1. Parenting
    2. Autism
    3. Understanding Autism



    Understanding Autism

    Discuss and learn more about understanding autism better. With expert parents and professionals to help you in this journey, you can share all your doubts, concerns and experiences here. ... more

    • Team ParentCircle
    • 345
    • 34
    • Dec 14 2018


    Prapti Chauhan 40 days ago

    Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is a blanket term used to describe patients with various neurodevelopmental problems. The symptoms of this condition start appearing right from the early days of a baby’s life. Sometimes, as early as 12 months of age. These children have difficulty in interacting socially and communicating and may also display repetitive behaviour.

    Team ParentCircle May 6 2020

    Mental illness in children can manifest in the form of extreme mood swings, aloofness or feelings of sadness. Here is how you can identify the telltale signs.

    Roopa M Apr 2 2020

    Roopa M Apr 2 2020

    @Roopa M

    Kanisha Apr 2 2020

    Shalini Thodge Jan 29 2020

    Imagining the horror of a parent who has an autistic child with Corona Virus. I read of a mother whose little daughter in Hubei China is borderline autistic and has been diagnosed with coronavirus. My heart wrenches to read such news. Having an autistic child in the family probably enables me to empathise more, but it is indeed terrifying for the family.

    Shalini Thodge Jan 31 2020

    @Shalini Thodge This is so heartbreaking. The outbreak in itself is such a terrifying news and reading of such situations makes you feel more helpless.

    Team ParentCircle Dec 17 2019

    @Team ParentCircle This is indeed an eye opener and also points to how unhealthy such good can be. Thank you for this article!

    Team ParentCircle Dec 17 2019

    @Team ParentCircle It's such a great idea and I think it would surely help out such parents who otherwise find it difficult to engage their autistic kifs

    Team ParentCircle Sep 24 2019

    Choosing the right school for a child is a tough decision. But when the child is differently-abled and has special needs, making the decision becomes even trickier. We help you find some answers.

    Team ParentCircle Dec 6 2019

    @Team ParentCircle It is so important to choose the right school for a special needs child. Being a teacher I have see the mental distress that a child with special needs, goes through. They tend to lose their confidence and that is something we do not want. Putting the child in the right school makes a lot of difference on the child and his/her development.

    Team ParentCircle Dec 17 2019

    @Team ParentCircle This is true and especially as indian parents and weighed down by societal pressures.the need of the child should be taken into consideration before admission.

    Team ParentCircle Dec 13 2019

    I really wish more people understood what autism really means. People label children with Autism and that further diminishes theirs and their parents' confidence. Why do we fail to become more empathetic of the person?
    The reason primarily is lack of awareness and to some extent apathy from other people and it is high time we change that attitude.

    Team ParentCircle Dec 17 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Exactly. Collective empathy and understanding helps us normalise these things. Autism is not a taboo and it is high time everyone understood it. Not only autism, any person with a so-called disability needs to be empathised with, but they do neither seek sympathy or do not deserve apathy.

    Team ParentCircle Dec 17 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Mindsets don't change overnight . So never bother about what others say or think.live your live on your own terms and keep encouraging the kids too.

    Team ParentCircle Aug 16 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Hats off to the mother. I have a student who has a brother with autism, but her mother manages both children so beautifully and with so much grace. The father though posted out of station is also very supportive. I think when parents resolve to help their child and not consider their disability as an impediment then parenting a special child probably becomes easier.

    Team ParentCircle Jul 12 2019

    In a country which boasts of unity in diversity, how unified are our efforts in ensuring an inclusive society for the disabled? Dr Mithu Alur speaks to ParentCircle on this.

    Team ParentCircle Jul 1 2019

    What is the earliest that a child can be diagnosed with autism? Are there any visible symptoms which will help parents take the first step?

    Team ParentCircle Jul 8 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Dear parent, autism is usually diagnosed by 2 years of age, though in some children signs of autism can start appearing around the age of 1. Early screening for autism is not only a desired goal but urgent need, considering the immense difference it can make to the life of the child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Early diagnosis helps in early intervention and enables parents to obtain knowledge of services they can access.

    Early signs of autism are:

    no babbling or pointing by age 1
    no single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
    no response to name
    lack of language or social skills
    poor eye contact
    excessive lining up of toys or objects
    no smiling or social responsiveness
    Autism affects people of every nationality, race, and socioeconomic background. It is five times more common among boys than among girls. If you suspect that your child has autism, please consult a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist. The professional will carry out a detailed assessment and be able to determine if your child has autism and if yes, what are the interventions and special services he can benefit from. All the best!

    Dr. Meghna Singhal Jun 17 2019

    Little is talked about the stress parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience.
    There are many factors that enhance stress of parents of children with ASD: behavioural problems (such as tantrums, aggression, and noncompliance), lack of self-care, poor sleeping patterns, hyperactivity, language problems, and limits on family functioning and mobility. They frequently face burnout and can additionally be burdened with depression or anxiety. Parents may even isolate themselves to avoid social stigma and being blamed for poor parenting when out in public.
    Parents of children with ASD can take the following steps in reducing their stress:
    Join online or face-to-face communities or support groups to help cope with the stress, receive emotional support, and gain information about additional resources.
    Expose your child to social situations (such as supermarkets, malls, etc.) and help them learn social skills, and teach them to function in such environments.
    Ask for friends and family members for help.
    Practice self-care. Remember, you cant pour from an empty cup!
    Find out about special educators or special needs schools in your locality. Enrol your child for occupational therapy or Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). ABA helps identify triggers and reduces problem behaviour.
    Speak to a mental health professional, such as a clinical psychologist, to deal with your own anxiety, depression, or marital issues.

    Dr. Meghna Singhal Jun 14 2019

    For any parent, coming to terms with their child having autism (Autistic Spectrum Disorder or ASD) is never easy. When their child is first diagnosed, some parents react with sadness and shock, some anger, and some others may feel a deep sense of loss and pain. You may revisit these feelings from time to time in the future- the journey of acceptance is never linear. Part of moving ahead is dealing with your own needs and feelings along the way. Remember that the best possible way to take care of your child is to take care of yourself first.
    Parents of children with ASD need to examine their own strengths, coping skills, or resources to be able to deal with and accept the diagnosis. You may be overwhelmed and not know where to start, or you may be busy compiling a list of to-dos to meet your childs needs. However, it is important to routinely focus on yourself and consider your own needs.
    In order to take care of your own needs and be able to move toward acceptance of the diagnosis, here are a few things you may consider:
    What are my strengths? What are the strengths of my family? How could I/we leverage these strengths to best help my child? For example, you could have an understanding older sibling or a work-from-home option that could help in making the visits to occupational or speech therapy easier.
    Which people in my life (friends, family) could I lean on for support? For example, you may have a friend who you could call anytime, someone who just listens. Or you could have a supportive partner who would gladly make adjustments in their schedule to help with chores.
    Do I know enough about autism? The more you read about ASD from reliable sources, the better equipped you will be to make informed decisions for your child. Educate yourself about treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions.
    What am I doing to take care of myself? It is important that you catch a break in order to keep your stress levels in check and be able to deal with your child with more patience. Consider meeting your friends sometime, or simply going for a walk, or writing a journal. Try to get enough sleep so that youre well rested and able to make sound decisions.
    Do I compare my child with others? Practice acceptance of your child, with his own unique quirks and celebrate those quirks. Every child with ASD is different, not just from typically developing children but also from other children with ASD. Feeling unconditionally loved and accepted will help your child more than anything else.
    The more you take time to consider the questions above, the better youll be prepared to face the challenges ahead.

    Team ParentCircle Jun 12 2019

    How does a parent deal with his/her child's autism. Do people and the society support her or are they mere spectators in the parent's journey. Read the story of such a parent here>>>> https://www.momspresso.com/parenting/my-specially-special-child/article/autism-and-the-society

    Rani Lakshmi May 29 2019

    Dear parents and others in this group, I'd like to share the story of my neighbour who turned into my best friend and her family. Ever since our twenties, we have known each other. She chose to be a teacher because of her love for kids. Never have i seen anyone enjoy the chaos, the noise, the tantrums and the trouble the children bring with them. I always knew she'll be a perfect mom to her kids. Her husband is also very patient and supportive. Exactly 5 years back they gave birth to Avaan, their son, who after a year was found to have autism. I saw my friend cry inside but never really showed it out to the world. There has not been a single day she has complained, regretted or felt bad for having him in her life. My friend and her husband, they have their own challenges and sleepless nights but are very determined to give Avaan the best and raise him just like any other child. She quit her work, got trained as a special educator herself and is currently helping Avaan and so many others like him. Her husband has been a constant pillar of support for her. I'm proud of my friend and her family and her constant determination and love she shows! While there were lots of reasons for them to worry, they chose to lead a happy life! Avaan is turning 5 today and I know for a fact that he'll grow up to be a wonderful artist and poet. Happy Birthday Avaan.

    Rani Lakshmi Jun 11 2019

    @Rani Lakshmi Thank you Rani Laksmi for sharing your friend and her husband's journey of raising a child with autism with determination and love! More power to her and to you too for spreading this positivity amongst all of us and wishing you a lovely birthday Avaan!

    Team ParentCircle May 17 2019

    Sunil is a 4 year old who received his autism diagnosis two years ago. He was taken to his paediatrician by his mother after she saw a social media advert about common symptoms of ASD on World Autism Day. His mother noticed that Sunil did not speak, did not make eye contact, and would be preoccupied with rotating objects, such as the fan or spinning top. The paediatrician recommended an evaluation with a psychologist after which Sunil received his diagnosis. After his diagnosis, Sunil began speech therapy and occupational therapy.
    Two years after his diagnosis, Sunil started using 2-3 words together and started eating on his own. The special school that Sunil attends has been fundamental to the progress he has made. Sunils mother believes that if it wasnt for that autism awareness advert, Sunils life would have been very different.
    Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterised by deficits in three areas: social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted interests/repetitive behaviours.
    The United Nations has recognised 2 April every year as the World Autism Awareness Day. This encourages member states to take measures to raise awareness about people with ASD throughout the world. Spreading awareness about autism includes busting the myths around autism and providing factually correct information and well-researched data about autism to families, professionals, and wider communities. It also includes empowering parents and carers with quality information and resources.
    Autism awareness is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment. Autism is usually diagnosed by 2 years of age but the average age of diagnosis the world over is still 4. Early screening for autism is not only a desired goal but urgent need, considering the immense difference it can make to the life of the child with ASD. Early diagnosis helps in early intervention and enables parents to obtain knowledge of services they can access. And that is why autism awareness is important. Autism awareness aids in research, diagnosis, intervention, as well as acceptance for those affected by ASD.

    Team ParentCircle May 17 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Informative session. Can we have a session with parents who have children with autism, share their experiences?

    Team ParentCircle May 15 2019

    The following was produced in partnership with the Lieber Institute for Brain Development whose mission is to translate genetic insights into next generation treatments. There's a reason most of us dont recall growing up with as many autistic kids as there are now: Many more children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder today than ever before. Read this wonderful article to know more >>>> https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/what-neuroscientists-now-know-about-autism/

    Team ParentCircle Apr 29 2019

    Choosing the right school for a child is a tough decision. But when the child is differently-abled and has special needs, making the decision becomes even trickier. We help you find some answers.

    Read here to know more>>>> https://www.parentcircle.com/article/tips-for-choosing-the-best-school-for-your-special-needs-child

    Team ParentCircle Apr 26 2019

    While all parents feel guilty at some point in their journey, the churning felt by those with special needs children is more pronounced. Find out how to handle such emotions in a healthy manner...

    Team ParentCircle Feb 12 2019

    Raising an autistic child is not an easy task. As a mom to an autistic child, am here to share my learning. Also, some tips to ensure quality of life for your autistic child and the entire family.

    Team ParentCircle Apr 9 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Thanks for writing this article. I shared it with a close friend of mine whose daughter has autism and she found it really helpful.

    Team ParentCircle Mar 5 2019

    Bringing up a child with autism is filled with challenges. Here, our expert outlines how parents can cope with everyday stress and also, proactively take care of their's child's unique needs.

    Team ParentCircle Feb 25 2019

    All children benefit from play, but a special needs child may find it difficult to follow the rules and competition in traditional games. Here are 10 games for your child to have fun and learn

    Team ParentCircle Feb 18 2019

    What exactly causes autism is something that is under constant discussion, deliberation and research. There are many hypotheses and theories that have come up from different researchers about what may be a cause for autism. Here is one of the latest researches that suggests that a difference in the genetic material (RNA) is possibly a reason for autism. Read this article to find out more.

    Team ParentCircle Jan 29 2019

    This ClipBook talks about how different therapies are used to treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Team ParentCircle Jan 8 2019

    Raising an autistic child can be an overwhelming experience for the parents. However, with a little bit of planning and effort, it may not be a difficult task to carry out. Read on to know more. Click here https://www.parentcircle.com/article/9-ways-to-solve-the-dilemma-related-to-raising-an-autistic-child/

    Team ParentCircle Jan 8 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Raising an autistic child can be an overwhelming experience for the parents. However, with a little bit of planning and effort, it may not be a difficult task to carry out. Read on to know more.

    Team ParentCircle Dec 14 2018

    The diagnosis of autism in a child may hit a family hard. A more nuanced understanding of the condition will help families work towards a better quality of life for themselves and their child.
    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a constellation of conditions. Children with autism usually show a reduced drive to socialise and communicate. They also exhibit difficulty in carrying on a conversation or interpreting facial cues or gestures and, find it tough to engage in group play.

    Why do autistic individuals behave differently from others?
    Children with autism are affected by various sensory processing issues. This makes them display behaviours like screaming, not complying with instructions, closing their ears, running around in circles and, flapping their hands.

    What causes autism?
    Scientists are yet to put their finger on the exact cause of autism. However, there are several theories about why the brain of an autistic child appears different. Animal models of autism spectrum disorder have linked autism to genetic factors. In their study titled, Deficient autophagy in microglia impairs synaptic pruning and causes social behavioral defects, published in Molecular Psychiatry (2017), Kim et al say, "We found that deletion of atg7, which is vital for autophagy, from myeloid cell-specific lysozyme M-Cre mice resulted in social behavioral defects and repetitive behaviors, characteristic features of ASDs."

    Characteristics of ASD:-
    The characteristics of ASD can vary from child to child. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is because there several conditions -- Asperger's Syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, etc. -- that are now considered a part of ASD. However, some common mannerisms exhibited by children with autism include:

    - Stereotypical responses to situations and repetitive behaviour such as asking the same question again and again.
    - Problem adapting to new surroundings and dealing with unexpected situations.
    - Difficulty establishing eye contact.
    - Maladaptive behaviours such as head banging, self-injury, irritability, and flapping hands.
    - Trying to look at objects closely or staring into space.
    - Increased sensitivity to sound and/or light, which may result in the child closing his eyes/ears.
    - Preference for food of a particular texture or avoiding foods that make a crunching sound.
    - Speaking loudly, and in an expressionless, monotonous tone.
    - Preference for routine and structure.


    S Dinesh, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, suggests adopting the following strategies to help children with autism thrive and integrate into the mainstream:

    1. Applied behavioural analysis: This involves identification of the most problematic behavioural trait in the autistic child and then taking steps to remedy it. This is done in two ways: positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your child for acceptable or good behaviour by clapping for them, patting their back, or verbal acknowledgements. At times, the reinforcement has to be frequent, even as often as 15 seconds. Negative reinforcement, on the other hand, focuses on removing the unfavourable cause, in order to encourage good behaviour.

    2. Attention enhancement: This involves keeping the child engaged in activities that are useful and seem interesting to him. It is a step-by-step process. For example, you can begin by asking your child to colour a small circle. With each passing day, increase the size of the circle. With any activity your child enjoys doing, adopt a similar strategy that is, increase the complexity so that your child spends more time doing that activity every day. This will help increase your childs attention span.

    3. Social skills training: Engaging your child in group therapy is a good option to teach her social skills. Encourage your child to interact with a group of children of the same age and similar needs. This way, your child can learn several important social skills. Also, create as many opportunities as you can for your child to interact with those around. You could also train her to deal with situations that crop up in our daily life in order to make her as street smart as possible.

    4. Vocational training: Children with autism can be trained in various vocations and skills, depending on their ability and interest. This can include baking, cooking, typing, desktop publishing, coding and so on.