A 12-year-old girl sat quietly in a chair at Nandan 3 on Sunday as her mother shared her story – unimaginable even five years ago.
The girl had shown symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. She would babble, refuse to sit in one place even for a minute and wasn’t toilet trained even at seven.
Five mothers who have struggled against odds for their children with autism spectrum disorder were honoured by the Hindusthan Club Sarbojonin Durga Puja Committee at on Sunday.
Soma Sardar’s neighbours still taunt her for her efforts to take her five-year-old son to school.
“They tell me it’s a futile effort. They think I am too ambitious. But my son can at least achieve something if we support him. It may not be as good as others but it will be better than what he was born with,” Soma told Metro , her eyes moist while narrating her experience.
Autism or autism spectrum disorder is not a medical condition that can be cured with medication, said experts. “It is a dysfunction of the brain. There is a huge gap between the mental age and the chronological age of the child,” an expert said.
A child with autism often bites people, cannot follow instructions, ends up urinating in public, starts rolling on the ground, cannot speak and doesn’t want to socialise. The behavioural problems of one person may be completely different from another, an expert said.
But regular training can bring about a lot of improvement.
Krishna Roy, the principal of Alokdhara Inclusive Montessori School that deals with children showing autism spectrum disorder, urged the minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya, who is also the president of the Hindusthan Club puja committee, to conduct awareness programmes about autism. Roy said both the common people and support staff in hospitals need to be made more aware about autism.
“A puja committee cannot remain restricted to organising pujas. It must get involved in social work,” Bhattacharya said.
Source: The Telegraph