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AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

By World Health Organization, Key messages and the way forward

“…Worldwide, people with ASDs and other developmental disorders represent a vulnerable group. They are often subject to stigma, discrimination and human rights violations, including unjust deprivation of health, education and social opportunities. Globally, access to services and support for people with developmental disorders is inadequate, and families of those affected often carry substantial emotional and economic burdens.

Psycho-educational, developmental and behavioural interventions are the primary treatment to address the core deficits in communication, social behaviour and behavioural flexibility in ASDs, and while they have established efficacy, they are very resource and labour intensive. Task-shifting and task-sharing approaches – whereby non-specialists in school, family and community settings deliver psychosocial interventions – can significantly contribute to increasing access to care in low-resource settings. Interventions targeting individuals with ASDs and other developmental disorders need to be accompanied by broader actions for making physical, social, and attitudinal environments more accessible, inclusive and enabling.

A holistic approach to health promotion, care, rehabilitation and support that aims at meeting both mental and physical health care needs and facilitates optimal functioning and quality of life of people of all ages with ASDs is recommended…”

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