Views, Opinions, and Experiences for Treatment of People with Autism in the Republic of Macedonia

Article excerpt

Key words: Autism, children and adults with autism, treatment Son-Rise, PECS, TEACCH, ABA, AIT, OT.

Abstract

According to law people with autism have equal rights as everyone else, from early age, to visit institutions which provide acquiring knowledge, skills, and experiences for enhancing their quality of life and reaching higher level of independence. Due to their specific development visiting any institution would mean treatment that should help them to sustain communication, interaction, emotional reaction, attitude and flexibility in thinking. There are many reasons which provoke deeper thinking and more careful approach about treatment of people with autism. One of those reasons is the constant increase in the number of people with autism, large number of new treatments and their efficiency, the need for education for children with autism in different environments, limited conditions in institutions which children with autism attend such as material as well as professional, poor coordination of institutions for detection, diagnosis and treatment of children with autism.

The underlying aim of this study was to determine the views and opinions of parents of children with autism and special educators and rehabilitators who work with those children as well as to present experiences in treating children and adults with autism.

The theoretical part of the study defines autism, its etiology, the diagnostic methods, characteristics of children and adults with autism, and the main attention was given to different types of treatments of children and adults with autism in different periods of life and their application in several other countries.

The study included a group of 60 special educators and rehabilitators from 7 institutions which work directly with children and adults with autism, 31 parents from families which have a child or adult with autism and 9 specialists who influence or are part of the treatment of children and adults with autism in Republic of Macedonia.

The analysis and interpretation of the results show that the beginnings of treating autism in the Republic of Macedonia were in the seventies of the last century and the development of the treatment was too slow.

Most of the special educators and rehabilitators and parents consider that treatment of the children and adults with autism should start before the third year of life and should last throughout the whole life. …