Pune 12th June 2023: Autism and ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) are two distinct neurodevelopmental disorders that can impact individuals in different ways. Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complex condition that usually emerges in early childhood and affects social interaction, communication, and behavior. Those with autism may struggle with understanding social cues, maintaining eye contact, and forming relationships. They may also engage in repetitive behaviors and have sensory sensitivities. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder due to the wide range of severity and challenges individuals may experience.
ADHD, on the other hand, is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. People with ADHD may struggle to pay attention, stay organized, and complete tasks. They may also display hyperactive and impulsive behaviors such as excessive fidgeting, restlessness, talking excessively, or interrupting others. ADHD can manifest in different ways, with some individuals primarily showing symptoms of inattention, others predominantly displaying hyperactivity and impulsivity, and some exhibiting a combination of both. While autism and ADHD are separate disorders, they can coexist in some individuals. It’s important to note that these conditions are diagnosed based on observed behaviors and symptoms, and a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. Autism has different types within the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) umbrella, including Autistic Disorder (severe), Asperger’s Syndrome (milder), and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) for atypical presentations that do not meet full criteria.ADHD is classified into Predominantly Inattentive Presentation (ADHD-PI) for difficulties with focus and organization, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation (ADHD-HI) for hyperactivity and impulsivity, and Combined Presentation (ADHD-C) with a mix of both.
Signs and symptoms of autism and ADHD can vary in children, and it’s important to consult with healthcare professionals for an accurate diagnosis. Here are some common signs and symptoms associated with each condition:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):
Social communication challenges: Difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as making eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures. Delayed speech and language development or typical use of language.
Restricted and repetitive behaviors: Engaging in repetitive movements or behaviors, intense fixation on specific objects or topics, resistance to change, and adherence to strict routines.
Social interaction difficulties: Difficulty with social interactions, such as making and maintaining friendships, understanding social cues, and showing empathy or understanding others’ perspectives.
Sensory sensitivities: Over- or under-reactivity to sensory input, such as sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights, textures, or specific tastes and smells.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):
Inattention: Struggling to sustain attention, easily becoming distracted, making careless mistakes, difficulty organizing tasks, and often losing things.
Hyperactivity: Constant restlessness, excessive talking, difficulty staying seated, and constant fidgeting or squirming.
Impulsivity: Acting without thinking, interrupting others, difficulty waiting for their turn, and impulsive decision-making.
Poor impulse control: Difficulty controlling emotions and impulses, resulting in outbursts, impatience, and difficulty following rules or instructions.
Early intervention plays a crucial role in the development of children between the ages of 2 to 5 years. This period is a critical phase of rapid brain development and learning, making it an ideal time to address any potential developmental delays or challenges. Early intervention programs focus on identifying and providing support for children who may be experiencing difficulties in various areas, such as communication, social interaction, and cognitive skills. By intervening early, children have a greater chance of overcoming challenges and reaching their full potential. Early intervention can include various therapies, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral interventions, tailored to meet the specific needs of each child. Through early intervention, children can develop the necessary skills to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally, setting them up for a brighter future.
Parents and schools play a vital role in identifying early warning signs in children’s development. Some of these signs include a lack of eye contact, delayed speech development, inability to pay attention, failure to respond to their name, not meeting developmental milestones, or sometimes meeting them too early or skipping milestones altogether. It is essential for parents and educators to be observant and proactive in recognizing these signs. If any concerns arise, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional or pediatrician. These professionals can assess the child’s development, provide a diagnosis if necessary, and recommend appropriate interventions or therapies. Early identification and intervention can significantly improve outcomes for children, ensuring they receive the support they need to thrive.
According to recent statistics, the prevalence of autism in India has increased to around 1 per 250 children, while the prevalence of ADHD is estimated to be around 8-10% among school-going children in India. It’s important to note that these numbers represent estimates and may not capture the full extent of autism and ADHD prevalence in the country.
Here are some helpful tips for parents dealing with autism and ADHD:
● Educate yourself: Learn about autism and ADHD to understand your child’s challenges and needs better.
● Seek professional support: Consult with specialists who can guide you and create a tailored treatment plan.
● Establish routines and structure: Create predictable environments with consistent schedules to reduce anxiety.
● Break tasks into steps: Help your child by breaking tasks into manageable steps and offering support as needed.
● Use visual supports: Visual aids like schedules and cues can aid communication and understanding.
● Positive reinforcement: Encourage positive behaviors with praise and rewards.
● Establish clear rules: Communicate expectations clearly and maintain consistency in enforcing boundaries.
● Encourage socialization: Support social development through interactions with peers and activities aligned with their interests.
● Practice self-care: Take care of yourself to better support your child’s needs.
Managing social stigma can be a significant concern for parents when their child is potentially labeled as being autistic or having ADHD. However, it is essential to shift the focus from labeling to addressing the child’s neurodevelopmental gaps. At NRI, we believe in emphasizing filling these gaps and promoting rehabilitation for a better quality of life rather than solely focusing on the labels. It is crucial for parents, clinicians, and teachers to accept and understand the child’s challenges and provide appropriate support and interventions. By fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, children can develop their strengths and overcome their difficulties. Ultimately, the goal should be to empower the child, facilitate their growth and development, and ensure a positive future for them.
Neuro Revolution International (NRI), a pioneering clinic for Autism and ADHD treatment, has recently opened its doors in Pune, India. With a dedicated team of professionals led by Mr. Renny Lembard, a trained Play Therapist from Boston, USA, and Ms. Anmol Joy, Chief Psychologist at NRI, the clinic is poised to make a significant impact on the lives of children with special needs. We hope that this information helps you better understand autism and ADHD and how to support individuals with these conditions.Neuro Revolution International (NRI) provides a range of evidence-based therapies tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism and ADHD, which includes Clinical Assessments, Quantum Reflex Integration Therapy, Forbrain Speech Therapy, Socialization Therapy, and Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Clinical assessments involve comprehensive evaluations conducted by healthcare professionals to assess an individual’s cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and developmental functioning. They provide valuable information for diagnosis, treatment planning, and progress monitoring. The Indian Scale of Assessment for Autism (ISAA) is a specific diagnostic tool used in India to assess autism spectrum disorders. The Vanderbilt Assessment Scale is employed to evaluate ADHD symptoms, relying on questionnaires completed by parents and teachers. The Vineland Social Maturity Scale measures adaptive behavior and social skills. Reflex Integration Assessment evaluates the integration of primitive reflexes, while Quantum Reflex Integration Therapy aims to address retained reflexes and improve neurological function. Forbrain Speech Therapy utilizes auditory feedback to enhance speech and language skills. Socialization therapy focuses on improving social skills, and Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation uses mild electrical stimulation to target the vagus nerve for potential therapeutic benefits. Consulting with professionals is crucial to determine the most suitable approach for individual needs.
Neurodiversity is a reality in India, with an estimated 20 million children affected by Autism and 10 million diagnosed with ADHD every year. At Neuro Revolution International, we are committed to providing rehabilitation services to these children. Our team utilizes cutting-edge technology to address the unique challenges presented by neurodiverse brains. As CEO, I am proud to lead a team dedicated to improving the lives of these children and their families.
-Mr. Renny Lembard, CEO. In a world where neurodiversity is often met with adversity, Neuro Revolution International (NRI) is dedicated to creating a community that embraces and celebrates it. We believe that acceptance should not be a rare commodity, but a fundamental right for all individuals, regardless of their neurological differences. At NRI, we are passionate about fostering a culture of inclusivity and understanding, where neurodiversity is not only accepted but celebrated.
-Ms. Anmol Joy Anthony, Chief Psychologist