MANAGEMENT OF AUTISM- AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH
What is Autism?
Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.
Parents often notice signs during the first three years of their child's life. These signs often develop gradually, though some autistic children experience worsening in their communication and social skills after reaching developmental milestones at a normal place. Prevalence is estimated at 0.11% in rural India and 0.09% in Urban India as per the research article published in Neurology India, in 2019. This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Autism is correlated with sahaja vyadhi in Ayurveda.
⁍ Lack of Eye contact
⁍ Doing something over and over, like repeating words or phrases
⁍ High sensitivity to sounds, touches, smells, or sights that seem ordinary to other people
⁍ Not looking at or listening to other people
⁍ Not looking at things when another person points at them
⁍ Problems in understanding or using speech, facial expressions, etc.
⁍ Autism runs in families, so certain combinations of genes may increase a child’s risk.
⁍ A child with an older parent has a higher risk of autism.
⁍ Pregnant ladies who are exposed to certain drugs or chemicals, like alcohol or anti- seizure medications are more likely to have autistic children.
⁍ Other risk factors include maternal metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
Systematic monitoring of ASD in children helps in setting up of various methodologies and tweaking them during every consultation. VHG’s treatment approach brings together the concepts from ancient sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga.
Autism is managed with the help of oral medications, Panchakarma therapy (bio-cleansing therapy), Nidana parivarjana (Avoidance of causative factors), Pathya Aharavihara (diet and regimens) to improve digestive complaints and improve sensory and motor coordination. Autism requires therapies which act at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. The effective deployment of these therapies will ensure a better outcome for the child.
Practice of yoga includes breathing practices, pranayama which is ready to follow for a child as young as 5 years. It balances the body and mind, helps to increase body awareness, improve motor skills, helps with transition and to develop self-esteem and communication skills. Yoga therapy for autism focuses on overall individual development of the child to improve strength, flexibility and mind training.