A website with information on autism was launched by Dr Rosa Arriaga, visiting researcher at Technology and Emerging Markets Group, Microsoft Research India, and Dr Yogananda Reddy, president-elect of the Indian Medical Association (Karnataka branch), here on Wednesday.
The website was launched in association with Autism Society of India and other stake-holders. The site aims at creating awareness to help people affected by autism and will be available in 10 different languages.
Dr Arriaga said: “When I came to Bangalore I found the major issue was about lack of awareness about autism. With the help of several autism experts from Bangalore, including clinicians, doctors and parents, we have been able to draft the right message about one of the early signs of autism.”
Sarbani Mallick, director of Bubbles Centre for Autism, said: “It is not possible for any person to go and see each organisation. So, it is easier for parents to get educated on the services that different organisations provide before they zero in on one that is best for their child. The website, tellmeaboutautism.org, allows parents to find out about what is going on in each city. Also it answers some of the basic questions that they might have if they find that their child is diagnosed with autism.“
People who do know about autism should be educated so that they can care and respect those affected by this condition, said Nalini Menon from Spastic Society of Karnataka.
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by social deficits (such as difficulties in social interaction and communication), and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities, she said.
A diagnosis of autism also comes with the certainty that the child will require life-long support. According to a study last year, the prevalence of autism in India could be as high as one among 66 individuals. Yet few Indians know the disorder by name or its signs.
Workshop for Parents
Bubble Centre for Autism, an NGO, held a workshop for parents at its premises in Hennur. The topic of discussion was about autistic children and their behaviour in teen ages. “The problem of a child suffering from this condition worsens as he cannot express himself. It is during such time that the parents should devote much for their child,” said Sarbani Mallick, founder director of the NGO.