on history and observations, many autistic people reach adulthood without knowing it. “Sometimes it can be confused with attention deficit disorder, or if you think the child is just‘ agitated ’,” says neurologist Erasmo Casella of Israelite Hospital Albert Einstein.

“It’s usually associated with serious, non-functional, non-verbal conditions. We need to demystify these stereotypes,” said pediatrician Mariana Granato, who is also hospitalized.

When is the counting time?

After hearing the testimonies of the volunteers, the authors suggest that parents do not wait until their children are adults to address the issue. It is a way of knowing the moment that raises questions about the child’s way of being or the difficulties he / she has with his / her classmates.

However, this should be done taking into account their level of understanding. The purpose of this information is to help you find your place and get to know yourself.

Level 1 students may also have difficulty integrating into society and may have very specific thinking that makes it difficult to understand abstract ideas, ironies, and jokes.

They tend to behave more rigidly, with difficulty getting out of the routine, and may experience sensory changes such as noise, texture, or discomfort caused by taste.

Therefore, every autistic person needs a lot of support, both family and professional, as well as understanding of society. That is why it is important to know the situation as soon as possible.

“Teenagers tend to suffer a lot because they feel different, maybe they don’t perceive each other much, or they may have fixations and talk about a single topic,” Casella says. That’s why they’ve often been labeled bullying or “boring”.

On the other hand, late diagnosis – sometimes in adulthood – is often taken as a relief. “Knowing the situation brings comfort, it reduces anxiety,” says Mariana. According to researchers, although it is difficult to deal with emotions, it is never too late to better understand yourself.

Invisible Disability

Daniella do Val, 45, is kind, talkative, articulate, intelligent. A psychologist, Albert Einstein is an Educational Innovation Analyst at Israelita Hospital. She has been married for two decades, has an 11-year-old son, and enjoys dancing. It can also be quite straightforward on thorny issues. While enjoying loud music, noisy environments can cause sensory overload. Daniella is a driver.

“The loud sound doesn’t bother me. But, in a place where there’s too much noise, I feel like a satellite dish that hears and catches everything.” People don’t understand a disability they don’t see. “If we take a row or a seat for the disabled, they approach us or take the form of a complaint. When I talk about my disability, many people think I’m lying or say, ‘But it’s light, isn’t it?'” – and that’s it. the hardest thing. “

Although he is on the 1st level of support for the spectrum, he has known since childhood that he is different. He liked to line up toys and biscuits, he was keen to complete puzzles, an activity he still does today. He had food selectivity and delays in speech development and motor coordination. Not to mention almost daily convulsions.

Daniella and her mother were lucky enough to meet a doctor who identified autism at a young age, although she did not have a clear diagnosis in the 1980s, which allowed her to access multi-occupational therapies and medications for comorbidities at a young age. .

But that didn’t make life any easier in adolescence. “The stigma is very high. I refused the diagnosis. It was a time when the disorder was not well known.” Trying to get into his head, he tried to camouflage signs of atypical behavior, such as repetitive finger movements and rocking his body like a seesaw.

Reconciliation with himself and autism took place in college, in a psychology course. “I started to study the disorder, what it meant to be autistic, and I understood my place in the world, and that was liberating.”

He graduated, worked in various places, got married. “Today I understand my limitations, I fully accept myself as I am, autism is on my side. And, despite still encountering prejudice and ability, I am not ashamed to really show how I am,” he concluded.

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