The Fact Maker

Incidence of Autism on the rise post-pandemic according to experts!

·         Pandemic impacted autism kids the most due to change in their & family’s routine

 ·         Had to endure high levels of stress due to lack of social exposure

 ·         Lost precious formative years with lack of therapy

Hyderabad: Hear ‘N’ Say Clinic – a specialized centre for people with Hearing, speech and language disorders; hosted a unique workshop, Let’s Talk, for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), kids suffering from ASD and Medical Professionals dealing with the special kids, from across the state.

Autism Is a disorder associated with sensory processing leading to difficulties in organising and responding to information received from the sensory organs. These kids are often misunderstood by the society and face immense challenges impacting their physical and mental wellbeing and growth.There are indications of rise in ASD cases in the last one year with most therapists seeing more cases than normal. Pandemic impacted ASD children the most, the change in their daily routine and that of their families, in addition to minimal social exposure led to greater stress amongst them. These kids require regular therapy sessions to improve their abilities, especially during the crucial ages of 2 to 6 years, when maximum brain development takes place in the infant. But pandemic put a break on these sessions, the children were deprived of the therapy and lost unrecoverable precious years.

The ‘Let’s Talk’ workshop was packed with interesting knowledge sharing sessions and activities to help cope with these special kids and mould them into near normal individuals. There were four activities for kids and two hands on training for parents to demonstrate behavioural issues and ways to handle them.Therapists pretended like children with Autism spectrum disorder and parents were asked to react on how they handle the situation. Parents were advised and guided on conducive practices to address the issues and were able to see live the encouraging response from the kids.

Let’s Talk was a much awaited opportunity for parents and professionals alike to share insights, practices, outcomes, mock sessions, all of which helped to unlearn and learn the best practices which made ASD kids feel comfortable and can enable them to develop their sensory organs. This session seemed essential, as there is a sea change in the post-pandemic scenario related to ASD kids and their behaviour, the brainstorming of all stakeholders helped to asses, tweak, develop protocols afresh and hopefully these make a difference to the ASD children, says Dr. Garima Vegivada, Clinical Director- Speech Language Pathology, Hear ‘N’ Say Clinic, Secunderabad.