DIAGNOSTIC PRACTICES OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS IN BRAZIL AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION
Ana Claudia Vespa Mainer Dias
Pages: 42-55 Published: 13 Oct 2019
Views: 143 Downloads: 34
Abstract: Students with special needs are directly affected by the results of diagnostic practices, since identifying the individuals is one of the first steps. Lack of understanding about that stage may lead to the problematic realities of underidentification or overidentification, exclusion of children who should receive that special intervention and inclusion of some who do not need them. Precision in diagnosis, that considers cultural factors, is a highly desired and continuous goal for special educators. Through a survey instrument specifically designed for this study and responded by 236 Brazilian professionals, the purpose of this study is 1) to determine the knowledge and training of professionals that diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder in Brazil (Audiologists, Neurologists, Pediatricians, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and others), 2) to determine if those professionals are using diagnostic practices similar to the United States, 3) to investigate which procedures and instruments are used in the diagnosis of a child suspected of having an Autism Spectrum Disorder in Brazil; and 4) to determine what happens after diagnosis. The results of this research suggest the need to invest in the training of professionals. Another related suggestion is to develop specific criteria and common diagnostic protocol for professionals in Brazil. Finally, providing access to inclusive education to people with autism would also provide them a more adequate opportunity for development.
Keywords: autism, diagnostic practices, special education