Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Identifying their emotions, the greatest challenge for autism patients

Mexico City, Apr 2 (EFE).- People with autism have difficulty identifying their own emotions, which causes them big problems with interpersonal relations and is a constant challenge they have to live with,” the director of the DOMUS Autism Institute, Judith Vaillard, told EFE.

While that doesn’t mean they don’t feel, laugh, suffer or express themselves in odd ways, people with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) suffer from alexithymia, which means “the difficulty of putting names to their emotions.”

The psychotherapist who specializes in people with autism called that syndrome the reason it’s so important to apply emotional therapy when treating these patients.

“Emotional therapy is usually completely discarded, but doing so in both children and adults can bring repercussions.”

This Monday, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day, an occasion that recalls the alteration of neural development that begins at a very young age and which each affected person expresses differently.

“The chief characteristics are persistent flaws in social behavior, repetitive conduct patterns and limited interest,” the psychotherapist said.

She also considered it important to add that “people with autism don’t have language problems, they have communication problems.”

They have “real difficulty in understanding their social environment, non-verbal language, verbal language, gestures, winks, everything we communicate with body language and that we find so easy to understand, but for them is terribly complex.”

That is explained by the fact that relating to others takes a dynamic intelligence and theirs isn’t sufficiently developed.
Instead, they use a static intelligence, essential for activities like using a computer, which is normally “a refuge” for people like that.

According to Dr. Vaillard, whatever is predictable – as is the case with technology – is a relief for them, because everything that interrupts their peace and quiet, like noises or abrupt changes, disturbs them.

“And that leads to their great interest in things that are very objective, very constant – videogames, computers – not because they’re super-geniuses at them, but because they’re a kind of refuge that doesn’t upset them,” she said.

This disorder is incurable, but the quality of life of these patients can improve if they receive quick, personalized care that is sufficient for their needs and continues throughout their entire lives.