ibnlive » Health

Apr 02, 2008 at 03:50pm IST

Autism Awareness Day observed today

New Delhi: Today is Autism Awareness Day and it is being marked in the world.

But what picture comes to your mind when you think about an autistic child?

“People have three typical notions of autistic children either too saintly, too much of a problem or too violent,” says Director, Action for Autism (AFA), Merry Barua.

Autism is an information processing lifelong brain disorder which manifests since birth or within the first three years.

Conservative American research states that it affects one out of every 150 children worldwide and over four million in India alone.

The causes are still not known and there is no medical test to detect it. The only treatment so far is early intervention and support therapy.

As a parent look out for symptoms including:

  • Language and speech problem.
  • Poor eye contact.
  • Unresponsive attitude.
  • Lack of social interaction.
  • Repetitive behaviour.

“Both my children are autistic. As a parent I have realised it is most important to first understand the problem before doing anything to be able to handle it,” says a parent, Indu Chaswal.

AFA has sessions aimed to improving communication skills.

Art is another way they use to fill colour into their lives. And then comes the fun time that could also mean just jumping for hours or spinning round and round the room.

“We need to create awareness among medical circles first and allow for greater inclusivity of autistic people in society,” says Barua.

But the children don't really bother. If you don't invite them to your party, they can always have one of their own.

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