Autism Spectrum Disorders are neurological conditions which affect the brain and its ability to function. Children stricken with Autism Spectrum Disorders may experience restricted motor movements, issues with speech and communication and focus. Children with autism can also run into developmental issues, learning difficulties along with restricted social skills.
There exists no ‘cure’ as such for ASD and also their exact causes remain elusive. But a comprehensive and dedicated rehabilitation program can help children with ASD lead a more functional and productive life.
Each individual exhibits a different pronounced symptom making it difficult to come up with a one-size-fits-all rehabilitation plan for ASD. But there of course exists some basic principles on which the rehabilitation for children with ASD rests on. A comprehensive rehabilitation program will include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, educational support, plus a number of other interventions to help children and parents.
The rehabilitation plan targets child’s –
- Communication skills – With speech and language therapy
- Motor functions – With Occupational and physical therapy
- Social interaction skills – With counselling and simulated scenarios
Caring about the carers
Along with providing rehabilitative care to the child, another important aspect of the intervention is supporting the caretakers of the child, as it can be quite a draining task, both physically and emotionally. Also a well informed caretaker can bring about extraordinary improvements in the child’s condition with the right kind of approach. To enable this, the intervention also makes provision for caretaker education and counselling.
Finding the right intervention for a child with ASD can be challenging sometimes, but a comprehensive rehabilitation program should be able to overcome this challenge through a thorough initial assessment of the child’s condition. The initial assessment can function as a base for building a custom and effective prognosis for the child. A successful rehabilitation program can enable a child with ASD to develop individualized coping mechanisms. This in turn can propel them to lead a life that is comparable in terms of quality to that of any regular child.
Dr Anirudh Chirania
Dr Anirudh Chirania is a Consultant Physiatrist with ApoKOS Rehabilitation Hospital, Hyderabad. He is a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist for Stroke and Pain Management and has an active experience of over 2 years. He completed his MBBS from IPGMER, Kolkata in 2010, and obtained his DNB (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) from Sambhunath Pandit Hospital, Kolkata in 2015. Dr Anirudh also holds a fellowship in Pain Management from Aesculap Academy.