Chennai: Dr. Ennapadam S Krishnamoorthy, Founder- Buddhi Clinic, gave a clarion call to “think different” on World Autism Day.
The management of Autism remains an enigma. With no single cause identified, no single drug or biological treatment has been identified as being effective. Many children within the autism spectrum receive symptomatic drug treatment for hyperactivity, impulsivity, mood swings and insomnia. Therapy remains the mainstay of management for patients with ASD, across the lifespan.
On the baffling condition, the doctor recommends, Think brain (not mind): Neuroimaging and neurogenetic studies have clearly demonstrated that Autism Spectrum Disorders are conditions of brain development.
Think interesting (not problematic): In the words of Prof. Oliver Sacks “It has to do with qualities of the mind which are preserved, even enhanced, so that, though “mentally defective” in some ways, they may be “mentally interesting”, even “mentally complete” in others!
Think enhanced (not diminished): “Enhanced powers of concrete imagery & memory and an obsessive preoccupation with particulars, the development of an eidetic imagery & memory, and the mentality of a performer, or whiz kid” have all been described by Prof. Oliver Sacks. Indeed higher order artistic, musical, lexical and mathematical abilities have been described in some people with autism, those with supreme abilities being termed as savants.
Think square pegs (in a world full of round holes): The problem for the person with autism is that in focussing on the particulars and being incapable of generalisation, they are square pegs that cannot be accommodated easily in a world full of round holes. It falls upon us as a society to create an “autism multiverse” in which they can thrive.
Think intelligence (not impairment): The theory of Multiple Intelligences propounded by Prof. Howard Gardner states that people are not more or less intelligent; rather different people are intelligent differently, in unique and multiple ways. It's not therefore just how smart you are, but how you are smart! Especially applicable to conditions like autism, MI proposes that each one of us has a range of intelligences that we could put to good use.
“While it would be fallacious to assume that every person within the autism spectrum is talented, it is important we explore the many possibilities. It is also important that we understand the problem as not being their own, alone; also, that of a society that is unwilling or incapable in parts of accommodating “their difference”. Its time therefore for us to “think different” explains Dr. Krishnamoorthy.
The Buddhi Clinic has researched and pioneered the utility of integrated care that combines modern medicine like drugs and brain stimulation (used mainly in adolescents and adults) with ancient wisdom. Ayurveda treatments, Acupressure and Reflexology, Natural treatments using river mud and water, which are delivered by us to children with ASD, as part of a holistic care program. “Our research has shown powerful effects of these treatments in improving behaviour, sleep, metabolism and health related quality of life for those affected,” he says.
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