Millennium Post

Autism becoming a new challenge for city residents

Even the teachers at Blooming Dale Academy, where he went to school, found some behavioural changes in Agniva when he turned two and brought it to the notice of his parents. The parents noticed that the he was undergoing some problems in his speech.

Anirudhha Sen, Agniva’s father, a Kolkata-based businessman, took the boy to a local doctor who told Anirudhha that his son was suffering from autism. As per the advice of doctors, Aniruddha and his wife Arundhati, took their son to Bangalore where the boy underwent various therapies and the boy’s mother was also provided training about different methods of teaching babies with the condition.

After they returned home to Kolkata, Arundhati tried to teach her son normal socially acceptable behaviour.  However, over the years the situation did not improve more than what it was five years ago. Arundhati found that her son had immense difficulties in speaking and could not answer to the questions that people asked him.

A few months ago, Aniruddha came to know about NeurogGen Brain and Spine Institute at the Mumbai-based Stem Asia Hospital and Research Centre, which specialises in stem cell therapy, and took his son there so that stem cell therapy could be conducted on Agniva. After completing the first phase of treatment, the boy was brought back to his home.

Aniruddha also attended a seminar along with his wife and son, organised by the Institute at a city hotel. He said that Agniva’s condition improved after the stem cell therapy as he was now able to pronounce words with relative ease; but for framing sentence the boy was still facing some problems.
“After going through the stem cell therapy, our son has shown a lot of improvement. He is now responding to our commands and his speaking capabilities have also improved. He is performing much better at his school and can write all the English alphabets,” Aniruddha said.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders in children. Raising a child with autism is a tough and lasting challenge for parents; more so for mothers as constant caring and attention is required for the child.

ASD is a childhood disorder that causes speech problems, hyperactivity, aggressive behaviour and difficulty in social interaction. Currently, over one crore children in India are affected by the 
disorder and are given treatment with drugs for systemic relief, special education, occupational speech and behavioural therapies.

Dr Nandini Gokulchandran, deputy director and head of medical services, Neurogen Brain and Spine Institute said: “The disorder is on the rise across the country. We have got many children from various Kolkata schools suffering from the disease. We are organising awareness camps at schools.”

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