On the Sixth World Autism Awareness Day, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Thanal, a suicide prevention and watch group, organised an awareness workshop for families and communities to help them better understand children affected by the spectrum disorder.

The event, inaugurated by Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Benoy Viswom, highlighted how autistic children required special support of the community and the immediate family.

Children affected by autism usually faced social inadequacies and communication issues, both verbal and non-verbal, and showed repetitive behaviour.

The camp, which also had experts from K.M.C.T Medical College’s Psychiatry Department and the Kerala Social Security Mission taking part, said a massive awareness programme to sensitise teachers was needed to bring autistic children into the mainstream.

“There are schools for children with autism. But such schools should have facilities to conduct behavioural therapy and train children in enhancing their social, language, and intellectual skills,” P.N. Suresh Kumar, senior psychiatrist, said.

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