Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. Read below our Autism FAQ for more details.
Autism is an intense developmental disability characterized by markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication. It is associated with stereotyped behavior, purposeless monotonous hyperactivity with a lack of interest.
The onset of Autism is within 3 years of life. But we can notice a few signs and symptoms quite early in childhood like
- The child does not give eye contact on calling
- The child does not respond to his name
- The child does not give a social smile.
- The child does not recognize family members
- Child is busy in his own world.
- Child looks at one object constantly
In autism, there are one or several abnormalities in the brain, which are caused by one or several biological factors such as Genetic factors, Maternal rubella, Lack of oxygen at birth, Excess of oxygen at birth, Encephalitis, Untreated phenylketonuria, Tuberose sclerosis. This is known as “the biological theory of autism”
There are various criteria used in diagnosing autism provided in DSM V & ICD 10 diagnostic Manuals, Diagnosis is purely clinical :
- Difficulty with social relationships.
- Difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication.
- Difficulty in the development of play and imagination.
- Resistance to change in routine.
- All these symptoms must have been present by 36 months of age
After establishing the clinical diagnosis, we can utilize specialized tests like CARS (Childhood Autism – Rating Scale) through which Autism is classified into – Non -Autistic and Autistic range mild/moderate.
This is further classified as mild/moderate and moderate/serve range.
It is a disorder characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development such as social interaction skills, communication skills, or the presence of stereotyped behavior, interests and activities.
- Autistic disorder.
- Rett’s disorder.
- Childhood disintegrative disorder.
- Asperger’s disorder.
- PDD not otherwise specified.
NO. Autism has been found equally in all social classes and in all cultures. However, a predominance of boys to girls is seen in the ratio of 4:1.
When autistic children are given IQ tests, roughly 2/3rd of them score in the below-average range. The remaining 1/3rd have an IQ in the normal range. So, autism can occur at any point on the intelligence spectrum.
Social behaviour – unresponsiveness to people, lack of attention to people, reacting parts of people as detached objects, lack of eye contact, treating people as if they were inanimate objects, lack of behaviour appropriate to cultural norms, attention to the non-social aspects of people, lack of awareness of the feelings of others, lack of social perceptiveness, Failure to develop a concept of mind – MIND BLINDNESS.
- Language – Abnormalities in speech i.e. they cannot produce sounds that are recognizable as words are called FUNCTIONALLY MUTE CHILDREN. In those children with autism who do develop speech, a variety of unusual features are sometime (but not always) seen. These include Echolalia (words/phrases, which are echoed either immediately after they are heard or sometime later and persist even after the age of 3yrs),
- Neologism (coining new words to give meaning to things) or saying ‘you’ when they mean ‘I’ or calling themselves by their first name.
- Repetitive, obsessive behaviour – Lack of flexible imagination coupled with obsessive behaviour e.g. counting lampposts, collecting bottle tops etc. their play is very uncreative.
- Islets of ability – Children with autism often perform unusually well in drawing, music and calendar calculations. Sometimes they are the only skills a child has and sometimes they are even superior to normal
Conditions which are similar to autism include:
- Elective mutism (child refuses to talk in a certain situation)
- Attachment disorder (child fails to develop stable emotional bonds with his/her parents
- possibly following abuse, deprivation or family problems)
- Mental handicap (all skills are delayed)
- Rett’s syndrome (hand writing and other odd movements)Developmental receptive
- language disorder
Yes. Autistic children can be educated using advanced techniques like applied behavior analysis. Parental guidance and counseling, speech therapy, sensory integration therapy, etc are essential.
Yes. Many institutes now make provision for the special education of children with autism. One such institution is being run at Ghatkopar (East),
Mumbai by the name of M.B.BARVALIA FOUNDATION’S HOLISTIC CHILD CARE CENTRE. It’s a unique centre for children where all work under one roof with a holistic approach.
Homoeopathy is a 200 years old system of medicine discovered by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann a German Physician and is based on the Natural Holistic Form of medicine based on laws nature. Homeopathy takes consideration the person as a whole and the prescription is based on INDIVIDUAL FEATURES. So each child though having the same diagnosis of Autism will need INDIVIDUAL Homeopathic Medicine. And that is how it helps in holistic way improvement is seen at both the levels of physical as well as mental level.
Homoeopathic medicines based on rational principles have a deep impact on the system. When a child starts responding to homoeopathic medications, improvement is first seen at a general level. The child starts getting calmer, improvement is seen in sleep, appetite & bowel habits.
Next, is the improvement in behaviour Reduction is seen in hyperactivity, restlessness, tantrums, violence etc. Improvement in eye contact and ability to respond Further we see a change in communication skills. He starts indicating and subsequently starts developing the ability to speak words. echolalia improves too.
Obsessive behaviour takes a long time to improve. The child starts showing improved general resistance. This is because homoeopathic medicines act as immunomodulators.
In most cases, the order of improvement seen is as discussed earlier. The best result is seen when we start the treatment at the earliest i.e. as soon as possible when the symptoms or signs are observed. The improvement also depends upon the degree of Autism i.e. mild/moderate/ severe. Other associated conditions like epilepsy, genetic disorders etc also influence the outcome.
If a child has achieved stability certain drugs for a long time like Antiepileptic drugs then they can be continued along with homeopathic medications. But if there are serious side effects or child is on some other allopathic drugs then it is desirable that they are gradually tapered off.
Homoeopathy works in perfect synergy with other essential therapies like sensory integration therapy, special education, auditory integration therapy etc. Rational and judicious coordination of homeopathic treatment along with sensory integration therapy makes a tremendous difference to the management of children with Autism. Senior therapists and educators have often remarked that they have found that Children receiving Homoeopathic medicines are much calmer and easier to handle. They were much more receptive to therapy & educational inputs.
A child with Autism requires specialized and intensive management. It requires multidisciplinary handling. We work through a multidisciplinary team where all the systems work in perfect synergy to deliver Holistic Care. Our Team comprises of systems work in perfect synergy to deliver Holistic Care. Our Team comprises of
- Clinical Psychologist
- Special Educator
- Homoeopathic Team
- Occupational Therapist
- Social Worker
- Speech Therapist
The child is examined by the entire panel of experts. We utilize specialized tools for diagnosis, gradation and affection of various systems in a child with Autism.
Once the diagnosis and severity of the condition are established the team prepares a comprehensive management program for the child. Parents are involved at each stage of the process.
Child may be enrolled in our Advance School for Autism.
Following therapies are provided at our centre.
- S.I. Therapy
- Behavioural Modification
- Communication and Social Skill development
- Emotional expression training
- AIT (Auditory Integration Training)
- Water Therapy
- IEP Curriculum Planning.
Homeopathic medicines do not act merely on any one particular organ of an individual but it has a much deeper and central action on psycho neuro endocrinological and psycho immunological axis.
Thus it plays a distinct role in reducing or eliminating autistic features
A) Homeopathy works well to correct accentuated state sensitivity bringing about good moderation. In Autism we come across impaired sensory defenses giving rise to severe disturbances of sensitivity.
- Some children show a marked degree of hypersensitivity to noise, light, touch etc.
- Some children show an intense inclination for hugging and touching things, while others would be extremely averse to hugging and cuddling.
- It is marked impairment in the processing of kinesthetic and proprioceptive sensation
- Homeopathic Materia Medica gives ample evidence of such symptomatology. When skillfully utilized, yields marvelous results
B) Autistic child quite often suffers from acute fears like fear of the dark, gravitational fears ( fear of falling down) etc. homeopathic medicine helps to remove these fears.
C) Homeopathic medicine helps to improve fine motor skills as well as perceptual difficulties.
D) Behavior modification through homeopathic medicine is an age-old, well-documented function of a homeopath. These tiny pills work wonderfully to improve hyperactivity, tamper, tantrums, self-injurious behavior or destructive behavior.
E) It promotes the growth gradient and hence facilitates these processes of development. Thus it has a positive effect even in communication and language.
F) Acts as immunomodulators and promotes the general RESISTANCE POWER of the system.
G) Help in managing underlying neurological, genetic, metabolic problems.
H) DO NOT HAVE any adverse or depressing neuro-physiological side effects.
I) A carefully selected homeopathic medicine brings about a qualitative change in a wide range of the symptoms in children with Autism.
J) It essentially helps to a great extent in behavior modification to reduce child’s hyperirritability, violence, etc
K) It thus prepares the child to receive other necessary experience for learning like integration, special education, etc. homeopathy provides good support and makes the important job of educators and therapists easier in taking the child further up on the curve.
L) Hyperactive children when they grow, develop a number of perceptual difficulties. Defects obstruct the process of learning to bring about varieties of learning disable difficulties. Homeopathic medicines help to correct these errors.
M) A harmonious coordination in a team of doctors, psychologists, educators, the parents is a must in dealing with the spectrum of AUTISM in its entire range, and discipline has its own distinct role to play. Synergy results in the best results
N) Since Autism has multiple dimensions, we cant except medicines to give any message but when utilized scientifically it has great potential.