My Child Has Been Diagnosed with Autism, Now What?
Mi hijo ha sido diagnosticado con autismo, ¿y ahora qué?

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My Child Has Been Diagnosed with Autism, Now What? 

Dr. Catherine Lord Highlights the Latest ASD Research and Approaches to Treatment

To help recognize Autism Awareness Month, Dr. Catherine Lord, Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell & Columbia and a leading authority on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), offers families guidance and tips following a child’s diagnosis within the ASD.

* Have Hope. Things get better. There are changes every day in what we can do to help people with ASD.

* Your Child is an Individual. Remember your child is first of all his or her own unique person, then a child, then a child with strengths and difficulties, and only then a child with ASD.

* Have a Strong Support System. Find people whom you can trust to support you, and then to support you as a parent of a child with autism.

* Find Credible Sources. Find sources of information that you can trust. You will hear many contradictory pieces of information.  Figure out where you can check about new ideas.

* Enjoy Each Other. Be sure to every day do things that you enjoy and that your child enjoys. While opportunities for learning are important, shared enjoyment is even more important in a family.

* Set Goals. Think of a few reasonable goals you would like your child to accomplish –  small things that you think he or she can almost do.  Try to concentrate on figuring out how to accomplish these goals. These goals should not be long-term plans or big goals.

* Make Time For Your Spouse. Make sure to have some time for you and your partner every day, even if it is just a few minutes, where you focus on each other, and not the child.  Stick up for each other’s needs and perspectives as you consider what you will do for your child.

* Be Involved. Children with ASD who come from families who devote time to learning and playing with them show more improvements than families who are less involved.

* Have reasonable expectations for your child’s behavior. Do not let your child do things (like bite people or climb on counters) that you would not let another child of the same age do. Do not punish, but respond quickly and distract if things are not going well.

* Find the resources in your community.  Other parents are important sources of information. Use them, but every child with ASD is different so stick up for what you think are the needs of your child.

About Dr. Catherine Lord

Dr. Catherine Lord is the Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell & Columbia. She is a clinical psychologist who co-developed some of the key diagnostic tools to help clinicians recognize autism in individuals of varying ages.

Dr. Lord is renowned for her research in the field, especially longitudinal studies of children with autism that observe the progression of their social development and communication skills. The focus of her research is often to find more effective ways to treat patients.

Dr. Lord has been honored repeatedly for her work and has received the Patricia Buehler Legacy Award for Clinical Innovation from the American College of Occupational Therapy; the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology from the Society of Clinical Psychology; and the Asperger/ Kanner Medal from the Free University of Berlin.

She chaired the Committee on Effectiveness of Early Intervention in Autism for the National Research Council and is currently on the DSM-V Neurodevelopmental Disorders Committee.

Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell & Columbia

The Center for Autism and the Developing Brain is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art institute dedicated to addressing the pressing clinical needs of individuals living with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders of the brain, across their lifespan.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, along with its affiliated medical schools Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College, has collaborated with the New York Center for Autism (www.nyc4a.org) to establish the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain.

Led by Dr. Catherine Lord and located on the Hospital’s 214-acre campus in White Plains, the Center will be a resource for community-based providers and families and is expected to open in 2013. For more information, visit http://nyp.org/services/center-autism-developing-brain.html

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation’s largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,409 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including 12,797 deliveries and 195,294 visits to its emergency departments.

NewYork-Presbyterian’s 6,144 affiliated physicians and 19,376 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division.

One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report.

The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation’s leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit www.nyp.org.

Mi hijo ha sido diagnosticado con autismo, ¿y ahora qué?

La Dra. Catherine Lord destaca las últimas investigaciones de ASD y el enfoque terapéutico:

Para ayudar a reconocerlo en el mes de concientización sobre el Autismo, la Dra. Catherine Lord, Directora del Centro para el Autismo y el Desarrollo del Cerebro en New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell y Columbia y una autoridad líder en Trastornos del Espectro Autista (TEA), ofrece orientación y consejos para las familias después de un hijo con el diagnóstico de TEA.

* Tenga esperanza: Las cosas se ponen mejor. Hay cambios todos los días en lo que podemos hacer para ayudar a las personas con TEA.

* Su niño es un individuo: Recuerde que su hijo es, en primer lugar, su propia y única persona, primero un niño, después un niño con fortalezas y dificultades, y sólo entonces un niño con TEA.

* Tenga un sistema de apoyo: Encuentre personas con las que pueda confiar para apoyarse, después para apoyarlo como padre de un niño con autismo.

* Busque fuentes creíbles: Encuentre fuentes de información que usted puede confiar. Usted escuchará muchas informaciones contradictorias. Averigüe donde se puede comprobar las nuevas ideas.

* Disfruten y hagan cosas juntos: Asegúrese de que todos los días haga las cosas que le gustan y que su hijo disfruta. Las oportunidades para el aprendizaje son importantes, pero compartirlo y disfrutar es aún más importante en una familia.

* Establezca metas: Piense en algunas metas razonables que le gustaría a su hijo para llevar a cabo – las pequeñas cosas que usted piensa que él o ella puedan hacer. Trate de concentrarse en encontrar la manera de lograr estas metas. Estos objetivos no deben ser a largo plazo ni planes o metas grandes.

* Sáque tiempo para su cónyuge: Asegúrese de tener algo de tiempo para usted y su pareja todos los días, incluso si es sólo unos pocos minutos, en el que se centren uno en el otro, y no el niño. Defienda las necesidades y las perspectivas del otro, siempre teniendo en cuenta lo que van a hacer por su hijo.

* Estar involucrados: Los niños con TEA que provienen de familias que dedican tiempo a aprender y jugar con ellos muestran mayor avance que las familias que están menos involucradas.

* Tenga expectativas razonables para el comportamiento de su hijo: No deje que su niño haga cosas (como morder a las personas o subirse a los contadores) que no permitiría a otro niño de su misma edad. No se debe castigar, sino responder de forma rápida y distraerlo si las cosas no van bien.

* Encontrar los recursos en su comunidad: Otros padres son importantes fuentes de información. Utilícelo a ellos, pero todos los niños con TEA son diferente, así que este seguro de lo que cree son las necesidades de su hijo.

Acerca de la Dra. Catherine Lord

La Dra. Catherine Lord es la Directora del Centro para el Autismo y el Desarrollo del Cerebro en el New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell y Columbia. Ella es una psicóloga clínica que co-desarrolló algunas de las herramientas de diagnóstico claves para ayudar a los médicos a reconocer el autismo en las personas de diferentes edades. La Dra. Lord es conocida por su investigación en el campo, los estudios longitudinales, especialmente de los niños con autismo, observa la progresión de su desarrollo social y las habilidades de comunicación. El foco de su investigación es encontrar formas más efectivas para tratar a los pacientes.