Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Autism Support Network to give Specialised Care in Rural India


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Autism

Mains level : Mental healthcare in India

The Centre for Autism and Other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education (CADRRE), a not-for-profit organization will launch “Pay Autention — a different mind is a gifted mind”, India’s first bridgital autism support network.

Pay ‘Autention’

  • The initiative shall pave the way for small towns and rural India to access specialised care and support and help create an auxiliary network of champions for the differently-abled.
  • This platform shall also enable mentoring, skilling and meaningful livelihoods for people with autism.
  • In the first phase, the initiative will primarily focus on supporting children with autism, and subsequently, in the second stage, it will focus on young adults, empowering them with life skills and career readiness.
  • The content is designed and delivered in collaboration with specialists from CADRRE who have expertise in training children with autism.
  • The project aims to create a network of grassroots champions, enable early identification, first-level care, teach social skills, ways to ease activities of daily living, hold workshops for sensory and motor development.
  • It also focuses on art and craft, dance, music therapy, physical and mental fitness, communication skills and enable support for academics.

What is Autism?

  • Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complicated condition that includes problems with communication and behaviour.
  • It can involve a wide range of symptoms and skills.
  • ASD can be a minor problem or a disability that needs full-time care in a special facility.
  • People with autism have trouble with communication. They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel.
  • This makes it hard for them to express themselves, either with words or through gestures, facial expressions, and touch.
  • People with autism might have problems with learning. Their skills might develop unevenly.
  • For example, they could have trouble communicating but be unusually good at art, music, math, or memory.

What are the signs of Autism?

Symptoms of autism usually appear before a child turns 3. Some people show signs from birth. Common symptoms of autism include:

  • A lack of eye contact
  • A narrow range of interests or intense interest in certain topics
  • Doing something over and over, like repeating words or phrases, rocking back and forth, or flipping a lever
  • High sensitivity to sounds, touches, smells, or sights that seem ordinary to other people
  • Not looking at or listening to other people
  • Not looking at things when another person points at them
  • Not wanting to be held or cuddled
  • Problems understanding or using speech, gestures, facial expressions, or tone of voice
  • Talking in a sing-song, flat, or robotic voice
  • Trouble adapting to changes in routine

What causes Autism?

  • Exactly why autism happens isn’t clear. It could stem from problems in parts of your brain that interpret sensory input and process language.
  • Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls. It can happen in people of any race, ethnicity, or social background.
  • Family income, lifestyle, or educational level doesn’t affect a child’s risk of autism. But there are some risk factors:
  1. Autism runs in families, so certain combinations of genes may increase a child’s risk.
  2. A child with an older parent has a higher risk of autism.
  3. Pregnant women who are exposed to certain drugs or chemicals, like alcohol or anti-seizure medications, are more likely to have autistic children
  4. Other risk factors include maternal metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Prevalence of Autism in India

  • Prevalence and incidence statistics about autism in India is 1 in 500 or 0.20% or more than 2,160,000 people.
  • According to a study, an estimated three million people live with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) on the Indian subcontinent.


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