Autism Is Mostly Seen Before 12-18 Months

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While autism spectrum disorder is more common before 12-18 months, it may show up as normal development up to 18-24 months, and later in the form of regression and stability in skill levels. Stating that the DIRFloortime sessions applied in the treatment of autism are carried out in the child's natural environment, the experts state that the child learns to be with others, to initiate activities, and to convey his wishes to the other party.

Üsküdar University NP Feneryolu Medical Center Occupational Therapy Specialist Cahit Burak Çebi shared important information about autism spectrum disorder and the DIR Floortime method used in the treatment of the disease.

Autism is more common before 12-18 months

Occupational Therapy Specialist Cahit Burak Cebi, who stated that autism spectrum disorder is observed more as early onset before 12-18 months, said, “Autism spectrum disorder can appear late in the form of normal development up to 18-24 months, then regression and stability in skill levels.” He said and listed the symptoms that indicate the disease as follows:

  • Social-emotional responsiveness,
  • Inadequate non-verbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction,
  • Difficulty developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships
  • Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech
  • Insistence on sameness, strict adherence to routines, or ritualized verbal and nonverbal behavior
  • Limited and fixed interests that are unusual in subject or intensity
  • Sensory over- or under-sensitivity or over-attention to the sensory aspect of stimuli.

A communication-based model of DIR therapy

Dr. Occupational Therapy Specialist Cahit Burak Cebi stated that DIR therapy, which was created by Stanley Greenspan, is a developmental model that takes into account individual differences and is communication-based. D-(developmental) six Functional Emotional Development Capacities, I-(Individual Differences) auditory, visual-uzamIt expresses biological individual differences such as tactile and tactile processing, motor planning and sequencing, muscle tone and coordination, sensory regulation, regulation of touch, hearing, smell, taste, pain and vision, and R-(relationship-based) relationship and emotion.” used the expressions.

Sessions are practiced in the child's natural environment

Expressing that the child with autism spectrum disorder begins to enjoy being with the therapist or caregiver, his abilities such as establishing relationships and communicating will improve, Cebi said, “Therefore, the basis of the DIR Floortime approach is to progress under the leadership of the child, to follow him and to keep up with him. The floortime session takes place in the child's natural environment and the play partner sits on the floor and works with the child. The aim is to develop the developmental steps that the child is lacking and to ensure that the steps are followed by the typical development. During the sessions, the child learns to be with others, initiate activities, communicate their own wishes to the other party, and realizes that their own actions create a reaction on the other side. Floortime gives the child a chance to communicate by creating a suitable environment to create a communication cycle. Since the child's leadership is followed in the sessions, these activities are motivating for the child and since the sessions take place in the child's natural environment, they help the child to stay calm and improve their comfort level. he said.

Covers wide application area

Stating that 5 steps are followed in floortime sessions, Occupational Therapy Specialist Cahit Burak Çebi said, “These steps consist of observation, approach-communication cycle initiation, following the child's leadership, expanding the game and closing the child's communication loops. DIRFloortime covers quite a wide range of applications. Newborns and infants, children and adults, schools, social communities, families, risk groups, children with developmental difficulties and children of various ages are within the scope of DIRFloortime.” said.

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