Autism Awareness Day: a dedicated WhatsApp center and workshops for parents in the entire South District

A dedicated WhatsApp center for parents of children on the autistic spectrum and tailored parent training workshops

To mark Autism Awareness Day – about some of what is done in the Child Development Unit, Southern District General

Ahead of Autism Awareness Day, the Central Bureau of Statistics published new data according to which the rate of diagnosed cases in Israel per year jumped 5-fold in less than two decades.

“This increase is noticeable here as well, today in the district of Darom Klalit, there are over 4,000 diagnosed children and the numbers continue to rise at a rapid pace” points out Ravita Mord, director of the unit for child development in Kallit in the south.

autism is a disorder on the autism spectrum, a neurological variation caused by a combination of environmental, hereditary and genetic factors. It is a clinical syndrome characterized by various difficulties in the field of interpersonal relationships, in the social, linguistic and communicative fields. Autism diagnosis has been on the rise in recent years. Following diagnoses and early detection, the prevalence of the diagnosis jumped threefold in the second decade of the 21st century. In the last decade, there has been a 169% increase in the diagnosis of autism in children in Israel, and in recent years, one in every 78 children in Israel, one in every 48 boys and one in every 222 girls, has been diagnosed with autism.

In addition to the personal/family coping and processing the news upon receiving a diagnosis, families of children who received a diagnosis of autism also face a lot of bureaucracy in front of various parties such as: social security, the Ministry of Education, welfare and more.

In an attempt to make the situation easier for these families, a dedicated service for the issue was established in the overall child development system of the Southern District and was appointed responsible for the field of autism – Ms. Aliza Biton, who, together with the lawyer Einav Gonen, provides a comprehensive and enveloping, administrative and social response to the children and their families.

The service for parents is provided by contacting a designated WhatsApp number, where assistance is provided in dealing with bureaucracy, information regarding rights and treatment options, the response to inquiries is provided with a very high availability, emphasizing a personal attitude, sensitivity and understanding of the families’ struggles. The parents’ reactions indicate how necessary the singing and personal care are.

R. mother to child on the autistic continuum She said that “the possibility to contact WhatsApp and get a response that helped us a lot was a lifeline for us…thanks to the WhatsApp connection, I was able to get my son into an educational setting in a rehabilitation kindergarten in time.”

In addition to working directly with the families, the child development unit, in collaboration with the health promotion department, promotes emotional and social preparation workshops for children on the spectrum aged 6-8 and conducts training for staff and makes the information available to clinics.

Mittal Tsibutro, manager of the field of workshops outside the basket in the Southern district says:

“In the open discussion that takes place with the child development unit, parents of children on the continuum brought up the need to hold a training workshop for parents to deal with a child with special needs.”

The health promotion department together with Aliza Biton, coordinator of the autism field in the district, picked up the glove and set out on a journey to find suitable guides for the task. The facilitators found are trained to guide groups and are themselves parents of children on the autistic spectrum. The first group that opened in Be’er Sheva was given a workshop of 7 sessions lasting an hour and a half, led by a parent instructor and a parent of 3 children on the sequence.

The topics of the sessions dealt with the content relevant to every parent, but with an over-focusing on the parents of the children on the continuum, each session dealt with a different issue: the workshop opened with the first session which bore the name The coffee of today compared to the coffee of yesteryear – Talk about the routine you got used to that has changed, in the last meeting we discussed the question “How can we use tools to deal with the future.”

The purpose of the group is to deal with everyday life and prepare for the challenges of the future, and in the group parents are given space to express questions, difficulties and other issues that they wish to have tools to deal with.

The unique workshop created waves and immediately group facilitators were found in Ashkelon and Kiryat Gat as well. The parents who participated in the workshops reacted with excitement after each meeting in the dedicated WhatsApp group, and the excitement made it clear how important it is to make adjustments for special populations.

A. A father to a child on the autistic spectrumJ Maser “I thank you for the information and tools given to us, the meetings contributed a lot and this is a must for every parent with special children, I must point out that I am somewhat able to get into my child’s head and finally understand what he is dealing with.”

◼️ to the Dimona news group, Mitzpe Ramon and the Dead Sea on WhatsApp click here

◼️ to the Be’er Sheva and surrounding news group on WhatsApp click here

◼️ to the Nativot news group on WhatsApp click here

◼️ to the Ofakim news group on WhatsApp click here

◼️ to the Sderot news group on WhatsApp click here

◼️ to the news group Kiryat Gat and the surrounding area on WhatsApp click here

◼️ To the Kiryat Malachi news group and the Beer Tovia regional council on WhatsApp click here

◼️ to the Ashkelon news group on WhatsApp click here

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