In an attempt to offer specialised treatment, an autism Clinic was inaugurated for children at the Government Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children in Egmore on Friday.
Inaugurating the clinic, Dr V Kanagasabai, Director of Medical Education (FAC) and Dean, Madras Medical College and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, said that the clinic was launched, following a Government Order, in an attempt to offer specialised counselling for both the mother and child.
“According to MCI norms, there has to be a child guidance clinic in hospitals that have pediatric department. This is the first government hospital to have such an autism clinic in the country,” the dean said.
The clinic will have a six-member team including a child psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and a hospital worker. After identifying a child with autism, the mother would be counselled on the extra care that needs to be given to the child. “Children with autism will have behavioural abnormality, lack of verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive action. If they are identified at an early stage and given treatment, they will become a normal child in two or three years. This genetic disorder affects one in 88 children,” the dean explained.
Doctors at the government children’s hospital said they see at least eight to 10 children with this disorder every day. The autism clinic will function as out-patient clinic from 8 am to 2 pm every day.