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Treatment and education in times of autism

Grant number: 14/24678-9
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2015 - April 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Psychological Treatment and Prevention
Principal Investigator:Maria Cristina Machado Kupfer
Grantee:Maria Cristina Machado Kupfer
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Andrea Gabriela Ferrari ; Angela Maria Resende Vorcaro ; Leandro de Lajonquière ; Leda Mariza Fischer Bernardino ; Maria Eugênia Pesaro ; Rosa Maria Marini Mariotto


Today, a severe rise in autism diagnoses can be easily identified as a result of the change to the diagnostic criteria proposed by DSM-V, based on an organicistic and deterministic view of autism. Psychoanalysis proposes a different view and understands that a baby who shows signs of disconnection is in psychic suffering and at risk of autistic evolution, which can, however, be possibly interrupted if a timely intervention is made. In this sense, early intervention and prevention may be possible solutions both to fight the diagnostic fury and to deal with the situation as soon as the signs of risk of autistic evolution appear. The Multicentred Research on Indicators of Clinical Risk to Child Development (IRDI), carried out from 2000 to 2008, attempted to create indicators so as to provide paediatricians with a tool for early detection of psychic risk to child development. However, there are still great difficulties in actually implementing an early intervention practice for babies at risk of developing serious early childhood psychopathologies, autism being one of them. In order to continue its work with early detection and intervention, the IRDI research carried out in nurseries went to educational institutions so as to detect initial signs of risk, monitor teachers and change the course of what could have been an evolution towards these psychopathologies. In nurseries, the IRDI Methodology has already shown significant partial results. All that remains is its validation by means of a procedure that will more definitively show that it can reduce the incidence of psychic disturbance detectable from the age of three. There are, however, babies whose indicators do not change, even after the teacher has changed her position in relation to them. In these cases, parents should be "summoned". We therefore propose that parents also be approached in the educational setting, offering an alternative to the psychoanalysis of babies. In order to attain these objectives and develop new avenues for the problem proposed here, we intend to carry out a piece of research along two simultaneous lines. The first one is the validation of the IRDI Methodology in nurseries, with the specific aim of confirming the value and importance of reintroducing a concern for mental health promotion in today's child education institutions. The second is to investigate means through which to lead parents of babies at psychic risk to resume their lost dialogue in a Therapeutic Education setting. In order to validate the IRDI Methodology, 331 three year-olds will be assessed, with 188 selected at random from the database of the first phase of the research (case group) and 143 chosen at random from the control group (made up of mirror-nurseries) by means of the AP3 adapted to nurseries. In order to carry out the parent-baby monitoring, 20 babies with absent indicators that still have not appeared after an initial intervention will be selected and monitored for one year by 10 researchers, using Therapeutic Education. We hope that the IRDI Methodology and the monitoring of parents/babies will have proved their value in promoting mental health and preventing serious problems in early childhood in an educational setting. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MARIA CRISTINA MACHADO KUPFER; RINALDO VOLTOLINI. Tratar e educar o autismo: cenário político atual – entrevista com Pierre Delion. Educ. Pesqui., v. 43, n. 3, p. 915-930, . (14/24678-9)

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