In a welcome sign of attitude change, more parents of kids with autism come forward for diagnosis
The greatest ignorance and stigma towards mental disorders like autism and ADHD is often seen in smaller towns of India. That is changing, as is evident in Ludhiana in Punjab.
Here, a large number of families are actively gaining awareness about mental disorders and learning disabilities in kids. This is especially the case with autism.
Doctors and NGOs in Ludhiana are reporting that a growing number of parents are coming forward to get their kids diagnosed for such disorders.
According to one expert, from one or two people with autism a month, she now sees almost five. More parents are also coming forward to get their kids diagnosed. There are also signs that parents have educated themselves in the past few years and are coming forward for regular check-ups.
Unlike earlier where parents would keep their kids locked up afraid of what society would say, they have now become more accepting. They realize that the more a child with autism is exposed to the world outside, the more adaptive the child becomes.
More doctors, volunteers, and friends are coming forward to help NGOs working with children with autism. Signs that show society's willingness to integrate with the children.
Experts are calling for increasing awareness among youth through greater interactions with kids with autism, be it at parks, homes, or schools. More is also needed to help these kids in mainstream schools and occupational centres.