Interview with Inés Martí Bertrand, AUTEA Vice President: «Children's brains are very plastic and early intervention allows them to develop many executive functions»

What is AUTEA?

AUTEA is a non-profit association, formed in 2006 by families with one or several children with ASD, adults with ASD, and specialized professionals both in the country and internationally. Autea is a platform to defend the rights of people with ASD and their families, which works to raise awareness and sensitize society, report situations of vulnerability, and provide specific services.

What benefits do children and adolescents experience thanks to the intervention of professionals?

The evolution that children and adolescents experience with the intervention of specialized professionals is very significant. The brains of children at an early age are very plastic and early intervention allows them to develop many executive functions. Adolescence is a complicated stage for everyone, and especially for people with ASD. Difficulties in relating to other people, in feeling part of the group, and the support of a professional in these moments, if the young person requires it, can avoid crisis situations that are more common in times of change, new challenges, etc.

What project will the funds raised during the event be given to? What does it consist of?

The funds raised will be allocated to the Enlace program, a care program focused on families with a child with ASD between 6 and 16 years old, in their natural environment. It is a service that offers support to families with sons and daughters diagnosed with ASD and who need to enrich their parental skills and strategies to facilitate the development of their family project. It is a program conceived in collaboration with the SAAS Child and Youth Mental Health Service and with the support of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Youth of Andorra.

What tools are most necessary for children and family members who live with ASD?

Empowering families, accompanying them in being able to better understand what is happening to their child and giving them the necessary strategies to face complicated situations, are the best tools for families. For people with ASD, the support of expert professionals, specific programs and services that allow them to develop and integrate into society are not only necessary tools, but a right.

How can society help people with ASD?

On the one hand, it is important to know what autism is and respect diversity. Not judging and asking how to help are simple actions, but very relevant for a person with ASD, but also for any person with another condition or disability. And on the other hand, defending the rights of a person or a family to whom life has dealt worse cards should be an objective of society as a whole.

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