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Social Acceptance Helps Reduce Impact of #Autism

Early signs of autism can often be detected in children as young as 2-3 years.

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A girl with Autism. Why does she have to be deprived of being a part of social circles

April 2 is observed as the World Autism Awareness Day.

Early signs of autism can often be detected in children as young as 2-3 years and it is advisable that parents start treatment as soon as possible for improved outcomes, according to doctors.

Children with autism need social acceptance to help reduce the impact of the disorder, they said.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.

We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. 

It is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

“The biggest issue with autism still remains at the grassroots level. Patients need social acceptance and intervention at an early stage.”

“If a child is not making eye contact while speaking or not responding while being called by name or to gestures then a doctor should be consulted immediately,” said Ketan Patel, a homoeopath doctor based in Ahmedabad.

Early signs of autism can be detected at the age of 2-3 years, Patel said.

After offering free treatment to thousands of autistic children in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Secundrabad and also those in the foreign countries, Patel is now focusing on Odisha as well as rural areas on the east coast.

Snehal Deshpande, consulting therapist and Head of Department (paediatric rehabilitation), Wockhardt Hospitals, says the modern-day lifestyle has taken away the experience of togetherness from families. There is a total disconnect from the circle of security which a child wants.

“A child with autism is given a sensory diet comprising various therapeutic activities which can enhance his participation in school and interaction with family and friends.

“What the child needs most is the time from his mother, father and immediate caregiver to connect and make him feel secure and independent.

“Screen time (use of electronic devices such as TV, mobile, tablets) should be kept negligible and the child should be given toys, books and interactive home-based situations,” she added.

Bijal Srivastava, a paediatrician at Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, said in the present era, a phenomenon called ‘virtual autism’ has been identified where children who are given more exposure to screen time are prone to develop autism-like symptoms which reverse on stopping the use of such devices.

“These devices have a negative impact on the developing brain of an infant by providing an exciting world of colours, sound, images. Excess screen time also adversely affects a diagnosed autistic child,” she said.

Once autism is diagnosed, multi-factorial approach with behavioural interventions, sensory stimulation, speech therapy, occupational therapy, which focus on the development of social skills, language, communication and daily skills, are needed to deal with the disorder, Srivastava said.

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HEALTHCARE

Health Minister Gives Kayakalp Awards for Health Facilities

The award is given by the Ministry to those best performing public health facilities which demonstrate a high level of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.

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NEW DELHI: Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda gave away the Kayakalp awards in New Delhi on April 19.

The award is given by the Ministry to those best performing public health facilities which demonstrate a high level of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.

On the basis of numbers of patients and bed occupancy, the awards have been listed in two categories.

In the first category, AIIMS, New Delhi, received the first prize worth Rs. 2.50 crore, while PGI Chandigarh won the second prize worth Rs. 1.50 crore.

In the second category, North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Science, Shillong was adjudged as the winner with a prize money worth Rs. 1.50 crore.

The second prize went to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, with a prize money worth 1 crore.

Speaking on the occasion, Nadda said, the Kayakalp initiative will surely prompt other hospitals to excel in achieving the Prime Minister’s goal of Swachh Bharat.

He said, health was not taken seriously earlier, but now it has taken centre stage in the government’s agenda.

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DARPAN-PLI, App for Postal Life Insurance Launched

The hand-held devices will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas. 

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NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Communication Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN-Postal Life Insurance App on April 17 in New Delhi.

The DARPAN-PLI App will help in collection of premium for postal life insurance and rural postal life insurance policies at branch post offices anywhere in India, with online updation of the policies.

Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said, these initiative will help Department of Posts in providing better after-sales service to customers, particularly those living in rural areas of the country.

He said, with a view to achieve total digitisation of postal operations in the country, the department has launched Digital Advancement of Rural Post office for a new India (DARPAN) Project, which aims at connecting all one lakh 29 thousand Rural Branch Post Offices.

The Hand-held devices installed under DARPAN Project will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas.

Customers in these areas can now avail the facility of online Core Banking, booking of Registered and Speed Post articles, booking of Money Orders, deposit of Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance premium through these hand-held devices.

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HEALTHCARE

Almost 90% in Delhi are Vitamin-D Deficient

The bigger concern is that the population at large is not even aware of Vitamin D deficiency and its consequences.

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NEW DELHI: Around 88% of the Delhi-NCR population surveyed suffered from Vitamin D deficiency which causes chronic muscle pain, spasms, low energy levels, depression etc, according to a recent report.

However, the bigger concern is that the population at large is not even aware of Vitamin D deficiency and its consequences.

A data analysis of people between the age group of 21 and 65 years from October 2017 to March 2018 showed insufficient Vitamin D presence.

The age group of 21-35 years showed maximum insufficiency, according to the survey conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The report said that eight out of ten people suffered from the deficiency.

Around 55% of survey respondents were under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26%), 40-49 years (16%), 50-60 years (approximately 2%) and 60-80 years (1% approximately).

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone mineralization, leading to bone softening diseases as rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults. The deficiency can be easily corrected by Vitamin D supplementation or some lifestyle changes, said Dr H K Chopra, co-chairman of ASSOCHAM Healthcare Council.

Dr Chopra further said insufficiency or non-exposure to sunlight, staying in air-conditioned rooms for long hours during the day could be the prime reason behind the deficiency.

Low vitamin D levels are widely known to harm bones, leading them to become thin, brittle, soft or misshapen.

It is also to be noted that Vitamin D is equally important for heart, brain, immune function and much more.

Foods high in Vitamin D are fish, beef liver, egg yolks.

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