‘One in every 60 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders’

Around 3 million people in India are suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the count is rapidly increasing, with one in every 60 children being the victim now, B.P. Lalitha, consultant psychiatrist of KIMS ICON Hospital said on the World Autism Day on Tuesday.

However, she added that early intervention measures had shown a good improvement in the patients.


The symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders may be present in the early developmental period, but it manifests much later when a child fails to perform normal activities.

“With the recent studies and screening tools available, autism can be diagnosed in 18-month-old babies. In the early 1940s, autistic children in India were described as ‘difficult children’. The case studies were available from 1960s and it was only during the late 1990s, autism schools came into the picture,” Dr. Lalitha explained.


The etiology of ASD indicates both genetic and environmental factors.

These include perinatal parameters such as disorders of pregnancy, foetal distress, labour complications, low birth weight, premature birth, neonatal jaundice, delayed birth cry and asphyxia among others.

The symptoms include impaired social or emotional reciprocity, poor eye contact, no sharing interests due to deficiency of mirror neurons and delay in language acquisition skills, abnormal responses to light, touch and smell, restrictive repetitive behaviours, interests and activities like use of same object and stereotyped movements.

The screening tools used in India are: M- CHAT for toddlers and diagnosis by clinician include DSM 5 evaluation, diagnostic tools include CARS and etc.

Screening tools

Two diagnostic tools have been developed in India —INCLEN (International Clinical Epidemiology Network) and ISAA (Indian Scale for Assessment of Autism), Dr. Lalitha added.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 7, 2021 9:17:22 AM |

Next Story