Right approach can help autistic individuals mainstream: Experts

According to the first rigorous estimate of the country's autism prevalence, roughly 23 of every 10,000 children in India have autism.

When exposed to the right developmental approaches and intervention procedures, individuals diagnosed with autism can join their counterparts in the mainstream. 

Ahead of 'World Autism Awareness Day' observed on April 2, Deepa Malini, certified developmental therapist told the media here on Sunday that, "autistic individuals are different in their developmental milestones. Our focus should be on recognising and building these milestones first, before hitting on academics."
She explained, "For example, a (neuro-typical) baby smiles at its parents, coos and turns its head towards sounds at two months. At six months, the infant shows curiosity and tries to reach for toys. At around a year, the infant is able to copy gestures and is shy or anxious with strangers. At three years, they are able to participate in simple pretend plays, shows affection for friends, and so on. With help in attaining the above developmental social milestones, autistic children, young adults, and even adults can follow the developmental progression approach that leads to enjoying relationships and engaging in meaningful communication."

By following developmental approaches, individuals who are perceived and treated with respect and given opportunities to relate, think and communicate their interest, encouraged to take decisions, which is crucial for development and all learning, can move forward, she said. 

The earlier the signs of autism can be spotted and earlier the right intervention, the greater the chances of facilitating the foundations for healthy relating, communicating and thinking, to help reverse the core deficits of autism.

"Once autistic individuals progress through the developmental ladder they will be able to communicate, solve problems and negotiate, understand feelings, and have meaningful conversations, thus joining their counterparts in the mainstream," Ms. Deepa said.

According to the first rigorous estimate of the country's autism prevalence, roughly 23 of every 10,000 children in India have autism. Studies also point that there is a dramatic increase over the rate estimated a decade ago. The cause of the increase, like the cause of autism in general, is still unknown. In Coimbatore 12 per cent to 18 per cent of children are diagnosed with autism or learning disability. 

Source -deccan chronicle

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