India – AIIMS’ autism helpline provides emergency support for families

New Delhi – The AIIMS (All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences) has developed a new helpline designed to assist parents of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) address medical emergencies more effectively.

The telephonic helpline will operate in conjunction with an existing generic autism line in an effort to aid families cope with the crises that are specific to those on the spectrum. With the incidence of ASD rising every year and New Delhi having 200 newly diagnosed cases each year, the need for the development of additional services has recently become apparent. As a result, the autism telephone helpline was launched and has been fully operational since April 2013.

However ultimately, while the medical community believes that the initiative will help hundreds of families caring with individuals with ASD, many believe that other forms of treatment are necessary as well. Hence, the doctors adamantly support the utilization of both holistic and early intervention strategies in the management of the disorder.

They argue that through modified applied analysis, sensory integration and structured teaching, significant improvement of behaviours inherent to the disorder are likely to occur. According to chief Prof. Sheffali Gulati of the Department of Paediatrics, Child Neurology Division:

“Autism assessment in Indian children, early intervention methods in autism, and home based intervention modules are other areas where the department is currently working.”

Source: Bindu Shajan Perappadan on the Hindu Times website: AIIMS launches autism helpline