IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
The experts point out that education and therapy in autism, a neurological and developmental disorder, is vital, and children can profoundly benefit from early intervention in school through special and individual education. Department of Psychology, Izmir University of Economics (IUE) and IUE Psychology Club co-organized “Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Look at What We Know” titled conference, where Prof. Dr. Ayşen Baykara, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, attended as the guest speaker.
Prof. Dr. Baykara said, “Presently, we don’t have a medical test that can diagnose autism. There are tests for pre-school children to evaluate their development, and intelligence tests for school-age children. If autism is suspected, child psychiatrists should administer autism-specific behavioral evaluations. Prevalence of autism is 2.5%. In other words, 40 out of 100 children are diagnosed with autism. It is more common in boys; boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism. During the development of nervous system, if the baby is a boy, testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, is excreted more. It causes defects in the development of nervous system cells. Although not known for sure, Autistic Spectrum Disorder is stronger in girls than boys.”
Prof. Dr. Baykara reported that with teaching children basic skills, individual competency was obtained in one out of three children with autism, and in 1% or 2% of children autism was reversed. Prof. Dr. Baykara, who pointed out the importance of early intervention regularly, stated the following:
“Education should start at an early age, and it should be individualized education. If parents are in doubt of existence of the disorder, enrolling kids in a kindergarten will not fix the problem. Children need individualized education first. The earlier they start receiving individualized education the more beneficial it will be. We are able to affect the development of the brain. Education and therapy have a direct effect on the brain.”
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