By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 19 Jun: Autism is a disease related with the development and behaviour of children. In this, the children are lost in themselves, do not talk to others and are hyper- active. Such children are not able to express their feelings properly. Autism is inborn and the disease is revealed within 6 months to 1 year of birth, as the child doesn’t behave normally. Autism’s symptoms become clearly visible in childhood, itself. Children suffering from autism require parents’ love and care along with treatment via a special therapy. Some significant factors need to be considered while understanding children suffering from autism. These were the views expressed by specialists while interacting with children suffering from autism and their parents at a workshop organised, today, in the auditorium of Shri Mahant Indiresh Hospital. The topic was ‘Skill Development & Behaviour in Children with Autism (ABA Principles)’. The workshop was inaugurated jointly by Dr Smita Awasthi and Shri Mahant Indiresh Hospital’s Senior Pediatrician Dr Shruti Kumar. An active role was played by District Disability Rehabilitation Centre, Dehradun. Dr Smita Awasthi is a specialist trainer of ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) and holds workshops in India & abroad. ABA is a scientific therapy which is used to treat children suffering from autism. While addressing the gathering, Dr Smita Awasthi explained ABA in detail and told how parents could improve the development and behaviour of their children. Parents were also trained by giving them a demo of ABA technique. In her address, Dr Shruti Kumar said that Autism is a neuro developmental disorder. This is a disorder concerned with the mental development of children. There’s no permanent reason for this disorder. The prime reason for autism is hereditary, but this doesn’t mean that the parents have the symptoms of autism and those symptoms is passed on to the children. The genes of the children may get altered or there may be a gene in the parents in dormant mode which becomes active while coming inside the children. Dr Shruti Kumar added that a Child Development Unit has been functional at Shri Mahant Indiresh Hospital for the last 2 years. Every year, 500 to 600 cases of different behavioural disorders come for treatment. These children are being treated via therapy and counseling. Out of these, 100 to 150 children are being diagnosed with autism. Figures reveal that every 80th child suffers from the problem. Such children are treated at Shri Mahant Indiresh Hospital through behaviour therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy with sensory integration. Such therapies increase focus and concentration of the children and calm them and have a positive impact on their overall development. Some children also require medicines.