Interactive applications, educational videos and music can help in the development of small
The Autism Awareness World Day is remembered on April 2, however, energy investment and attention to children with this disorder is constant for families. “We currently use the acronym TEA ( Autism Spectrum Disorder ). The TEA refers to a group of disorders characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, associated with repetitive behaviors and restricted interests, “explains Dayane Sanches de Castro, Occupational Therapist of the São Cristóvão Saúde Group in São Paulo.
The World Health Organization estimates that the condition affects one in 160 children and is usually diagnosed in early childhood, between 12 and 24 months of age.
This was the case of Felipe, now 4 years old, from São Paulo. The mother, Paula Porta, tells us that she began to notice signs early on. “About a year and a half ago, I realized that he was a quiet child, who did not interact much. Being a psychologist, I paid close attention to this. I even took that question to the pediatrician, but at first we thought it was just a trace of his personality, “he says.
Despite this, the condition did not evolve and the diagnosis arrived shortly afterwards. “We started a quest to find ways to access his world, since he could not communicate with us. So, because it showed skill in using the tablet and the taste for technology, we thought that could be a way, “he explains. With the help of his brothers, Felipe began watching the first videos on the Internet through a children’s platform called Playkids.
“It was a major turning point in our lives. In addition to the process of learning colors, shapes and words, he is also more receptive to daily habits. It was the case of toothbrushing. Before, he was intolerant and rejected, suffered in the, but with the help of examples of characters, the moment became simpler, “says Paula.
The stimulus with colors and characters, but especially with music, is one of the possible ways. “Studies report that music-related activities involve imitation and synchronization, leading to the activation of areas that contain mirror neurons and providing the development of social cognition. A playful activity opens the channel of communication of children in various sensory senses, “says the therapist.
Nowadays, Felipe is able to dialogue with the family, responds well to the stimuli and has a great memory. Fortunately, you have the opportunity to be treated by a multidisciplinary support team in addition to the family network. Professionals such as neuropediatricians, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists and psychopedagogues are important figures for improving the quality of life of the child.
“The TEA has no cure, but we can and should act to improve the quality of life, expanding the perspective of autonomy, independence, language, socialization and cognitive abilities, ” says the occupational therapist.