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Autism and Integration

    Autism is a devastating disorder, affecting those areas of the brain which controls understanding of emotions, and particularly, the ability to communicate.
    Children with autism can hear, see and feel but the cruel handicap prevents them from understanding and expressing what their senses tell them. Skills which a normal child picks up naturally have to be TAUGHT to these children. This requires patience, dedication and hardwork. Yet along with these handicaps, there are some children who possess a photographic memory and a degree of concentration. which few normal children, can ever hope to have.

What is Autism?

Autism is a severely incapacitating life long developmental disability that typically appears in the first three years of life. It is the result of a neurological disorder that affects functioning of the brain. Autism and its behavioral symptoms which used to occur in approximately 2-4 per 10,000 births, has at present come up to 1:160. Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls. It has been found throughout the world, in families of all racial, ethnic and social backgrounds. There are no known factors in the psychological environment of the child that can cause autism.

What causes autism?

AT THIS POINT WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT CAUSES AUTISM. However, Current research indicates that anything that can produce structural or functional damage in the central nervous system can also produce the syndrome of autism. We know that certain viruses and known genetic conditions have been associated with autism. In addition, in rare cases there may be more than one autistic child in the family. At this point, it is believed that about ten percent of cases of autism can be accounted for genetically. Generally no one can tell why the child is autistic.

What is the cure for Autism?

At this point in the time we do not know what specifically causes autism. Hence,we cannot fix (cure) what is wrong with the child’s brain. However, people with autism can and do get better. They can lead happy and productive lives when appropriate treatment is begun.

What is the difference between autism and mental retardation?

Most people with mental retardation, show relatively, even skill development which may be lower than the normal range:while individuals with autism typically show uneven skill development with deficit in certain areas, most frequently in their ability to communicate and relate to others. They may have special skills in other areas. Therefore it is necessary to distinguish between Autism and Mental retardation for proper training and effective diagnosis.

Can people with autism be helped?

Yes, people with autism can be helped. Research studies have shown that these individuals do well when trained, having structured teaching methods.

What is the treatment for autism?

As of today the best treatment for autism is to impart to the autistic children a structured education and training so as to eventually make them self-reliant and suitably rehabilitated to live an independent life with as little help as possible. Research has demonstrated quite clearly that autistic children benefit by attending integrated school daily, only if the schools have highly structured, skill oriented training curriculum tailored to the individual and purposeful needs, also carefully planned and executed teaching, if they are to learn at the rate that is optimum for them. Unstructured education and training does not help and it merely delays the benefits to be derived from a structured education and training. The children with Autism Need training on one to one basis in all areas. (early intervention, Academics, Behaviour modification, play and activities of daily life)

All this is required, to enable them to utilize to the full, the intellectual potential and capabilities. They can be made to contribute to the society like the rest of us to the best of their abilities and potential; in other words, useful human beings. To consider them as useless citizens of the society is extremely harmful both to them and to the society. We must regard them like the rest of our children and must feel it a national responsibility to mitigate their sufferings. We must regard these beautiful children as an integral part of the society and love them. We must love them and give them a helping hand to make them self reliant and live with dignity. The job is certainly not easy, but not impossible to achieve. The qualifications needed on our part are dedication, devotion, sacrifice, determination and commitment, and to create the facilities to impart them the necessary training to stand on their feet, to adopt to the demands of life,which is possible with your support.

Advantages of integrated education to the normal child

The normal child in an integrated school, acquires, Knowledge about various disabilities, as well responsibility, and sensitivity, Integration helps the normal child to be more understanding and tolerant hence, bold enough to face any challenges.

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