Autism is a neurodevelopmental spectrum disorder, it is highly genetic, researchers suspect both environmental and genetic factors as causes. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. It affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize.
Qualitative impairment in social interaction like
Qualitative impairment in communication
Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviors, interests and activities
Autism is one of the world’s fastest growing developmental health challenges, with up to 7 crore people affected, causing a severe effect on the social development of children.
Recently scientists successfully developed a new autism treatment programme in India and Pakistan, that could help improve the lives of millions of autistic children in developing countries. They adapted a parent-led autism therapy which helped parents interact better with their autistic children after 12 weeks of the programme.
Clinical researchers from the Manchester in UK and Universities of Liverpool collaborated with colleagues in South Asia to adapt the therapy. The partnership aims to improve treatment for an estimated five million children in the region with the disorder. They adapted a leading UK therapy method known as PACT which helps parents interact better with their autistic child.
In Rawalpindi, Pakistan and Goa, India, the programme was taught to non-specialist health workers with parents of the 65 autism children who were recruited to the trail. The children were reviewed using recognised methods at the end of 12 week period also parents were shown to have learned from the involvement and the children were more likely to initiate communication with their parents.
The researcher noticed some issues as lack of resources, trained staff, language and cultural differences and poor access to medical centers which means that methods need to be adopted after all they said “It has been outstandingly successful in showing that such adaptation is both possible and can produce changes that are equal or even better that we achieved in UK”.