Rise in number of autistic children

Not included under Disability Act, they are deprived of legitimate benefits

Rise in number of autistic children

for a cause: Governor H R Bhardwaj interacting with children at World Autism Awareness walkathon, organised by Information and Resource Centre in Bangalore on Sunday.  dh Photo

“Autism is on the rise, though it is considered as an abnormal mental status, autistic patients are still not included under the Disability Act. The Central government should take note of their plight,” he opined.

The Governor was speaking before flagging off the ‘Autism awareness walk,’ where around 700 participants including 400 autistic children, their parents, teachers and supporters joined the walkathon, organised by the Information and Resource Centre (IRC).

Das Suryawanshi, Commissioner, Department of Persons with Disabilities, extended his support and assured to submit a representation to the Central government to include autism under the Disability Act.

There has been an increase in the number of autistic children, according to V R Ramesh, head of IRC.

In Bangalore alone, there are more than 3,000 known autistic children from different special schools.

“Although many parents learn about their child’s problem late, early intervention can help autistic child to interact normally,” he said.

Awareness among people

One of the reasons for an increased number of autism cases could be awareness among people said, Dr Ananth Rao, Senior Consultant (Metabolic Diseases and Research) at Apollo Hospital.

“Apart from awareness, the nuclear family lifestyle adds to a lot towards a child’s development. Many children develop autism due to lack of interaction with their parents and they grow up isolated,” he said.

Many a times, autism can be genetic or sometimes, can be caused due to problems during pregnancy and even during delivery, he added.

Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). This is a neuro-developmental disorder typically appearing in the first three years of life and characterised by impairment in communication and social skills.

In the nearly six decades of its description, not much has changed in the diagnosis and treatment of the syndrome in the Indian perspective.

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