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Whether Child Autistic? Only Medical Assessment Can Tell

Remember Shahrukh Khan’s portrayal of an autistic character named Rizwan Khan in the hit film ‘My Name Is Khan’! Even today autism is a much misunderstood neuro developmental brain disorder for which the world observes Autism Awareness Day on April 2 every year.

Coinciding with the day, NAC Manimajra, Chandigarh based ASHA Child Care and Development Clinic is organising a daylong free health camp on Sunday for screening of children below 6 years of age for signs of autism.

So, if you know of any children in your family, friends and neighbours circles who are displaying behaviours of concern regarding their social communication and language development, please inform them about this camp.

Whether Child Autistic? Only Medical Assessment Can Tell, Lifeinchd

Dr Chhaya Prasad, neuro developmental and behavioural pediatrician who runs the clinic, tells us that the free camp will be held on Sunday (April 2) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration for the camp is free, but compulsory. Registration can be made on phone Nos. 9876819949 & 9878978315.

Dr Chhaya shared with your own news website LifeInChandigarh.com that every child with poor eye contact, or poor language development, is not autistic. It is very important to get a complete medical assessment done, she added.

The assessment process is initiated by a developmental paediatrician, who first clinically observes a child, looks at its symptoms, observes its social and communication behaviours, checks for language development and takes complete history before carrying out a few tests. Then, the developmental paediatrician counsels the parents regarding the developmental status of the child, Dr Chhaya informed.

She emphasised that it is important that the problem in the child’s developmental domains is identified early so that an early intervention by a specialised multi-disciplinary team can help the child attain and /or enhance the skills that do not develop naturally as they should with age.

Explaining further she said autism is not a speech disorder. It is a neuro developmental brain disorder wherein the child is not able to socialise and communicate with others in an age-appropriate manner.

Inclusion and learning in a mainstream school and regular environment is not only an autistic child’s right but also needs to be encouraged by all concerned, Dr Chhaya stressed.

Some markers for autistic children

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  • The child may have little or no interest in eye contact with family members

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  • No orientation response when child’s name is mentioned/called; absence of blabbing and jargons in the first year of life

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  • Cannot engage in social interactions, and may appear to be very indifferent towards parents

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  • The ability to share and coordinate attention, with attention of a family member, is nearly absent

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  • The child will have some repetitive, ritualistic play habits along with the above mentioned other symptoms

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What: Free health camp for screening of children below 6 years of age for signs of autism

When: Sunday (April 2, 2023)

Where: ASHA Child Care and Development Clinic, SCO 909, NAC Manimajra Market, Solitaire Hotel Block, Near Mirchia’s Diagnostics, Housing Board Chowk

Timing: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Registration: Free, but compulsory @ 9876819949/ 9878978315

 

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