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Here is some information about welfare schemes for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Thousands of children in India are affected by ASD- Autistic Spectrum Disorder that affects their behavior and communication skill. Children and people with ASD can have a variety of symptoms and signs. Some children can be nonverbal while others disorders such as OCD.

ASD is now covered under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016-RPWD Act 2016. It means that people with the Autistic Spectrum Disorder are to get special benefits that are their rights as per the law. There are some schemes launched by the government that are beneficial for people with ASD.

The National Trust is a special institution that aims to work exclusively for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.

The trust is a statutory body of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment under the Government of India. Most of the schemes for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder have been launched by the National Trust.

Anuradha Srinivasan , a parent and SCAN member says,

The laws need to ensure equal opportunity and rights to the children with disorders in India. Disabilities should not hamper one's opportunity in life.

SCAN is Special Child Assistance Network. A support group based in Chennai for parents of children with disabilities.

Here is information about some of the schemes for welfare of people with ASD.

  1. Health insurance for the people with ASD- The Niramaya Health Insurance Policy provides health insurance cover to people with ASD in India. The scheme gives a cover of up to Rs 1,00,000 to the persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, mental impairments and multiple disabilities. The insurance is offered by the National Trust in collaboration with a private insurance company called ICICI Lombard. Every person with developmental disabilities who is enrolled with The National Trust is eligible for insurance.

  2. Another scheme called GHARAUNDA aims to provide affordable housing and minimum quality care to people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder their entire life duration.

  3. DISHA Centers across the country aim to prepare the children with ASD for their academic life and also provide support and guidance to their families. Children between the age groups of 0 to 10 years are provided training at the DISHA Centers and this helps them prepare for higher education at school.

  4. The GYAN PRABHA is also a scheme of the National Trust that provides financial help to people Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The aid is meant to encourage and motivate them to continue their education and aspire for graduation/post graduation and vocational courses.

These are some of the welfare schemes available for the benefit of people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in India. To avail the benefits of these schemes, a UDID card is a must.

UDID cards are the Unique Disability Identity Cards that are issued to disabled people in India and can be used instead of disability certificates.

Awareness about their rights under the RPWD is important for disabled people to get the maximum benefits. Through spread of information about laws and various schemes for the disabled community, the RPWD can become a success.

"People with disabilities are largely unaware of their rights, so they are looking at a pension instead of a salary. We need to build our understanding of inclusive development by going beyond looking at it as a development issue. But that can only happen once we resolve survival issues like education and employment. Once that is taken care of, we can go beyond that ." says Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP

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