State Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudry stressed the need for education, training and development for the autistic children, and the provision of awareness to parents about the disease’s symptoms and prevention.
While speaking at a seminar on World Autism Day at National Special Education Centre for Mentally Retarded Children, he said that autism is a neurodevelopment characterised by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.
Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress. The diagnostic require that symptoms become apparent in early childhood, typically before age three. While autism is highly heritable, researchers suspect both environmental and genetic factors as causes. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents. Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes. The vaccine hypotheses, however, have been disproven, he said.
Although many psychological interventions have some positive evidence, suggesting that some form of treatment is preferable to no treatment, the methodological quality of systematic reviews of these studies has generally been poor, their clinical results are mostly tentative, and there is little evidence for the relative effectiveness of treatment options, he added.
The state minister said intensive, sustained special education programs and behavior therapy early in life can help children acquire self-care, social, and job skills and often improve functioning and decrease symptom severity and maladaptive. He added that he is happy to know that the education centre for mentally retarded children made autism unit on their own last year. In this autism unit, 26 autistic children are being treated to make their neurodevelopment disorder in an order.
At the end, the state minister congratulated the institution for achievements in the field of research, diagnose, visual development and social training.