Autism is a mental disease in which a child faces great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. Millions of children in India itself suffer from the disease, however, now researchers have found success in developing a new treatment programme that will cure millions of children suffering from the mental disease not only in India but in other developing nations too.
More than 70 million children are affected with autism due to which the disease has become one of the fastest growing mental diseases in the world. It affects social development of children refrains from developing a bright future. Researchers from the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester in UK collaborated with colleagues in south Asia adapted a parent-led autism therapy which helped parents interact better with their autistic children after 12 weeks of the programme.
According to researchers, developed nations have funds to cure autism, but the mental disease is rapidly growing in developing countries since parents in these countries don’t earn enough to receive specialist treatment. Thus, the condition in developing nations is worsening and the new therapy can do wonders, says study authors.
The new therapy named PASS (parent-mediated intervention for autism spectrum disorder in south Asia) adopted from leading UK therapy method known as PACT, improves interaction between parents and their autistic child. To test the effect of therapy, UK researchers conducted trials over 65 autistic kids in Goa. After twelve week period, children were able to communicate better with their parents.
“We’ve shown that these techniques can help children in the UK, but in south Asia, there are factors such as lack of resources, trained staff, language and cultural differences and poor access to medical centres which means that methods need to be adapted,” said lead authors of the study, Atif Rahman from the University of Liverpool and Jonathan Green from The University of Manchester.
“This study is the first to have adapted a treatment so as to allow it to be delivered by non-specialist health workers in south Asian communities,” they said.
“It has been outstandingly successful in showing that such adaptation is both possible and can produce changes that are equal or even better that we achieved in UK,” they said.