Invited Lecture Series On ‘Autism’

Human being is said to be the most wonderful creation of God. The psyche, the thought mechanism and the brain as a whole when implemented in the right direction can no doubt, do wonder but this gift doesn’t seem to be evenly distributed among the human genre. Yes, some people find it difficult to learn behaviours needed in everyday life. Yes, some people are different.

The Dept. Of Humanities and Social Sciences was fortunate enough to have Ms. Simmi Santha , an acclaimed Behaviour Therapist and Rehabilitation Professionalbased in Canada who delivered a lecture on “Identification and Management of Autism Spectrum Disorder” at Senate Hall, on Friday, 05 September 2014, 4:15 P.M. Currently, Ms. Santha is working as a senior behavior therapist at Moss Rowden, Freigang& Associates, Canada. She has more than 18 years of experience in the field of developmental disability.

Ms. Santha threw light upon various perspective of Autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interactions and communication along with restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour which is on the rise. The current prevalence rate of ASD as per the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention is 1 in 68 births in USA. In India, this condition is on a sharp rise. Autism is a spectrum disorder and individuals may have average or above average mental functioning. Other people with autism have below average mental functioning and may have multiple disabilities such as developmental delays (DD) and autism or having mental retardation and autism.  Early detection and early intervention has proven to be very beneficial and effective in the treatment of autism. In India, a huge need has been identified to educate teachers, medical professionals, other professionals, parents, caretakers and children of all age groups about this highly prevalent condition in order for individuals with autism to be able to receive adequate therapeutic support and acceptance. Individuals diagnosed with having autism face several challenges in their daily lives which is worth consideration.

In her deliberation, she discussed on the myths related to autism, an introduction to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) - anevidence based practice in the management of Autism Spectrum Disorders.She also emphasised on the fact that technologist need to intervene in the management of ASD citing the example of SAP labs which has given appointments to individuals with autism.

Ms. Santha  has received numerous awards and accolades for her remarkable contribution in developmental disability. She is currently preparing a Parent Training Manual for parents/caregivers of children/individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Understanding Autism. She has also been working for setting-up the ‘Reeta Peshawaria Centre for Autism and ABA services’ in Mallappally, Kerala.

Team MM thanks her for her noble deeds and wishes her luck for all her upcoming accomplishments.