Phobia / Awareness
• We emphasize that these standardized behavioural data presented earlier are aimed at creating awareness but not phobia.
• Having any of these features in itself is not indicative of autism, but warrants further follow up and formal evaluation by a multi-disciplinary team.
• To quote an example, in the social/educational system of United States of America, all infants who exhibit developmental deviations are closely observed and monitored with appropriate intervention until they are able to reach a Yes or No category on a definitive diagnosis.
• This ensures that no child is left out in the system and enables early intervention (where necessary) which is very crucial for prognosis.
• This is also aimed at the need to create awareness among the medical community (particularly Paediatricians and Primary Care Physicians) who have the potential to identify autism early. There is a need to not only educate them but also sensitize them so that they can alter their practice to be more informed about screening every child for cognitive & behavioural deviations.
• Although this runs the risk of raising false alarms, it is better than a child with a deviation going unnoticed.
The Therapeutic Significance of the above statements in the light of our DOAST hands on clinical experience spanning more than a decade…….
We at DOAST believe in the ‘genetically influenced systemic model’ hypothesis of autism. The hypothesis postulates that genetic vulnerability to environmental triggers or stressors lead to prolonged oxidative stress and neuronal inflammation, which in turn compromise synaptic efficiency and impair brain network function.
Hence at DOAST we believe that identification of early risk and isolating those individuals from environmental triggers would pay rich dividend in the form of reduced incidence and peace at home.