Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be treated only with early detection and diagnosis. Lack of awareness about autism is the reason for the disorder to remain uncured. One in every 250 people in Odisha is an autistic patient.
Center for Autism Therapy Counseling and Help (Catch), organized a public meeting for parents to understand their children having autism on World Autism Day. Many issues related to the disorder were discussed.
Reeta Jena, Secretary of Catch, said, "The disease is spreading at an alarming rate in the state, as most of the people have no idea about autism. By the time they realize their children are suffering from autism, it is too late. Delay in detection makes the treatment process complicated. An autistic patient can be cured, if it is detected between before three years of age."
Early detection of the disorder can make a big difference. The best person to spot the earliest warning signs of autism is the parent.
Symptoms like repetitive behavior, fear to make eye contact, lack of attention, tendency to not engage in too many activities, common repetitive behaviors such as hand-flapping, rocking, jumping and twirling, arranging and rearranging objects, and repeating sounds, words or phrases help parents identify the disorder in their children.
"Parents should contact the behavior therapists if the symptoms are detected. Doctors should refer the child to a specialist in developmental evaluation and early intervention. Evaluation techniques include hearing and lead exposure tests as well as an autism-specific screening tool such as M-Chat, are required to be used for proper diagnosis," said, Dr Durga Prasad Mishra.
Early intervention before three years of age helps to cure autism by 90 to 95 percent.
Autism is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive behaviors and impairment in verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction.