Activities Mark World Autism Awareness Day at Plaza

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Special Autism Clinic to be operational from tomorrow

newznew (Chandigarh) : In order to create awareness, the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College & Hospital, and Government Rehabilitation Institute for Intellectual Disabilities (GRIID), today organized several activities to mark the World Autism Awareness Day.

On this occasion, Dr. B.S. Chavan, Head of Department of Psychiatry, GMC&H -32 and Joint Director GRIID, interacted with visitors in Plaza, Sector 17 here.

To mark the event, blue balloons signifying Autism were seen all over. Slogan writing competition on autism was also held, in which students of HRD section of GRIID and M.Phil. students of Department of Psychiatry, GMCH participated. Placards carrying awareness messages on autism were also put up to education the general public.

Dr. Shivangi Mehta, Assistant Professor Psychiatry, Ms. Nazli and Dr. Wasim Ahmad, both Assistant Professors at GRIID judged the slogan writing competition. Participants Nitika, Abrar, Gurpreet, Amrish, Neelam, Neha Thakur, Harpreet, Antima, Jaipreet, Shalini and Neha won the slogan writing completion who were given cash prizes and appreciation certificates by Dr. BS Chavan. A street play was organized by students of GRIID to create awareness on autism.

Dr. B.S. Chavan shared that autism is a complex development disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological process that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Dr. Chavan further informed the public that children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication skills, social interactions and leisure or play activities.

He also shared the work being carried out in Chandigarh on autism. GRIID runs regular OPD services for these children and their parents and is going start Special Autism Clinic on the occasion of World Autism Day i.e. 2nd April. GRIID already has data bank of 242 children with autism and provides them regular medical care and training.

Dr. Chavan further informed that Department of Psychiatry GMCH also provides regular services for these children. Dr. Priti Arun, a leading child and adolescent psychiatrist at GMCH 32, who is incharge of Child Guidance Clinic (CGC), has been working with these children and their families for last 20 years.

Dr. Priti has developed a simple training Manual for the Parents of these children. This manual is provided to parents free of cost and the manual describe step wise instructions for the parents. Presently, Dr. Priti and Dr. Chavan are in the process of studying prevalence of autism in Chandigarh and a house to house survey is being carried out in city. This study is likely to completed in next 6 months. It is funded by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).