Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cuba develops program to aid autistic children

From Cuba News:

HOLGUIN, Cuba -- Heath and education specialists from the eastern Cuban province of Holguin are developing a multidisciplinary project to improve the quality of life of autistic children.

The head of the project, psychologist Ana Gutierrez, told ACN that it involves psychiatrists, neurologists, defectologists, speech therapists, social workers, and nurses, among other specialists.

The project, under the consultancy of the Neuro-psychology department of the Lucia IƱiguez Landin Hospital in Holguin, offers counseling for the children’s relatives and those taking care of them.

Gutierrez pointed out that autism is a serious development disorder characterized by limitations in the children’s speech, social interaction, cognition and behavior.

The specialists involved in the project are carrying out training workshops in children’s day care centers, with the participation of patients and relatives.

Gutierrez added that the project includes encouraging actions at early age for the children, who better react to the therapies.

The experiences that have resulted from the project also contribute to the treatment of children with speech difficulties, and in their social interaction and behavior like patients with Mental Disorders, Rett Syndrome, Attention and Hyperactivity Deficit, among others.

Member of the team of specialists Anabel Velazquez said that the program is based on multidisciplinary assessment to give an accurate diagnosis and to design individual strategies for the patients.