HYDERABAD: As the world observes Autism Day on Saturday, parents of children affected by the disease are seeking better medical care and more specialized schools for their wards.
Meanwhile, city pediatricians are warning that the number of children with autism is silently rising in India.
According to a medical study conducted in 2018, one in 100 children has the disease. In countries like India, when a child is affected, the family suffers a lot of trauma which can only be managed with different therapies.
Dr Pratima Giri, child development specialist at Rainbow Children’s Hospital, said: “As recommended by the Indian Pediatric Association, all children should be screened at 18 months for autism. It is very important for experienced physicians to carefully assess a child with autism as they often present with symptoms such as hyperactivity, anxiety and attention problems.
Dr Ashish Chauhan, internal medicine consultant and vaccination specialist, said: “Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which is a genetic condition. In our society, there must be campaigns to educate people about such myths. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that the families of affected children are not stigmatized by society.
Seema Shet, mother of a child with autism, said: “My son is now 8 years old. Five years ago he was diagnosed with autism. According to the comments of his teachers, we take him to a specialist. Until the age of 15 months, he was a normal child.
“In Hyderabad, we need more centers and specialists for these children. Many centers are just there to make money. Moreover, there are no good schools for these children. Many parents suffer. therefore, these children should be admitted to all schools,” Seema Shet added.