World Autism Day: Early intervention, training key for recovery, says expert

“Though complete recovery is rare, early intervention and proper training can help the children ‘recover’,” she added.  

Published: 02nd April 2022 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2022 05:46 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

MADURAI: Children with autism are like diamonds, it is the duty of the parents to make them shine, said psychologist Rani Chakkaravarthy. “Though complete recovery is rare, early intervention and proper training can help the children ‘recover’,” she added.  

Founder of Rakshana Child Guidance Centre, Rani, who focussed on autism for her PhD research, told TNIE, “In my 20 years of experience in handling autistic children, I have understood that providing therapy alone will not help them. Recovery is possible, especially with patients who do not have co-morbidities like brain damage, down syndrome, epilepsy, and visual impairment.”

Recounting her son’s recovery journey, K Rama said, “When my son Ram was 1.5-year-old, even if you burst a ‘1000-wala’ firecrackers near him, he would not react. When doctors diagnosed Ram with autism, the whole world collapsed around me. The treatment made him lazy and tired. Finally, when I approached psychologist Rani, she provided me with a lot of tips. Using those, I trained my son to focus on details. I made him look into my eye by affixing so many ‘bindis’ on my face. After eight months of training, Ram started speaking.”

About the recovery, Uma added, “I admitted him to a renowned school initially but he hesitated to speak with teachers and others. Slowly, he began responding to them and now possesses excellent academic skills. He also excels in chess and tennis.” Ram is currently in Class 11 and is preparing for NEET exam. “I am very sure that my son will secure a medical seat, and I will share his inspiring story,” the proud mother beamed. 

Similarly, S Kirthiga, whose daughter Oviya is in Class 12, said, “My daughter was diagnosed with the disorder when she was two. Everyone in the family discouraged me and said she would not be able to lead a normal life. I even had to shift from Coimbatore to Madurai to stay away from my demoralising relatives.”

Oviya is a keen observer, her mother said, adding, “She observes me arrange vegetables, peel beans., etc. These activities effected changes in her routine. Slowly, she recovered and started responding better. Oviya reads a lot and is now preparing for NEET. She had secured over 450 marks in the model exam.” The first step is deciding to not give up and to patiently understand your children. “Our understanding and dedication will significantly help the child’s recovery process. My daughter and I are living examples of this,” Kirthiga signs off.


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