When it comes to making an autism diagnosis, Italy is no different from other western nations.
A diagnosis is usually made with the help of psychologists that are specialized in assessing various disorders of one's neurodevelopment. The entire process usually involves numerous steps and factors.
An official clinical evaluation is the typical first step. A psychologist will conduct a thorough medical evaluation of the person, usually, a child since the majority of cases are found when a child is very young.
A review follows concerning their developmental behavior and history, along with their ability to communicate well with others. A psychological test usually follows. This could include several tests of a psychological nature, most of which will center around the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule or ADOS.
This is done by Italian psychologists to determine one's communication and behavioral abilities. Interviews with caregivers are also common. A psychologist or psychiatrist will likely administer interviews with them.
Since the average case most often involves small children, parents commonly take part in this. However, some interviews might be done with a child's teachers, guardians, and other relatives to see where they stand. It's vital to get enough info concerning their behavior and development, especially about their social development. A medical evaluation would also be required.
In some instances, a psychiatrist could network with a child's pediatrician and neurologist for a more detailed medical evaluation. This helps to eliminate other conditions and disorders that might be attributed to some of their symptoms. Autism has symptoms that superficially appear similar to other disorders, like ADHD.
Diagnostic criteria would come next. It's done by a psychiatrist, who sets up diagnostic criteria for their patient. Even in Italy, this might be outlined according to DSM-5. It helps form a determination for whether a patient falls in line with the standards of autism as they're described in the text.
In most medical and psychiatric evaluations, the process for diagnosing a patient in Italy is done with high standards and practices, some of which alternatively meet standards set by the World Health Organization and various other organizations related to the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.
The ultimate aim of a diagnosis is to give one that's correct and detailed. In doing so, the needs of patients and the treatment they receive for it are more likely to benefit them.
Based on a recent study, Italy's autism prevalence is approximately 1% of the country's total population. This is about the same as the prevalence in other Western nations.
There's a countrywide program in Italy that assists with the diagnosis and treatment of ASD. It deals with helping to spread awareness and acknowledgment of autistic people, along with strategies to boost social inclusion among the population that is diagnosed with the disorder.
In Italy, there is unfortunately a lack of nationwide autism awareness about the disorder, which has led to problems getting a diagnosis at times. Access to services could be hindered this way, including a higher percentage of people on the spectrum that haven't received an official diagnosis. Recently, an increase in advocacy groups and organizations tasked with improving the lives of Italians with autism has seen conversations about its increase.
As a modern and sophisticated country with good medical facilities for people with various special needs, Italy can be a good place for someone with autism to live.
However, the opinions of someone on the spectrum may not be the same for every individual and could depend on numerous factors. Some of these include one's personal experiences and individual needs.
Nevertheless, Italy does have a national agency that ensures rights are provided to people with disabilities, whereby helping with social inclusion by people on the spectrum is on the list of their priorities.
Furthermore, there exist plenty of support services for autistic people and their families.
One major one involves special needs facilities at public schools. Still, awareness of autism is quite prevalent in the country, making it hard for some to receive the attention and resources they need to see symptoms reduced. The available support for autistic people can be great or lacking, sometimes heavily dependent on the region and culture of every province in the country.
By and large, someone with autism that grows up in Italy may have vastly different experiences, and they can change according to the severity of their symptoms and the support that's received. Having access to good resources is shown to boost positive goals for families.
Italy has support services for people with ASD. They include programs for early intervention.
Others are for special education, most often in the country's public schools. The program available is built to support every child's needs on an individual basis.
Therapy services can also be found, such as occupational, behavioral, and speech therapy sessions. Respite care is another, suitable for parents that are seeking help in caring for their child's daily needs.