ASDWT stresses need to form laws for differently-abled


HAFIZABAD: Autism Spectrum Disorder Welfare Trust (ASDWT) Chairperson Rukhsana Shah on Tuesday stressed on improving laws for the differently-abled and said that these laws should be based on equality of opportunities, accessibility and gender equality to ensure the special persons’ inclusion in all institutions and communities.

Speaking at a seminar held to raise awareness among the local community, including teachers, lady health workers, parents, and doctors about the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), she said that autism was three times more common than Down Syndrome. “It’s more common in boys than girls with a ratio of 4:1. Symptoms of autism become visible in children at an early age, but parents go into a state of denial or lack the awareness to deal with this disorder.”

The seminar was organised by ASDWT, in collaboration with Crescent Bahuman, and more than 170 participants were briefed about the symptoms of autism in children which included: difficulty in mixing with other children, resisting changes in routine, inappropriate laughing and giggling, little or no eye contact, sustained odd play, apparent insensitivity to pain, echolalia (repeating words or phrases in place of normal language), inappropriate attachment to objects and difficulty in expressing needs.

The participants were also given a short overview of the therapies used to treat the disorder.

ASDWT senior clinical psychologist Farah Amanat said that no medicines could cure autism, adding that it could only be treated through training, love and care. She said the ASDWT was providing free training and support to the children suffering from autism and their parents.

Clinical psychologist Sidra Ashiq, at the occasion, briefed the participants about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and said that it was a chronic problem that was manageable by training and intervention therapies but did not have a permanent cure.