February 6, 2023

April 2, World Day on Autism, Improve the quality of life

On April 2 is celebrated the World awareness day on autism, established in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly to improve the quality of life of people with autism, allow them to enjoy equal opportunities and to conduct a significant life as an integral part of the company. According to the World Health Organization, globally, 1 in 160 child has an autistic spectrum disorder [1], while according to the most recent studies In Italy autism affects 1 child out of 100, involving over 500 thousand families. To celebrate World Day, The Seraphic Institute of Assisi organized an awareness event aimed at promoting the real needs of the people that autism live it firsthand through the Direct testimony of Gabriella La Rovere, doctor, mother of Benedetta e author of the bookI’m sorry, his son is autistic“.

The presentation event of the book is scheduled for Monday 1 April at 17:30 and will take place at the headquarters of the Seraphic Institute, in viale Guglielmo Marconi, 6 – Assisi.

With this initiative we want to talk about autism through the testimony of those who live it daily. Because only by listening to the real needs of those who live alongside Neurodiverse people can we really understand how to intervene in this area. In such a difficult historical moment, in which everything is decoded in partisan or read terms in an individualistic perspective, we need to make culture bloom“, declares Francesca Di Maolo, president of the Seraphic Institute of Assisi.

For people with autistic spectrum disorders, the path to full citizenship is still at the beginning. Important remain obstacles in the use of assistance technologies, like the not very accessible costs, the poor awareness of their potential and above all the lack of training. We must then deal with the high costs of therapies, who literally put on their knees the families. It is estimated that to assist their children, spend on average between 1000 and 2000 euros per month (in some cases even more), for life. Unfortunately not all healthcare companies offer support to parents and even when the service is expected, the long waiting lists they do not allow to intervene early.

Finally, but not least, you have to take into account the lack of specialized teachers within the school. According to Istat in the 2017-2018 school year [2], in the face of over 43 thousand pupils of the primary and secondary school school with a development disorder (almost double compared to the 22 thousand of the 2013-2014 school year), In 13% of Italian schools no teacher for support attended a specific course.

Reconstructing a culture that starts from the truth of the primacy of life and from the real human experience is as urgent as it rethinking services for people with autism and for their families. Because a society that announces diversity is inhuman and unreasonable. The work of the Seraphic has always been oriented to enhance the resources and peculiarities of each individual.

We do not work on the limits, but on the infinite potential of our children and young people. This is precisely the main road that politics should take to find the way of development and substantial democracy. A road accessible to everyone, even in economic terms, which does not know inequalities and discrimination, but that can make everyone’s beauty and talent flourish, without leaving anyone behind“, concludes the president of Maolo.

In the last three years, 39% of users who turned to the diagnostic unit of the Seraphic Institute presented problems attributable to Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). It is a heterogeneous together with neurosviluppo alterations, caused by genetic or environmental factors, whose condition appears in childish age, But accompanies the subject for a lifetime, with different possibilities relating to the acquisition of personal autonomy. The “autistic spectrum” definition indicates that these disorders affect each person in a different way by varying from a light to a serious symptoms, but in general they are always characterized by one impairment of social interaction capacity, of communication skills, or from the presence of stereotyped behaviors, interests and activities.

Through a Multifunctional and multidisciplinary evaluation, Seraphic specialists define and develop for each child or boy a individual project, recognizing the decisive role of the family as a part necessary for its implementation, as well as the collaboration with the other professional figures in the health, social and school fields.

The individual project provides for educational-skill-skill courses and special pedagogy workshops that aim to provide concrete answers to the emerging needs of our children, develop and improve the potential of each of them and guarantee an inclusive and solidary family and social environment. In this compound, It is essential to invest in the training of specialized personnel and for this, in agreement with the international guidelines, In June we will start an ABA course (Applied behavior analysis), a very effective method already used in other countries that promotes the reduction of dysfunctional behaviors, improves and increases communication, learning and socially appropriate behaviors“, declares the Dott. Sandro Elisei, health director of the Seraphic Institute of Assisi and coordinator of the “Invita” Research Center.

The complexity of these disorders also represents a challenge for our research center, currently engaged on two projects: a Innovative research project with the activation of an expressive laboratory to artistic and technological mediation aimed at promoting communication and greater integration and self-awareness through symbolic-expressive experiences;and a study on the management of autonomies in boys with autism“, concludes the Dott. Elisei.

The testimony of Gabriella La Rovere: the daily struggle of a parent for the defense of the rights of an autistic son

The time has come to begin to consider humanity as a polyphony of different voices and tools that, despite the dissonances, play together», These are the words taken from the book I’m sorry, his son is autistic Of Gabriella La Rovere, Benedetta’s doctor and mother, a 26 -year -old girl who in 1993 was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis, a rare genetic disease to which autism has also been added.

That of Gabriella La Rovere is the testimony of a special relationship, because Being parents of autistic children means being the only one through each other and the outside world, Get spokesperson at the institutions and the public opinion of firm requests for attention to unique needs, of the collectability of often denied rights. Gabriella tells how daily he had to fight to guarantee blessed inclusion and equal opportunities, shaping his free time on his daughter’s learning needs because, he explains, “Autistic children manage to decode reality only if they see it, they do not have abstract thought“.

The author tells about her life alongside Benedetta through daily episodes taken from a reality in an apparently normal but where, for example, going shopping could cause a crisis. It highlights the problems to be addressed when it comes to autism, from the difficulty in finding competent teachers and adequate school paths, to the strong economic impact that therapies have on families, up to the total lack of a true culture of disability and diversity. But Gabriella’s story is also a hymn to life, because neither she nor Benedetta have ever surrendered and together they conquered unimaginable goals. “You have to find the strength to never give up, peven There is always a possibility of improvement, even when it seems all black“.

Benedetta today studies languages and percussion, for which it demonstrates a strong interest, carries out many workshops alongside professionals in the sector and is the greatest joy of Gabriella.