Focus On Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

A National level training workshop was organised by ‘Swami Rama Himalayan University’ on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Department of Clinical Psychology, Swami Rama Himalayan University organized an online national level training workshop on ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder: Comprehensive Assessment and Integrated Management,’ on 30th September.

This was conducted in association with Rehabilitation Council of India. Participants from 26 states of the country attended this training workshop.

Experts from eminent institutes shared their knowledge on the topic.

The workshop covered ten topics related to ‘Global Burden of Autism and Current Status of Autism in India’, early identification of ASD in children, the comorbid condition related to ASD and scientific and practical techniques to manage ASD behavior to achieve balanced growth of children with ASD.

Autism is a life-long neurodevelopmental condition, typically identified in early childhood, which interferes with the person's ability to communicate and relate to others. In the last decade, a substantial increase in public awareness of autism has occurred around the globe.

Epidemiological data estimates the presence of 52 million cases of autism worldwide, affecting around 1 %-2 % of children across the globe. Rate of ASD has increased 178% since 2000 to 2022.

The Department of Clinical Psychology hopes to sensitize professionals in considering ASD as one of the major challenges during the early growth of the child.

During the inaugural session Prof. Dr. V. Chauhan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor SRHU, emphasized that in the past 10 years India has shown an appreciable decline in maternal and child mortality rates, which has been a much faster rate than the global decline. As more and more children now survive, the next challenges we now face is to ensure optimum growth and development and to brace ourselves to meet the challenges beyond the survival agenda.

Prof. Ashok Deorari, Principal Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, emphasized that parents and professionals should learn about the myths and facts related to ASD. Prof Deorari advocated use of dynamic counseling, early identification at community based health worker level, and use of standardized and good tools.

Dr. S.L. Jethani, chief medical superintendent, Himalayan Hospital, conveyed the message that Himalayan Hospital is endeavoring to reach out to each and every person for his or her health needs. Dr. Jethani further focused that autism is the third leading cause of disability. The major causes for this genetic condition are the parents’ age at the time of child’s birth, the lifestyle, the consumption of alcohol, and maternal stress during pregnancy.

Dr. Malini Srivastava, department head of Clinical Psychology at HIMS shared that rate of ASD has increased 178% in past 20 years. This huge increased rate has brought a big burden on society because of high cost in making diagnosis and managing the condition throughout life.

Dr. Anuja Parihair, assistant professor at department of clinical psychology shared how we can identify the symptoms of ASD early. Dr. Ashwani Pundeer explained how we could differentiate the other medical conditions from ASD.

Dr. Madhumita briefed about understanding the symptoms of autism and differentiating the ASD symptoms from other pervasive developmental disorders.

Dr. Soniya Vats shared detailed techniques on Behavioral Intervention of ASD.

Experts from eminent institutes talked about the role and techniques of speech and language, occupational therapy and special education techniques.