A Special issue on Physiotherapy in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible & achieves the impossible.

Soham, a cute little boy aged 6 years appears smart, affectionate and confident like most boys of his age do. After spending some time with Soham, you’d probably notice he’s a little different from a “typical” six year old but his smile alone wouldn’t give anything away. When you delve deeper you realize that he finds social interaction challenging and it is difficult for him to communicate verbally and even non-verbally. There are times when he behaves in a stereotyped manner and shows loss of interest in day to day activities. Soham suffers from what medical science has termed as “Autism Spectrum Disorder”. His is a journey of hope against despair.And yes, there is HOPE. This special issue of PHYSIOTIMES focuses on Autism and is an attempt to look at the condition and its management from a holistic perspective and how a multi disciplinary team of health care professionals through a myriad of interventions can assist children with ASDs and their parents and family members in coping with it.

We thank Dr.Alok Sharma, Director, NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute, Mumbai and his entire team who took the initiative to put together this special issue and have worked relentlessly with our team to bring the expertise of authors from across the globe under one platform for the benefit of our readers as well as those seeking to know more about Autism. We thank Dr. Nandini Gokulchandran deputy director at Neuro Gen for her continued support and help. We also express our gratitude to Ms. Akshata Shetty, psychologist at Neuro Gen, for being a bridge between the authors and our editorial team and helping us in every way to make this issue see the light of the day. Hope this issue serves as a ready reckoner on Autism for you and helps you serve those little wonders of god live a more meaningful & independent life.

 

MENTOR SPEAKS: A Peak into The World Of Autism - DR. M.G. MOKASHI

Referrals of autism in physiotherapy are mixed up with some motor problem surfaced, hypotonia in particular. Earlier, Mental retardation (MR) was the common stamp put to club a host of such problems; the term was replaced by mental sub-normalcy. However, it was realized that some psychological problems are detected in pre-school or school ages and a term minimally brain damaged (MBD) was in vogue. But this minimally meant probably the severity of the motor aspects and no other functions impai... Read More

AN OVERVIEW: A Snapshot of Autism - DR. CHHITIJ SRIVASTAVA

Physiotherapists are often involved with children who have a range of physical difficulties. Some of the children that they see especially those affected with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies and encephalopathies may also have additional social & communication difficulties that sometimes fulfill criteria for an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It’s therefore extremely important that they are able to pick up the common indicators of autism and refer these children for a comprehens... Read More

"COVER STORY: Role Of Physiotherapy In Autism - DR.KHUSHBOO BHAGWANANI & DR.AMRUTA PARANJAPEE"

ASD is a Neuro-developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, impaired communication skills and repetitive or stereotypical behavior. Past few decades have shown increasing incidence of ASD. At present 1 out of 250 children in India are diagnosed to have ASD. Why do these children develop this complex developmental impairment is not understood.  There are various theories explaining the possible mechanisms, but they are speculative with limited evidence. As the caus... Read More

ARTICLE REVIEW: Effects Of Exercises on Stereotypical Behaviors in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder - SUSAN .R. HARRIS

In 2008, five of my former master’s in physical therapy (MPT) students at the University of British Columbia and I published a qualitative systematic review examining the effects of exercise-related interventions on stereotypic behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder.1 We searched the literature back to 1980 but, at that time, there were only seven studies that met our inclusion criteria and those studies (mostly case reports or single-subject research designs) involved only... Read More

EXPERT SPEAKS: Ph.D in Mental Health is an Expert in the AustimSpecturm in Infancy - HANNA ALONIM

Hanna A. Alonim, Ph.D in Mental Health is an expert in the Autism Spectrum in Infancy. Founder and Head of the Mifne Center for Infants and Families since 1987. Alonim is the Head of the Therapy Training School for Autism at the Bar Ilan University since 2001. She developed the Early Signs of Pre-Autism Scale for Infants (ESPASI). She is the founder and counselor of the Infants at Risk Detection Unit, at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center from 2005. Member of the Helsinki research committee... Read More

PHYSIO SPEAKS: A Veteran Occupational Therapist's perspective on Autism - DR. MAYA NANAVATI

Dr. Maya Nanavati is an Occupational Therapist with 40 years of experience in Neurology and Paediatric Rehabilitation. She was the Head of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Sir Hurkisondas Hospital in Mumbai for 34 years. She is the Founder Trustee of POSAT Foundation (Physio-Occupational-Speech Academy of Therapists), and the Co-ordinator of the Rehab unit and special classes for challenged children run by POSAT. Dr. Maya is also a consultant at many paediatric units, and a member of... Read More

"FEATURE ARTICLE: Occupational Therapy In Autism - DR.HEMA BIJU & TEAM

Occupational Therapy In Autism - DR.HEMA BIJU DR.JYOTHI SUNDARAM , DR.JAYANTI YADAV &DR.PRADNYA BHOVAD"

Autism is a complex neuro-developmental disorder that results in difficulties in social interaction, understanding, thought processing, reasoning abilities, verbal and non-verbal communication challenges and behavioural issues. These difficulties affect the individual’s ability to perform personal hygiene, work, play, and socia... Read More

MIND MATTERS: Building Bridges acrossthe Two World- A Psychologist's Take On Autism - AKSHATA SHETTY

“I don’t speak much but I have lots to say. I can’t express well but I have feelings. I may look through you but I see you. I may not follow your command but I do understand you. I don’t see the world in the way you see it but I have a wonderful world of my own”

Autism is a complex neurological disorder which affects the normal functioning of the brain and the development of the child’s ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally, understand ... Read More

EXPERT OPINION: Speech Language Therapy - MS.GAYATRI HATTIANGADI

Affecting approximately one in 500 children, Autism is currently seen as a common childhood disorder with core deficits in communication, socialization, play, and behavior. (Prelock,(2001). These core deficits make the Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist (ASLP) a very important member of the team for effective (re)habilitation of the child and his family.The role of an ASLP includes hearing screening and speech and language evaluation followed by family education and intervention for ... Read More

"SPECIAL ARTICLE: Stem Cell Therapy In Autism - DR. NANDINI GOKULCHANDRAN, DR.PRERNA BADHE & DR.ALOK SHARMA "

There is a new revolution in the medical treatment of children with autism, a revolution that is taking the scientific and medical world by storm. A revolution that was awarded the prestigious Noble Prize in Medicine in the year 2012. A revolution that will forever change the worlds of our children with autism. This revolution is called Stem cell therapy.

What are stem cells?- Stem cells are specialized cells, which can multiply  manifold, can convert to any  type of tissu... Read More

FEATURE ARTICLE: Nourishing Hope In Autism - SABA FIRDOUS

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are developmental disorders that affect children by disrupting their ability to communicate and interact socially. To reduce a child's symptoms of autism, parents often try alternative treatments such as specialized diets. Lately, the gluten-free/casein-free diet has grown in popularity. A gluten-free/casein-free diet is also known as the GFCF diet. It is one of several alternative treatments for children with autism. When following this strict elimination ... Read More

CLINICAL PEARLS: Medical Management Of Autism - DR. PINGALI SRILAKSHMI

Autism is a developmental disorder characterised by aberrant language development, impaired reciprocal social interactions and restricted behaviour repertoire. Apart from the above there are many associated problems. Seventy five percentages are mentally retarded and up to twenty five percent have seizures.

Other symptoms associated are mood symptoms like irritability, crying and laughing without any reason, aggression and self-injuriousbehavior like biting ,scratching, head banging... Read More

INSIDE IMAGING: Neuro Imaging In Autism - DR. ATUL MARWAH

The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders are a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.  Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder a... Read More

AQUA CORNER: Aquatic Therapy And Autism - DR. CHAULA BADIANI DR.AMRUTA .A. PARANJAPE, & DR. PRASANTH C. G.

The sweet smile, mischiefs, the innocence, plenty of questions and the naughty answers are some of the characteristics that makes us love and adore children. The commitment of the mother to her baby is unbeatable in all species and humans are no exception. She is one person who will love her child unconditionally and would go to any lengths to see her child grow normally. Father plays the most supportive role in this entire process and is most elemental in shaping the growth of the child. Lit... Read More

PHYSIO YOGA: Yoga As A Therapeutic Modality In Autism Spectrum Disorder - DR. NILIMA PATEL

The ancient art of yoga is proving to have great benefits for children on the autism spectrum. Yoga comprehensively addresses their heightened anxiety, poor motor coordination and weak self-regulation, something that otherwise is very difficult to do.

 Treatments for autism come in all shapes and sizes, and as families well know, what works for one autistic person doesn’t necessarily work for another. Choosing an intervention must be based on an autistic individual’... Read More

PARENT SPEAKS: Raising a Child with Autism – PARENT

When Vaibhav was born, he was a normal child, with all the normal milestones. We were very happy, our family was complete.  But sadly, fate had something else in store for us. As Vaibhav started growing up, we began to notice abnormalities in his behavior. He wasn’t like other children of his age. Our elder daughter had shown all the development milestones at appropriate ages. But Vaibhav was growing up differently. He would cuddle and sleep by himself, while walking he wouldn&rsqu... Read More

"CURRENT AFFAIRS: Recent Advances In Autism,Role Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy,Chelation,Vit.B12 Therapy - DR. HEMANGI SANE & MS.POOJA KULKARNI"

Will HBOT help my child with autism? Are there any risks or side effects to watch out? Can I try HBOT, since nothing is working for my child? ……a therapist may often face such queries of parents of children with autism who are constantly searching for options, in a hope to improve their child’s condition. Though not a cure, many new alternative therapies are being developed for autism over the past few decades due to the increased understanding of its pathophysiology. A th... Read More

GUEST COLUMN: Autism Spectrum Disorder through Drama Eyes - DR.PARASURAM RAMAMOORTHI

In the first week of April 2013 a couple visited Velvi Centre for Autism with their 2 years old baby, diagnosed as ASD by NIMHAANS Bangalore. The Child had no eye contact, no communication and also had vestibular issues. The same child today in August 2013 has greatly improved Eye Contact, some basic words and she is able to now walk a few steps. She is happily playing with one of her cousins. She identifies pictures of her parents. She runs into the arms of her father as soon as he walks in ... Read More

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