ERIC Number: ED244453
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Understanding the Diagnosis of Autism: Initial Counseling of Parents and Other Family Members.
Morgan, Sam B.
The paper offers guidelines for counseling parents of children diagnosed as autistic. Initial sections urge caution on the establishment of such a diagnosis, noting widespread careless use of the term. Changes in thinking about autism are traced from its consideration as a psychogenic emotional disorder to a developmental disorder with cognitive impact. Counselors are urged to facilitate parents' understanding of the condition at the time of initial diagnosis. Suggestions for the initial informing session center on the use of interdisciplinary staff, ways to interpret the child's behavior, assurances that parents are not responsible for the child's condition, explanation of the child's cognitive and adaptive functioning level (with information conveyed on the child's relative strengths and weaknesses), and straightforward answers about long-range expectations (with emphasis on the tentative nature of the projections). Guidelines are also given regarding responses to etiological questions and reactions to diagnosis and recommendations for treatment and education. (CL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Meeting Their Needs: Provision of Services to the Severely Emotionally Disturbed and Autistic. p36-61. Conference Proceedings (Memphis, TN, April 27-28, 1983). (EC 162 463). Print is light in parts.