Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviours. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Dr Samir Dalwai, a developmental and behavioural paediatrician and director of New Horizons Child Development Centre, sheds the light on autism and what factors are needed to be taken into perspective while addressing the issue.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Samir Dalwai, said, “Autism is not a disease, it is not a mental disorder it is basically a small issue where children find it difficult to learn social interaction and social communication with those around them, if we understand this and if we help enhance their social interaction. I am sure that they will all learn better how to interact socially with each other.”
He added, “What it requires is for us to accept that there is an issue and a small problem somewhere where we need to address it. Once we work with that patiently, the child gradually learns and goes on to the next level and if we continue and help the child pursue their goals to go ahead, if we do this the child will certainly go ahead.”
Dr Dalwai further said, “Every child with autism does better provided we know how to help the child, we must have the patience and acceptance. We must hope for the better, only then can help the child achieve better.”
In conclusion Dr Dalwai said, “It is important for all of us to work together, no one person can help a child with autism, it requires all of us to work together, the doctors, the parents, the therapists, and various other people involved and most importantly the child herself or himself.”
Autism spectrum disorder impacts the nervous system and affects the overall cognitive, emotional, social and physical health of the affected individual.
The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely. Common symptoms include difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviours.
Early recognition, as well as behavioural, educational and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning.