Child European psychiatry and air force together for the benefit of autistic children

This morning, June 23, two child psychiatric projects, led by Maurizio Viri, from Novara University Hospital, were presented, one created thanks to the support of the Cameri Air Force, the other by a group of volunteers.

To address children’s difficulties in facing the diagnostic process, which also includes performing an electroencephalogram, a book, “A Social Story,” was designed and built to prepare and accompany the children for the exam. The goal is to visualize and predict the sequences of what will happen and the environment in which the exam takes place.

The book (“Everyone in bed with colored headphones”), consisting of simple and captivating pictures and a clear text that can be read by the parents in a short time, is handed in a few days before the exam so that it can be read and seen. with the child already at home. The pictures are inspired by the beloved cartoon, “Masha and the Bear”. To make the use of the story more usable, two versions have been made available, one paper and the other digital, so that the child can have an iPad in hand during the exam to follow the story even at that moment.

“In general, these are young children who gain access to the service at a time when it is difficult to explain to them in words that it is a non-invasive and not at all painful exam – said Anna Claudia Caucino, head of the Autism Center 0 – 3 of Child Neuropsychiatry – Sometimes it’s children who feel uncomfortable being touched or simply have difficulty making sense of what’s going on around them: they can not understand why a stranger should force them to carry a headset with electrodes and wires connected.The execution of the electroencephalogram predicts an ad hoc preparation with sleep deprivation in the previous hours because it is necessary for the children to fall asleep with the headphones on.As much as parents try to curb their children’s anxiety, it often happens, especially if they are very young, that they manifest anxiety crises when faced with a new situation. With this initiative, the children will meet the exam with greater serenity ».

The author of the book is a psychologist with excellent artistic qualities, Noemi Giordano, who is an intern in psychotherapy at the Child Neuropsychiatry.

Thanks to a fundraiser organized by the staff at the Cameri Air Base on the occasion of a theatrical performance, the Air Force has made the project possible. Colonel Marco Mastroberti, head of Cameri Airport, intervened at the presentation of the initiative. “It is with great honor that I represent the entire staff of the Air Base, who also on this occasion did not fail to show their generous solidarity in supporting initiatives in favor of the territory that has hosted us for over a century,” he says .

“Again,” said Aou’s director general, Gianfranco Zulian, “the air force is close to our hospital and confirms the particular focus on young patients. For Aou, it is a source of pride to activate this collaboration, which is added to other similar initiatives ».

During the meeting, the second project was also presented about a kind of telematic information desk available for parents who are diagnosed with ASD and not just for their child. “I would like to thank – concluded Viri – the volunteers, Salvatore Giannini, Pasquale Lavino and dr. Simone Badolato, who made it possible to create an interactive channel on the Telegram application, where one could find and geolocate a range of information regarding tax benefits, social health and even recreational services offered by Novara’s territory and its province. Parents find it difficult to navigate between documents to be drawn up and offices to be reached, often they do not know who to contact, even just to find out which associations offer free counseling and interventions or more simply which recreational and playful places are more accessible to their child. Thanks to this tool, it will be enough to frame the “QR code” at the entrance to the Child Neuropsychiatry Service with your smartphone to open the Telegram channel and gain direct access to the information ».

From NPI’s main channel, there are inherent consequences: Municipality and center for families, kindergarten office, territorial NPI, voluntary and recreational activities, tax breaks and bureaucratic procedures for additional medical certifications. Opening hours, useful numbers and email addresses are highlighted for each facility. The exact location with the attached address is also indicated on the interactive map.

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