Needs and priorities

Most families will agree that the needs of the handicapped member should be given priority—provided that other members of the family are in good agreement. The needs concerning the best possible communication and training or appropriate treatment for behaviour problems are very much in the interests of other members of the family. Hence the needs of the others would include:

• as accurate a diagnosis as possible

• genetic advice to other members of the family likely to produce children

• to be treated as informed partners by therapists and teachers

• available and interested primary health care

• informed specialist care within reasonable distance

• advice and help to 'get through' to the child should communication be a problem, with the chance to learn sign language, symbols, or computer aids

• specialist and domiciliary help with behaviour problems

• respite care, arranged in partnership with the family

• when things go wrong, support and if necessary psychiatric care that treats the other members of the family as whole people with many other facets and not stereotyped family members of a handicapped child.

Funny Wiring Autism

Funny Wiring Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.

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