Difficulty in autism detection puts parents in trouble

FAITH roundtable told

Staff Correspondent

Parents face difficulties identifying autism in their children due to limitations of the diagnostic process in the country, and therefore, cannot take the right decision about how to raise them, a roundtable was told yesterday.

Father of a boy with autism, M Aftab Uddin, said, “We faced a lot of hassles while admitting our son to school because doctors couldn’t identify whether he is autistic or not, even after several diagnosis processes.” Talking about society’s negative attitude, the parents said people should not address children with autism as “disabled”.

Referring to his son, Aftab said, “People cannot accept him normally, that’s why we feel discomfort bringing him to any programme.” Media can change people’s mindsets through informing them about the disorder, he added.

The Foundation for Advancement of Innovations in Technology and Health (FAITH), Bangladesh organised the roundtable in the capital.

Prof Dr Faruk Alam, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), said identifying early-stage autism was difficult because it could not be said for sure if a child had autism or not even if he manifested most of the symptoms.

Media personality Dr Abdun Noor Tushar said society had to change its attitude towards autism, and parents had to accept their children’s condition.

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