Yulius is a large, human-centered mental health institution with 2,100 employees and 70 locations within the triangle Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Gorinchem, in Holland. In this region, Yulius provides assistance to more than 26,000 clients. At least 95 percent of them receive services at a clinic or at home. A small percentage is taken for a short time on one of the treatment units or stays longer in an assisted living location.
On its own special education locations, Yulius supervises more than 1,100 students with psychiatric or behavioral disorders. It also advises regular education about the supervision of children with similar problems.
Yulius is an innovative organization that is responsive to new initiatives in the health care needs of clients.
Its mission is to focus on providing care at every stage of life of clients with complex psychiatric disorders and children with psychiatric problems (special education). Yulius provides customized care and assistance in all stages of life of its clients. Whether it is a child, parent or grandparent, a student, employee or self-employed, in any circumstances Yulius will assist them.
It is an organization that works with the bio-psycho-social model complemented with life care, providing customized care and education.
The specializations of Yulius are many. The psychological problems, which one can go to Yulius, are, for example, ADHD, depression, trauma, phobias, anxiety disorders and autism spectrum disorders.
Their website is also intended for people whose child has mental health problems and for people whose parents / guardians or relatives need psychological help, which happens in various cases. The whole family is important to the treatment of a patient. That is a fact often neglected, whilst so relevant. To treat a patient without including his/her family is not as productive as it could be otherwise – the way the institution works.
YULIUS AUTISME EXPERTISE CENTER
As we here now focus on Autism, let’s talk about a center within the organization Yulius, for the specific group of the Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Directed towards infants, children, adolescents and (young) adults with autism, the Yulius Autism Expertise-center is a knowledge center where care professionals can track and collect their knowledge about diagnosis, treatment and support of people with autism. This new research institute is the result of intensive collaboration between Yulius Autism, Yulius Academy and the Erasmus Medical Center Hospital, and promises to give a new bust to the care of people with autism.
Within this expertise centrum, professionals can expand and maintain their knowledge in the field of autism. For example, by taking a course or customized workshop. These trainings may range from short workshops to multi-day training sessions on specialized methods for screening, diagnosis, treatment, education and work of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
For many foreign countries, a specific Autism Expertise Center, like Yulius, is a dream all of them wish to concretize. A center where all aspects of the syndrome is taken care of, from diagnose and treatment to schooling for children and young adults with autism. Besides that also the often forgotten group of adults can get help from this center, as well.
Under the efficient supervision of its renowned scientific director dr. Athanasios Maras , Yulius has been turning into an international model of Lifelong guidance – Yulius philosophy – to many people who are challenged by psychosocial disorders. Especially countries that do not yet possess the necessary expertise needed with regards to diagnosis, treatment and education of children and (young) adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, would like to learn from Yulius.Excelling not only for his experience and expertise but also for his amiability, the director of Yulius Academy talks with pride about his organization: “We believe a psychosocial disorder should be assisted throughout the patient’s life. It is very important that clients count on good care in all stages of their lives.”
WHY EXPERTISE AUTISM?
Autism is not (yet) curable. However, it is of great importance to obtain a diagnosis as early as possible, so that a treatment can start quickly. That can be done by taking autism into account and stimulating the development in the right way so that the negative development can get reversed. There is strong evidence that early treatment improves the prognosis significantly. It is important to involve the whole family in the treatment, but also the wider environment in which the child functions, such as preschool and school. The evolution in the long term is greatly affected by the language development, intelligence and opportunities for gaining new learning experiences in the social and emotional fields.
Doctor Maras says: “ We want people with autism to receive the best possible care they need in order to develop. The ultimate goal is that they can participate in the society and give a meaningful contribution to it. We intend to provide them the tools to stand independently as much as possible.”
The first of the development groups working through all the phases of the development of a child with autism is called the baby- toddler unit.
Early notices of signs that may indicate stagnation in development are very important. The baby toddler unit, therefore, focuses both on the prevention of problems, as an intervention by developing problems in infants and toddlers aged zero to four years. Although Yulius Autism has initiated this program, babies and toddlers with various other problems can also be attended at the unit.
The care service at this infant program includes specialist research and diagnosis of various development problems. It also includes research involving the development of the child together with the parent, parental guidance and various forms of parent-child treatment in which the relationship and bonding between parent and child are central.
Usually, parents come into the clinic with a recommendation of their primary doctor or pediatrician. The reasons are diverse, combining physical and psychological symptoms, most of the time. For instance, a child who comes in with a sleep or eating problem, while the underlying problem seems to be the difficult interaction between parent and child. A thorough research is done – observations, the ADOS (a developmental test that reveals the interaction between parent and child) and second-hand information, for instance, from a speech therapist, a physiotherapist or kindergarten teachers.
At the end of this first phase (four years), the baby-toddler unit team helps the parents to find a suitable school to the child – regular or special education. Besides that, the parents may be further assisted at the second phase, the children and youth-unit. Sometimes the assistance will also end up there.
CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS WITH AUTISM
Sometimes a child will present strong (er) symptoms of autism spectrum disorder at a later stage. For those children or adolescents, Yulius also offers diagnose, treatment and education. They may be assisted at home, at the clinic (both internal or not) or through a part time treatment. The clinic also provides trainings, workshops and courses for parents, siblings and other caregivers with the intention to involve them in the treatment of the child/adolescent.
There are many possibilities to treat this group of young people, regardless their age or functioning levels.
From 16 to 25 years, an adolescent may even live and receive education on particular units. Other units lodge (young) adults with autism from 18 to 55 years old.
Housing, Learning and Working are very important points that are taken into consideration in Yulius’ Lifelong plan.
ADULTS WITH AUTISM
Autism is not limited to childhood, but mainly persists into adulthood. Also at this phase, people can come to Yulius for support. Professionals who specialize in autism provide the treatment. It creates perspective for clients in the areas of living, employment, education, relationships and leisure. People with autism may learn in a different way than the regular. Attention to possibilities instead of limitations is what Yulius try to focus on. Quite often they are unaware of talents they might have. During treatment, the assigned therapists work towards these talents, helping the clients to find out what they’re good at, where do they get satisfaction and how they can use it in their lives. Stimulating (unknown) talent is an important principle of the treatment.
LEARNING TOGETHER TO WORK TOGETHER
Yulius provides a number of courses and workshops throughout the year, in order to meet the demand that comes in from the Health Care. The intention is to play a prominent role with regards to educating professionals who (will) work in the field. One of Yulius’ goals is to optimize the level of provided help by sharing their knowledge, trying to raise the quality of Autism care in the country.
In June, 26-28 Yulius will be hosting the International Conference of the year 2014, in the city of Rotterdam, Holland. The conference will gather some of the best autism specialists of the world, aiming to provide a platform for experts from different fields to promote a constructive dialogue. Anyone related to autism can attend the conference. More details through the special website: http://www.cdscs2014.org/en/Home_10_6_12.html
This article has focused on autism. For further information on the subject and other psychosocial disorders, a look at Yulius’ websites is recommended: