Dr. Anjan Bhattacharya
Consultant Paediatrician, MBBS(Cal); DCH(Lond); MRCP(Lond); FRCPCH (UK)
APOLLO GLENEAGLES HOSPITAL, KOLKATA, Child Specialist, Child Development,
Care of New Born and Developmental Paediatrician
Childhood Autism
 
 

Autism Diagnosis and Screening

Autism Treatment

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Impairment or reduced functioning in any of the following three areas of functioning defines Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder:

1. Social understanding and social behaviour,
2. Social communication (verbal and non-verbal),
3. Rigidity of thinking and difficulties with social imagination.

The children show warning signs and presenting symptoms may be any of the following:

  • "My child is not speaking well yet" (Speech Delay)
  • Ignores adults
  • Lost in his "own world"
  • Started saying a few meaningful words, but seem to have forgotten them by now (speech regression)
  • Stubborn Behaviour
  • Lines up toys instead of playing with them "normally"
  • Likes spinning or circulating objects or fan
  • Likes to spin himself
  • Finger twiddles
  • Keeps looking at the corner of the eyes
  • Does not look up or hold eye contact well
  • Looks blankly
  • Difficult to get his attention
  • Freaks out and throws tantrums out of proportion
  • Dislikes crowds
  • Behaves oddly
  • Disturbs in the class
  • Does not sit still
  • Does not play with other children "normally"
  • Does not seem to be listening well
  • Flaps hands too much when excited
  • Keeps saying the same thing over and over again
  • Keeps making the same noise over and over again
  • Speak in an odd intonation
  • Speaks nonsense a lot
  • Too quiet in the class or social gatherings
  • Poor handwriting
  • Walks like a rag doll
  • Any other odd or unexplained behaviour, conduct or parental/ teacher/ health professional worry

Many of these complaints can be found In various other disorders apart from Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder. But, If you or anyone around your child has been concerned about even one or two of these symptoms, please take it seriously.

These are called WARNING SIGNS.

They are wake up calls for seeking expert opinion to rule out or establish the diagnosis before It Is too late to Intervene meaningfully.

If your child has the condition, you will not be able to wish It away.

You may however, certainly help by seeking an expert opinion at the earliest. If your child does not have Autism or ASD, you can put all your concerns behind you rather quickly.

Alternatively, In case your child has the condition, you will not delay the diagnosis, If you approached expert centre as soon as you started to wonder. It Is In fact, more of a worry, if you sit at home In agony. It is so much better to know once and for all, whether your child will need any Special Support.

Early Intervention is very important. With passage of time, certain bad traits get established, which are harder to remove later In life.

That Is why, Early Screening Tools like M-CHAT or Trivandam Autism Rating Scales are trying to pick up suspected cases as early as 19 months of age. With expert eyes, It Is possible to screen a toddler by 15 months of age.

Early Identification helps Early Intervention. Early Intervention before 3 years of age shows better outcome (prognosis) than children who access expert intervention later than 3 years of age. Outcome Is still good and easy, If Intensive Expert Intervention Is started before the child turns 4 years of age.

At CDC, AGH this 12 week Early Intervention model is followed with excellent Parent Led Intervention results as is shown in the current research! We call it Programme of Care (PoC) and Block of 12 weekly sessions! 
Any child of any age will benefit from expert Intervention. But the one picked before 4 years of age will have It easy!

Once the screening Is positive, every child should access an expert centre like The Child Development Centre, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital {CDC, AGH), where the diagnosis and co-morbid conditions can be confirmed.

The diagnostic process Is slightly lengthy, but here In India, the time length for such high quality expert valuation is much shorter than the Western Nations. For example, In the UK, the National Standard Framework expects a child Is diagnosed within 17 weeks. The same diagnostic rigor can be exercised In an expert centre like CDC, AGH can be completed by 2 to 3 weeks, with co-operation from the parents.

Expert Diagnosis and Intervention is extremely cheap in a setting of Kolkata, even when it is done at the premiere place like that of AGH, it it is done through CDC, AGH compared to similar standard anywhere in the world!

Your child will go through the same standard of diagnostic process as that of in a CDC of the UK (see Development Paediatrician). He will receive very similar intervention through the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) praised by an Adjunct Professor of the Sydney University of Australia.

He is probably he is the only Developmental Paediatrician in India who is equipped to use Gold Standard Diagnostic Tools for Autism with Griffiths tool and other diagnostic assessment tools like Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-III) , ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule), ADI-R ( Autism Diagnostic Interview) to assess through Gold Standard techniques the mental development of autistic children. He also has expertise in leading multidisciplinary assessment and management of children with complex disabilities including Autism, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome etc..

The diagnostic process is slightly lengthy, but here In India, the time length for such high quality expert valuation is much shorter than the Western Nations. For example, In the UK, the National Standard Framework expects a child is diagnosed within 14 weeks. The same diagnostic rigor can be exercised in an expert centre like CDC, AGH by 2 to 3 weeks, with cooperation and understanding from the parents.

Expert Diagnosis and Intervention is extremely cheap in a setting of Kolkata, even when it is done at the premiere place like that of AGH. If it is done through CDC, AGH it is much cheaper compared to a similar standard probably anywhere in the world!

 
For booking call Srabanti (91-9874797726) or Bipasha (91-9830987419)