Chennai: Governor RN Ravi said, “There is very little awareness about autism in our country.” He was speaking at the International Conference on ‘Recent Advancements in Autism – Global Perspective’ held at SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Kattankulathur.
He appreciated SRM College of Occupational Therapy (OT) at SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre (SRMC and RC) for treating autistic patients for the last two decades.
“Lack of awareness about autism leads to denial of acceptance of the problem among parents, especially if it is a girl child. In many cases, denial is the first step and acceptance comes much later. The much-needed intervention is not given to the child. Each child is uniquely affected, so the intervention and needs should be identified,” he added.
“In India, we have over 10 million people affected by this problem. This disorder is unfolding in a worrisome way and it leads to multi-dimensional implications. Therefore, to ease the situation, it has to be understood in both academic and non-academic angles. This will help us know the extent of the problem to get a better intervention,” he said.
The Governor said that students in this discipline have a huge responsibility toward autistic people. “Some of these affected children have special talents. It is the responsibility of the experts in the industry to understand them and provide the necessary help.” He also emphasised that the mothers of such children are clinically depressed and they too need help.
“The general awareness about autism is very low on personal, social, or government levels. In 2016, the Government of India passed legislation that allowed autistic children to attend normal schools. As per this rule, each school was to hire special educators. However, many states are yet to implement this provision,” he added.
The Governor appreciated the ecosystem of education at SRMIST and said it will leave an encouraging impression on anyone who visits it.
He then released a souvenir on ‘International Conference on Autism.’ and the first copy was received by SRMIST Pro-Chancellor (Academics) Dr P Sathyanarayanan.