Autism through the eyes of a mother

The autism is a neurological disorder that is usually detected before 3 years of age and that is increasingly widespread. According to a recent report, in the United States, one in every 88 children has autism and has declared it a national epidemic. Working with these children from a young age is e

The autism is a neurological disorder that is usually detected before 3 years of age and that is increasingly widespread. According to a recent report, in the United States, one in every 88 children has autism and has declared it a national epidemic. Working with these children from a young age is essential so that they enjoy total autonomy in the future.

Through this interview with Amaya Ariz, lawyer, mother of Mario, a child with autism and author of the book 'The silent joy of Mario', we all have the opportunity to see autism through the eyes of a mother, of to know much more about autism in the family, from the perspective of the experience in the first person and from the desire to know and connect more deeply with the universe of a child with autism. A unique life experience that can help many people in their situation and others who want to get closer to children with autism.

Early detection and therapy in children with autism

What does this book represent for you? A relief, a scream ...?
I started writing to be able to scream. When you are diagnosed with autism in the child you have projected since birth, for whom you have dreamed of a future, that child dies and it is a long and hard duel, for the child it is, but the adult who It will not be anymore. I was not able to speak and I could channel what I felt.

I had no intention of writing a blog or publishing a book, but when I had been writing for me for three months, I realized that all I was doing to cope with grief, to train and do therapy for Mario, could serve others. That's why I published the blog and it spread quickly.

Of all the definitions that exist about autism, which would you highlight?
In a neurological syndrome (not a mental illness or an intellectual disability and here I intend to work hard to destroy the current myths that relate it) that affects three areas: socialization, communication and flexibility. People with autism, (especially, if they have not had intensive therapy) have difficulties in having a relationship with other people. In the case of children, they seem to show no interest in relating to others, or if they try to, they find themselves with the big problem of not knowing how to do it. Sometimes, they have problems speaking (in the case of Mario, for example) and in others their way of speaking is excessively pedantic or out of place.

What advice would you give parents to internalize and accept autism in the family?
Autism is very difficult to explain to relatives because physically nothing differentiates these children from others. And besides accepting the problem of autism, there is another big problem in society that is what they will say, and this sometimes hurts more than the duel itself. Therefore, it is important that they know how to put themselves in the parents' place.

I also think it is essential to train as much as possible, change the way you relate to your child, always talk to him crouching, looking at him closely, that he feels you understand him. It's not that he does not want to be in this world connected with us, it's that he finds it hard to understand. There is also another very important book that everyone should read, it is the 'bible' for us, the families, it is called 'More than words', we have translated it into our association, in case someone needs it. Help learn to communicate with your child and get the best out of him.

What have you learned from your son Mario?
That impatience does not exist, we adults invented it when we want to get angry and we need an excuse. That Mario tries harder than anyone to please. That children with autism are very affective, but we must get into their world first, otherwise we will not attract them to ours. That we have to respect and promote their interests, and not only of children with autism, but of all children and not force them to be interested in what we want. Mario has given me the key to happiness, which has exploded me after many months of mourning and now every day is a paradise (with its difficulties, of course, but a paradise).

How do you manage to communicate with a child with autism?There are teaching techniques and methods. They are visual learners. In our case, we first had to work on the image-object relationship, because it did not speak in part because it did not relate to it. With a lot of work, he was doing therapy to Mario every day for 35 minutes, and he was connecting. But before that we must teach him to communicate and before, to have an interest in communicating, which is the most difficult thing. For this, you must first get in their interests. I give a silly example. If he's lying all day on the floor (it was the case of my son Mario) instead of scolding him and getting him to stand up, lie down with him on the floor and imitate him. Imitate is one of the best formulas for him to finally notice you. If you are playing the drum, take another drumstick, or a spoon, lie down next to it and imitate it. With time he will look at you and little by little he will show interest in interacting with you. In the case of my son, in addition to autism,had a motor planning problem that prevented him from speaking

. We managed to unlock him by first teaching him to imitate syllables supported by signs, each sign signifying a syllable. I learned the signs of support for Monfort's sound and we have been with it for six months. It has been 10 days that he has finally begun to repeat words. Hearing the sound of his voice has been touching the sky. How can parents detect autism in a child? What made you suspect that your son had autism?Now looking at it in perspective and seeing how our second daughter is, the most typical thing about Mario was that we called him and he seemed deaf. But it was not very obvious to us either. He was very much in his world, but being so small, it is true that it is not easy. Although now I have clear that for a specialist had to have been more than obvious. The diagnosis was clear, severe autism. In the case of Mario, the involution also occurred, that is, it seemed to evolve normally and at a certain moment, back in 11 months, he stopped and started going backwards, losing the words he already said.

As we spoke in two languages ​​(I spoke to him since he was born in French), the pediatrician attributed it to that. The toy cars did not use them in the normal way, making them roll. Also the tantrums and not knowing why, and then after three years, if there has been no therapy, some features are accentuated, such as the terror of cutting their hair (it hurts physically, they feel that they will not grow back) . In short, each child is different, because the autistic spectrum is also very broad. But if some parents have doubts, better sin by excess than by default,that they insist to the pediatrician and that they value it

, or that they go to an association to inform themselves. When can it be said that a child with autism is evolving?With therapy a child with autism always evolves. And a lot. Mario a year ago was lying all day on the floor, disconnected, turning on himself, looking at the lights. With daily therapy he has started talking, he writes his name, he knows the numbers, the letters, he fights with his little sister ...

I will not stop shouting that therapy is fundamental
, but before that the diagnosis or early detection. We lost precious time, a year and a half, because they told us that everything was normal. We do not have to look back, but I will fight because the same thing happens to no other child.