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Is Autism Still A Taboo In India?

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Yes – autism is still a taboo in India. This article focuses to discuss various reasons behind this.

What is Autism?

Before starting, let’s discuss what exactly autism is. According to Autism Speaks, autism is a condition where a person faces challenges while carrying out certain daily tasks such as communication, developing social skills, and repetitive behaviors. But, on the contrary, they have a unique set of skills. Autism occurs due to various environmental and genetic variations.

A Rise In Detection

In an article posted on May 6th, 2013, Hindustan Times explains that “From 20 lakh cases in 2003, the number of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases in the country [India] has risen to about 1.36 crore at present.”

Reasons For Autism To Being Taboo

Confusing it with mental retardation

Hindustan Times continues to explain that people link autism with retardation. states that¬†mental retardation¬†is “a developmental disorder”. It can be seen that the cause of the two things is different, hence treatment should also be different.

The blame game

Another aspect is that parents blame their own deeds for their child being born with autism or later developing autism. While these emotions are understandable, parents need to realize that being autistic is not their fault. It is something that occurred naturally.

Ignoring the problem

On the contrary, some parents do not want to accept that their child could possibly have autism. Although ignoring the problem may make the parent feel better, as this means the child may be accepted easily into the society, but this has an adverse effect on the child.

How The Taboo Negatively Effects The Child

Autism Speaks shared a poem written by an autistic child about how he feels neglected at home, despite the parents having his best interest in mind. Click here to read the poem.

You can also read an article by The School For Autism Blog explaining how Taare Zameen Par is on point in explaining this. Click here to read it.

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