“Every child is special. We adults sometimes take more time to understand them,” shares Dr Anil Kumar Jha, Consultant Neurology while discussing his experience with Autistic children. According to Dr Jha, a reputed neurologist at Paras HMRI Hospital, Patna, specializing in treating pediatric neurology and behavioral neurology, “The prevalence rate of Autism in India is very high. 1 in 250 children in India suffer from Autism. What is important to know is that it is not a disease but a neurological disorder that affects the cognitive development of the child. There is no cure for the disorder and the situation needs constant support and management. Sadly India is riddled with gaps related to awareness, treatment and specialized management facilities.”
Highlighting the case of Rohan, a 6 year old boy from Nawada, Dr Anil Jha shares how anxious the parents were. “They complained that the child was unattentive, was behaving abnormally and did not perform well in school. They also shared that Rohan preferred to remain alone and didn’t like making friends, playing or interacting with them. The minute they highlighted that the child usually day dreamed and was in his own world, made typical rotating hand movements and could spend the entire day alone, Autism was my possible diagnosis,” shares Dr Jha.
Brain Imaging Technology confirmed the diagnosis and Rohan was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, Dr Jha explained to the parents the road that lay ahead for them. He included the medical participation of Dr. Vikas Kumar, Clinical Psychologist, Paras HMRI Hospital Patna and shared the need for IQ assessment, behavior therapy along with some medicines for behavior modification.
After 3 months of continuous engagement, Rohan’s parents have accepted his condition. His mother Sunita shares, “Despite what people say, I don’t agree that my child is weak. I believe that he is unique. He sees the world differently and Dr Anil Jha and Dr Vikas made us understand that. Rohan has in his own way made us understand a deeper meaning of life. We as his parents are today committed to make him able, competent and independent so that he can face any hurdle in life.”
Dr Anil Jha along with Dr Vikas have been instrumental in diagnosing and treating Autism Spectrum Disorder in a number of children. They have formulated specialized clinical tools for diagnosis, treatment and management. Their special emphasis on family support, awareness, training in evolving and taking care of the Autistic children has been successful and beneficial. They look forward to creating more awareness on Autism Spectrum Disorder.