Nepalwatch

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28th of November 2022

Autism not a disease, but manageable health condition

Kathmandu. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not a specific disease as the society largely (mis) believes but a manageable mental health condition. As experts say ‘it is neurological development disorder’ that hampers the socialization and communication skills of a child.

As a result, people with autism face loneliness and social isolation. In classroom, they may struggle with sensory processing.

Family environment, awareness and care giving skills can hugely contribute to the management of autism. But contrary to medical suggestions, the society falsely considers it as a serious health issue which is leading the issue to worse, instead of finding the solution.

An organization named Voice of Women dedicating itself as it claims to increase public understanding and clearing up misconceptions about ADS says the condition is manageable. The organization activities are focused on making the family, schools and teachers aware of the fact, according to organization member Monica Manandhar.

It is estimated that there are about 2,50,000-3,00,000 Person with Autism (PWAs) in Nepal. Among them about 60,000-90,000 PWAs are severely affected. Services for children with autism are nominal due to an acute scarcity of trained professionals in the field.

There is a dire need for of stronger advocacy and awareness programs, as well as special education programs. The issue can be largely addressed if family and society treat it with a positive approach, the Voice of Women said.

However, there is a lack of awareness amongst people and diagnosis on this is weak.

People of the concerned sector say that the actual data could not be collected as the family members do not want to reveal the facts about their children. It is said that problem has surfaced to the state to formulate policy in lack of identification of condition and number of such people.

Problems could be resolved easily if any problem comes out openly in the society.

In Nepali Society, some of the parents still do not want to talk openly about the health or mental problem in their children, and parents may go into depression due to this. Parents are also found to be in a state of anguish thinking about the future of their children.

Autism could be managed through therapy. Many parents have experienced that it would be easier to children if they undergo therapy for thrice in a week and it would bring change in life of such children.

Parents or family members are expected to give enough time to the people with autism to make their life easier. They need to be engaged in constructive activities with regular consultation with health specialists.

No medicine is available so far for the treatment of autism. Therapy is the best way to help children with ASD to live a normal life. Physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, art therapy and Allopathic therapy are helpful for them.

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