Autism is not without reason called the epidemic of the 21st century - now the disease affects about 10 million people in the world! Every year, the percentage of autism is growing steadily. In 1995, one autistic accounted for 5,000 people, in 2018 already every fifty people in the world - autism.
Israel is a leader in the world in the study of autism, or, as is often referred to this disease experts - "autism spectrum disorders" (PAC) and the development of innovative methods for its treatment.
Investigation and treatment of autism in Israel: 5 of the best achievements
- Company BioHug Technologies, based in Haifa, has developed a special vest BioHug (from the English Hug - hugging). The vest is designed so that air pumped into it exerts pressure on the body simulating a hug. It is necessary to reassure people with autism, because one of their behavioral characteristics intolerance to touch even the most loved one. At the same time, as determined by recent studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in people with autism is almost twice the norm reduced levels of the hormone oxytocin, which is also called hormone of love. One of the methods for the synthesis of this hormone are just the hug, so vest BioHug not only soothes and increases the level of oxytocin. By the way, the strength and duration of the "embrace" the vest, you can specify how to use the program and manually adjusted with the remote control. The invention has been successfully used in behavioral therapy autism.
- The diagnosis of autism is one of the most difficult tasks and, until recently, laboratory or instrumental methods to do was impossible. Neuroscientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science, together with colleagues from the USA determined the method of determining the exact biological signs of autism in very young children by scanning their brain activity during sleep. Children with autism exhibited significantly weaker synchronization between brain areas responsible for language and communication. Using scans, the researchers were able to identify 70% of children with autism between the ages of one to three years - that this age is optimal for an early correction.
- Treatment of autism in children in Israel since 2006, carried out with the help of a special rate, based on the child's communication with the dogs. Contact with these friendly animals helps develop communication skills - according to experts, children who had not uttered a single word, began to speak.
- Israel has created one of a kind, the Jerusalem public elementary schools Yad Hamoreh ( «Hand teacher"), which is attended by about 50 children with autism and 187 children without the condition. Children with autism are taught separately, but together with the rest participate in all other activities - are engaged in sports, music, gardening, etc. Teachers from other countries often come to this school in order to learn from the experience.
- Children conceived as a result of in vitro fertilization (IVF),three times more likely to have autism - it is yet another important discovery by Israeli scientists in the study of disease. Studies conducted in 2010 showed that 10.5 percent of children with an ASD diagnosis were conceived using IVF, while among children conceived naturally, the figure is 3.5 per cent.
What is Autism?
Autism - One of the most mysterious diseases. Until now, scientists have not reached a consensus about the causes of this disease. To date, experts have an understanding that this is a genetic disorder of neural connections of the brain. People with autism are experiencing social and communication difficulties, so they, for example, it is difficult to get out of the house, adult patients can not live independently. Autistic inherent commitment to repetitive actions, such as changing the usual route for them can be a real problem. In children, symptoms of the disease appear in the first three years of life, and if the time to take action, in the future life of the child is the same grade as his healthy peers.
How to carry out the treatment of autism in Israel?
Autism there is no cure, but created a technique to help people suffering from this disease - both adults and children - socially adapt and to significantly increase the quality of life. Some may need a slight correction, while others will require intensive care.
In Israel, many studies have focused on the treatment of autism in children. This is largely due to the fact that existing research indicates that treatment is most effective if begun before 3 years of age. However, many types of treatments intended for children may also help adults.
Israel has successfully used several basic approaches to the treatment of autism:
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the most widely used methods of autism treatment in Israel, both adults and children. In its basis - encouraging positive behavior with a reward system.
In turn, the ABA is divided into the following types:
- Training of individual operations. This method uses a series of tests, in which the correct behavior and answers are rewarded and mistakes are ignored.
- Early intensive behavioral intervention. Children tend to be under the age of five years, working one-on-one with a therapist or in a small group. This is usually done for a few years, to help the child develop communication skills and reduce problem behavior, including aggression or self-harm.
- Education the key reactions. The child playing form teach such key reactions, such as motivation to learn, or the ability to initiate communication.
- Verbal behavior intervention. The therapist helps you understand how people use language to communicate and how you can use it to get what you want.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) - This type of therapy that can be effective in the treatment of autism in children in Israel and adults. During the sessions, people will learn about the connection between feelings, thoughts and behavior. This can help to identify the thoughts and feelings that cause negative behavior. CBT helps patients with autism to cope with anxiety, and better recognize the emotions of others, and cope better with different social situations.
Social skills training
Social skills training (SST) are often children, however, this method may be effective in adolescents and young adults over the age of 20 years. Some people with autism have difficulty communicating with others. During social skills training with autism learn to talk, to understand humor and read emotional signals interlocutors.
Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT)
Sensory integration is the process by which the human nervous system receives and processes information from the senses. In people with autism, this process is broken and does not work properly, they can be hypersensitive to some - that certain sounds, smells, colors, tactile sensations. For example, the rustle of a pencil on the paper can cause autistic very strong discomfort. Specialist conducting SIT, trying to align the human response to sensory stimulation. The therapy uses drawing in the sand, playing with plasticine, jumping rope, playing on the wall bars, roller skating, a swing and others.
Occupational Therapy (OT) - focuses on teaching children and adults the basic skills that they need in their daily lives. For children, this often involves learning self-service skills, fine motor skills, including - calligraphy. For adults focused on the development of skills necessary for independent living - such as cooking, cleaning, and making money.
Speech therapy teaches the verbal skills that can help people with autism communicate better. In children, improving the speed and rhythm of speech, they learn to use words correctly. Adults using a speech therapist learn to better express their thoughts and feelings.
As mentioned above, drugs for the treatment of autism does not exist, however, some drugs to help cope with certain symptoms.
Antipsychotics (risperidone (Risperdal) and apripiprazola (Abilifay) are used in the forms of aggression, self-injury, and behavioral problems in both children and adults with autism.
Antidepressants may be useful for the treatment of depression and anxiety in people with autism.
Stimulants (methylphenidate (Ritalin)), to help cope with symptoms such as inattention and hyperactivity.
There are numerous alternative treatments for autism treatment, but there are still no conclusive studies proving their efficacy. The most popular methods that are used in parallel with behavioral therapy:
- gluten-free diet;
- Vitamin C courses;
- omega-3 fatty acids in the diet;
- status of vitamin B-6 and magnesium;