Stephen Edelson, doctor of psychology, UN expert in the field of autism, director of the Autism Research Institute (ARI, San Diego, USA) visited Ukraine with the aim to share years of experience and to find partners for further cooperation. The Institute is expanding its activities and wants to include other countries in its research. Children with autism support foundation “Child With Future”, the Protection of the Rights of People with Autism Spectrum Disorders public association and the CHILD.UA Association to be ARI’s partners In Ukraine.
The Ukrainian public sector will have access to scientific materials owned by the ARI for the Study of Autism and will be able to make translations that will be available for other organizations and specialists for free. Thus, it will help to solve the problem of Ukraine’s lag in terms of the scientific study of autism.
“According to American studies there is a tendency to increase the number of autists around the world. It is more noticeable in large cities than in rural areas. ” says Stephen Edelson. – There are questionnaires by which autism can be diagnosed already at the age of one year. But in the US autism is diagnosed by the 4th year on average. ”
The expert also notes that today there are many studies that are trying to determine the biological marker of autism, which will help to diagnose the disorder even earlier – up to a year. “A lot of laboratories are dealing with this issue, so I believe that within two years it will be possible to diagnose autism simply by blood test, without observing the child’s behavior.” – Stephen says.
Inna Sergienko, Children with autism support foundation “Child With Future” and Autism Europe Consul, mom of a special child noted that the new information about methods and approaches is very useful. “Methods of working with people with autism should be complex, otherwise, not even the best mono method will help. Everything works only in a complex. Parents’ work on the problem is another important factor. After all, the child is primarily in the family. And it is important for parents to undergo psychological rehabilitation and not to dwell on the problem and take a good look at the situation.”
“Steven’s visit gives us invaluable access to information and research conducted by the institute. This will help objectively look at the situation and not to use the myth that there is only one approved method and everything else does not work.”- added Nataliya Andreeva, head of Protection of the Rights of People with Autism Spectrum Disorders public association.
Irina Vorontsova, Coordinator of AUTISM.UA portal, noted that there is a separation of the medical and pedagogical component in the child rehabilitation in Ukraine, sometimes even medical intervention ignoring: “Only the collective work of all the professionals and parents gives us the maximum result. That is why collaboration with international experts in the field of autism research and access to reliable data is so important.”