Today, much more talked about in society, with information available on the internet, TV series on the subject and reports on the social networks of people who live with autism on a daily basis, TEA – Autistic Spectrum Disorder, is no longer a taboo, but still there is much to be explained about its diagnosis; And this is what the Dr. Gladys Arnez, child and adolescent neurologist, master’s student in Neuroscience with an emphasis on the treatment of autism and in charge of the Clínica Neurocenterkids, in SP will explain to us today.
With the classification of DSM5 Autistic Spectrum Disorder ends up in a group of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, along with TDHA, Specific Learning Disorder, Intellectual Developmental Disorder, Communication Disorder, Motor Disorders.
But what is a Neurodevelopmental Disorder?
According to Dr. Gladyz Arnez, Neurodevelopmental disorders, are disorders that lead to a deficit in the individual’s personal, social and academic behavior; which can range from mild, such as specific learning disorders, to the most disabling conditions such as, for example, autism spectrum disorder, which will depend a lot on the grade and level of the child.
It has been said that Neurodevelopmental Disorders correspond to 10% of the child population, which is a high and worrying number. So it is necessary that when noticing any symptoms, the child should be taken to a child neurologist as soon as possible in order to have an accurate diagnosis.
According to the DSM5, the main topics that correspond to the Autism Spectrum Diagnostic Criteria are:
- Clinically significant and persistent deficits in communication and social interactions, manifested in all of the following ways:
- Expressive deficits in non-verbal and verbal communication, used for social interaction; that is, visual interaction. The verbal would be speech delay, but not everyone has, especially the child with Asperger, who in general presents good verbal communication, complements the Gladys Arnez.
- Lack of Social Reciprocity; It is when the child does not care much about social interaction; When she prefers to be alone, living in her own world, playing with her toys and doing only what she likes. Always repetitively.
- Inability to develop and maintain friendly relationships, appropriate for the stage of development; that is, they prefer to be alone. Including Asperger. In general, he is interested in a subject and is so good at it that he ends up tiring others. For example; if your interest is in the name of countries; so he starts talking only about this subject and doesn’t like to be interrupted and it ends up tiring other people and often, because of that, he ends up being bullied- explains Gladys.
Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities, manifested in at least two ways:
- Stereotyped motor or verbal behaviors or unusual sensory behaviors; Echolalia, repetitive speech often during the day. We are also talking about motor stereotypes; balance of the body, of the hands, even many children can hit the head when they are irritated- says the Gladys.
- Excessive adherence / adherence to routines and ritualized patterns of behavior. It is common, for example, for children to always want to eat on the same plate, the same food. Or when in adulthood, the person will always want to eat in the same restaurant, at the same table, the same food, will want to be served by the same attendant. They are ritualized behaviors. Rituals are part of the life of the autistic person.
- Restricted, fixed and intense interests.
Usually these children will want to play with the same game, watch the same drawings over and over. They may even join other children, but they do not play with these children, they prefer to play alone.
Dr. Gladys Arnez, Child Neurologist at Neurocenterkids, explains that these symptoms must be present in the period of neurodevelopment, but they may not manifest completely until the social demands exceed the limit of their capacities, then, it begins to regress. It usually ends up “unlearning” what I had already learned or no longer evolves. This can happen around the age of two.
O Autistic Spectrum Disorder it can also be related to other diagnoses, but it will depend a lot on the child’s age. We mainly have theAnxiety Disorder, which is quite common in adolescence. Depressive Disorders, Intellectual Disability; Epilepsies and Communication Disorders.
In the course of autism, many other diseases can appear and usually it does not come alone, and may be associated with other clinical conditions, such as sleep disturbance.
The most important within a diagnosis of autism is the assessment, behavioral profile of the child along with the parents and the neurologist. As well explains the Dr. Gladys Arnez:
“We evaluate this child in the office and are grateful if the family can make a home video showing the child at different times of the day, whether playing at home, at school, when visiting a family member, this helps a lot in the assessment for an accurate diagnosis”.
And finally, the Dr. Gladys Arnez complete: “Another very important point is the interdisciplinary assessment. The neurologist together with an interdisciplinary team, which, depending on the child’s needs, can be a speech therapist, a psychologist, a psychopedagogue, an occupational therapist, and others, to close the diagnosis accurately and evaluate the best therapy and the best treatment. for each case. ”
Also read https://ceudeborboletas.com.br/personagem-andre-de-mauricio-de-sousa-ajuda-a-entender-o-autismo/
There are also texts, questionnaires, which help, but the most important will always be the cognitive behavioral assessment in addition to the parents’ report.
Dr. Gladys Arnez is a Pediatrician and Child and Adolescent Neurologist, specialist in School and Behavioral Disorders, a master’s student in Neurosciences with an emphasis on the treatment of autism and is in charge of the Neurocenterkids Clinic, in Santo André / SP.