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Deal patiently with autistic kids: Experts

IANS Apr 03, 2024

Medical experts have said that changes in routine, unfamiliar places and strangers can be significant stressors for autistic children and teenagers.

Talking on Autism Awareness Day on 2 April, they said that proactive measures can make a major difference.

Experts emphasised the importance of preparing children for expected and unexpected changes as it would help smooth the transition and reduce anxiety.

Prof Vivek Agrawal, head, of psychiatry, at KGMU, explained that autistic individuals often find comfort in predictable routines.

“Providing advance notice and visual schedules can help children understand what to expect throughout the day, empowering them to manage changes better. Simple tools like timetables with pictures can be very effective,” he explained.

Prof Agrawal raised concerns about increased screen time in young children because it could pose behavioural challenges in those with autistic traits.

“But these issues could be reversed with early intervention. “Parents should ensure no screen for children below two years and up to two to five years, the screen time should be limited to half an hour and that too under supervision,” he added.

Prof K K Datt, former clinical psychologist, at KGMU, said that due to neurological conditions, autistic children like to be in their realm and when their realm is disturbed, they find it difficult to cope with it.

Psychiatrist-cum-neurologist Dr Rahul Bharat said that by rewarding positive responses, children can develop the ability to cope with unforeseen circumstances.

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