Vol. 15, n. 3, 2017
Table of Contents
Dawn R. Hendricks Paul Wehman
Transition from school to adulthood for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Review and recommendationsDOI: 10.14605/AUT1531701
The transition from school services to adulthood can be particularly difficult for many adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Although some individuals with ASD are able to successfully transition, most are faced with significant obstacles in multiple areas as they attempt to negotiate their way into college, work, community participation, and independent living. This article contains a review of research related to the transition from school to adulthood for youth with ASD in the areas of education, employment, community living, and community integration. These key areas of the transition process are crucial for success in adulthood. A summary of principal conclusions drawn from the current literature and suggestions for future research are provided.
Aldina VenerosiDOI: 10.14605/AUT1531702
Knowledge of developmental trajectories for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the outcome of this condition in adulthood are the main concern of family members. First on priority to conduct new systematic and rigorous longitudinal studies for improving our knowledge on outcomes in adulthood, and to collect information on the availability and quality of adult services with ASD. Recent data on health and rehabilitation care services in Italy showed that there is a persistence in referrals of adults with ASD to services dedicated to children and adolescents, and that continuity care programmes are unofficial and rarely obtained by the implementation of the recommendations currently available for the management of care for young people and adults with ASD. However, some significant experiences have been recorded in various Italian regions, but overall, regional programmes do not foresee any agendas on this issue. Finally, more diversification of adult services should be implemented, tailored to the different needs of adults with ASD.
Vania Veroni Roberto Ravera Francesca Loffredo Valentina Boeri Martina Magaglio Sonia Boria
Improving relational abilities of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: the «Cooperative Wii» protocolDOI: 10.14605/AUT1531703
In this paper we summarise current data about the role of the mirror mechanism in the etiopathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Current knowledge about this neurophysiological mechanism may be helpful in better understanding the effectiveness of well-known habilitative approaches. We also propose a summary of literature about the usefulness of virtual reality in the treatment of neurodevelopmental disease, in particular of ASD. Relying on these theoretical assumptions, we created an experimental treatment protocol: «Cooperative Wii», which involves the use of cooperative games selected from «Wii Party» for software Nintendo Wii®, aimed at strengthening social and relational skills. The results of a pilot study, carried out on a pair of children with ASD, are presented and discussed. Finally, we propose some insights about how to improve the protocol in the future.
Tiziana Liccardo Anna Sara Cutolo
Case manager in a university context. The inclusion project of a student with Autism Spectrum DisorderDOI: 10.14605/AUT1531704
University experience may be complex and dispersive for a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Why does a university inclusion project end up becoming a life project? The objective is to support students by urging them to put the resources they have into play, taking into account the difficulties with which they are confronted. The project is realised as a multidisciplinary team work effort, coordinated by a case manager, whose task is to connect the players involved in the individualised intervention, to handle criticalities creatively and to foster and maintain interpersonal relationships. The coach, taking advantage of the supervision of the case manager, accompanies the student, mediating with the context, with colleagues and with professors.
Simonetta Lumachi Silvano SolariDOI: 10.14605/AUT1531705
The Model for Workshops by the «Philos» Association of Genoa represents the concrete expression of a proposal which came about some years ago from talking to parents about meeting the diverse needs expressed by children, adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. It is precisely this awareness of the many different ways that autism disorder manifests that determined the choice of setting up the most diverse of workshops in order to enable individuals with ASD to express themselves and progressively reach the highest level of independence and social-cognitive competence possible, whilst having fun at the same time. This was all conceived by a team of experts who, using the most recent developmental theories, designed the Emotional Interactive Method (EIM) which involves direct reference to the intrinsic motivations naturally expressed by people.
Pio Martines Anna Rita VirzìDOI: 10.14605/AUT1531706
This article demonstrates how increasing awareness about screening tools and early signs of autism spectrum disorders in paediatricians, neonatologists and early preschool staff has resulted in a decrease of the age of first referrals. Early referrals have resulted in earlier diagnosis and quicker access to treatment, which in turn has resulted in a reduction in critical behaviours, an improvement in children’s clinical characteristics and a better quality of life for their families. Early intervention, as stated in literature, can prevent the full manifestation of Autism Spectrum Disorders and inhibit the crystallisation of problematic symptoms though phenomena related to brain plasticity and the possibility of modifying circuits that are still developing.