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Kolkata seminar on developmental paediatrics offers important tips on spotting early signs of autism, ADHD


What are some of the early signs of behavioural disorders like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and how does one identify them? Given that early intervention is critical, spotting these signs is important. A seminar in Kolkata presented by the Indian Academy of Paediatricians gave some valuable inputs in this regard.

Called Cradle to Crayon: Early intervention, the seminar talked about the need to respond to hyperactive behaviour, aggression, and poor learning ability in children as these can be early signs of autism and ADHD. The seminar also talked about identify the conditions with the help of a few distinct markers as treatment for the two conditions is different.

Doctors emphasized that timely detection is important as delayed treatment could limit the degree of recovery.

Children with autism tend to avoid eye contact even as newborns. They also do not respond to their name, use the wrong words for items, repeat words and tend to forget words they have learnt earlier when they are taught new words. Some other signs to look out for is that kids with autism like rotating objects. If given a toy car for instance, they would prefer to turn it and rotate the wheels rather than play with it. They also dislike physical contact and can be aggressive.

Children with ADHD, on the other hand, do not avoid eye contact. They find it hard to concentrate on one thing for too long, which makes it hard for them to solve puzzles, for example. They tend to run around, take hold of items and throw them.

In both cases, the children are likely to be hyperactive, aggressive and slow learners.

Experts said that the brain cells of human beings are most receptive to learning in the first five to eight years after birth. That is why it is critical to identify the sign and seek professional help. Kids with autism and ADHD can be treated with the help of special modules like picture cards, speech therapy or physiotherapy.

Medicines can also be used to calm the neuro-transmitters in children with ADHD. This helps calm the child down. Counselling can also play a key role.

Doctors said ADHD is curable, unlike autism, and results can be seen in the first six weeks of treatment.

ALSO READ: Helpline for children with neuro-developmental disorders started by AllMS, New Delhi

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