India must adopt exclusive protocols & tools to treat autism, say experts

Experts say that the assessment of developmental disorders, like autism, is difficult in India. This is because there is a lack of proper protocols and tools that are customized to an Indian context.

Developmental disorders like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be treated. However, current assessment and treatment methods are based on Western methods. This makes it difficult for doctors, teachers, and parents.

Suja K Kunnath, a professor at the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) in Thiruvananthapuram, says that India must come up with its own methods for diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders. Dr Kunnath says that disorders like autism and ADHD can be cured, if detected early.

Biological, environmental, and cultural factors play a huge role in the development patterns of a child. Hence, methods adopted from western countries will not be very effective on a child with a developmental disorder in India.

Dr Kunnath says that unless there is proper diagnosis and medication, developmental disorders cannot be cured.

Most states in India, including Kerala, follow Western methods for treating developmental disorders. Dr Kunnath recommends that every state in India must have its own protocols and tools. This is the best method to assess developmental disorders in a child.

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