WHY? WHY? WHY?
Date : This Sunday, 2 August 2009
Much has been said about autism recently. But what really is autism? – A disease, an illness or a disorder. Is it hereditary, can it be cured? Many are still unaware of this condition whilst some pass it off as a phase in the child’s life and that the child will grow out of it. Mistaken and misunderstood, child with autism are sometimes labelled stupid, mischievous or even institutionalised.
Autism is a lifelong complex neurological disorder that affects 65 million worldwide (World Autism Organisation, 2009). It blocks the ability of the child to communicate and inhibits emotional and social development. It is associated with rigid routines or repetitive behaviors such as obsessively following schedules or arranging belongings in a specific way.
· What is autism?
· Characteristics of autism.
· Early signs of abnormality.
· Can autism be cured?
· How we can help?
Rica Frances Talon, Master of Arts (Major in Psychology), Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines and Master of Education (cand.) University Malaya (Specializing in Special Education) has been working in the field of psychology and education for more than sixteen years. Her work in the sixteen years has seen her involved in various capacities covering human development, which includes assessment, counselling and therapy, education, training and development, supervision, human resource development and research.
Her main focus typically involves the development of children, adolescents and adults, including students, teachers, counsellors, administrators as well as other people with special need eg autism, ADD/ADHD, emotional-behavioural disorders and psychiatric problems, Down Syndrome, learning difficulties, brain injury and other at-risk individuals, as well as children and adolescents who are gifted.
In 2008, Rica pursued her career further and went to Europe as an academic visitor in Roehampton University, London, Charles University, Prague and Fontys OSO, Netherlands. This was part of a research scholarship funded by the European Commission. Currently, Rica is involved with The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM), providing her professional services as member of the Multi Disciplinary Team.