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About Autisum
 
Autism is a condition that affects some children from either birth or infancy and leaves them unable to form normal social relationships or to develop normal communication.
 
 
Autism is a condition that affects some children from either birth or infancy and leaves them unable to form normal social relationships or to develop normal communication.
 
About Swabhimaan
 
Swabhimaan is a Trust, working for the welfare of people with autism in India. It is located by the second largest coastline in the world, at the outskirts of Chennai, India. 
 
Treaments
 
Yoga
Siddha
Ayurveda
Naturopathy
Hand Therapy
Play Therapy
Diet

INDIAN SYSTEM OF MEDICINE AND AUTISM

There is a staggering increase in the number of children with autism. Twenty years before one in ten thousand children had autism. Today one in two hundred are identified as autistic. What can be the causes for this disastrous spurt? While there is a point towards genetic susceptibility, there cannot be a genetic epidemic.

Environmental toxicity is regarded as a major cause for autism. Environmental pollution like intensive usage of artificial pesticides and manures, water contamination, air pollution, sound pollution, leaded petrol, vaccines, dental amalgams, improper solid and liquid waste management and increased exposure to electro-magnetic forces are cited as the major reasons for environmental toxicity.

A study published in the journal ‘Health Place’ states that autism increased as mercury emission rose. Claudia Miller, a family and community medicine professor at the University of Texas, states that the main finding is that for every thousand pounds of environmentally released mercury, we saw a seventeen percent increase in autism rates.

Billions of pounds of toxic chemicals are being released into the air and water, posing ill-stated threat to health, especially the health of prenatal children. Perhaps this is why autism is more prevalent in crowded urban cities rather than in rural areas. Incidence of autism in rural areas seems to be rare.
A person’s disharmony with his physical self leads to disease. His disharmony with his mind leads to stress, tension, anger and a host of negative emotions. Mans disharmony with nature leads to autism. Since autism is a condition caused by chemical toxicity, solutions must logically be found in medical systems, which are intertwined with nature.

WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS INDIA CAN OFFER THE WORLD, BESIDES ITS GREAT TRADITIONAL MEDICAL SYSTEMS?

JOINT FAMILY SUPPORT SYSTEM.
 

Teaching socialization to children is not a separate entity in traditional Indian families. The child is born in a family, where grandparents, uncles, aunts, parents, cousins and siblings all live together. From birth, the child is actively exposed to numerous loving people, who live in harmony. Interaction, sharing, team spirit, respecting elders, adjusting with other people and so on is automatically imbibed.

Children, today, who live in nuclear families, are at a loss, particularly if both the parents go to work. In a situation where very few people talk to him, how is the child expected to communicate? What should happen through joyful interaction now is a task to be accomplished with the help of the speech therapist. Children are less prone to be autistic, if people lived in a joint family.

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
 
Our first call to the parents is to ask them to create a positive atmosphere. We know that managing and working with an autistic child is no easy task. But giving into their own negative emotions like stress, anger, irritation, frustration, depression and so on can go a long way in harming the child, especially non-verbal children.

Children with autism are very perceptive. They can read your inner thoughts, hear your inner voice and perceive the pain within your smile. So it is foolhardy to enact happiness before them. Happiness is something one should genuinely create. The child is more likely to open up into normal society, if he perceives it as an encouraging beautiful place, where smiles abound.
FOOD
   
The Indian system of medicine speaks elaborately about the bioavailability enhancers to ensure complete digestion. Combinations of selected Indian spices ascertain proper absorption of food.
   
Somapana – Drinking warm water (roughly 200 to 400 ml) early in the morning before intake or any other food or drink, cleans the entire digestive system. This helps one solve the problem of constipation.
   
Tulasi has anti gene toxic effect. This is a great traditional spiritual herb because it is believed that even diseases due to karma can be helped by tulasi. Perhaps this is the reason why almost all Indian families drink tulasi theertam (holy water) everyday as god’s own prasad.
   
Most of the food advocated by Indian system of medicine is liquid or semisolid (like kanji, soups, payasam, juices and so on. Particularly for vata diseases (neurological), intake of underground rhizomes, sour foods like tamarind and deep fried junk foods are actively discouraged.
   
Ghee is one of the most vital parts of the satvic diet. It is associated with the element of love (sneha) in the body. Its subtle action allows it to penetrate deep into tissues. It imparts confidence and ability to the body. Charaka, the author of the great ayurvedic text charaka samhita praises its ability to promote both memory and vital body essence (ojas).


MUSIC THERAPY

Almost all of us are familiar with the relaxation and emotional refreshment that playing or listening to music can bring. But it is something else to employ music to achieve specific health promoting goals. If you can recall, at sometime in your life, you would have untangled a particularly troublesome psychological knot, through the healing power of music. Medical acceptance of music therapy has increased dramatically over the last decade or so.

We find music has a tranquilizing effect on the children with autism. We chant ‘OM’ during yoga sessions. This has a calming effect on the child and even helps imitation. “OM” chant also regulates the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
We are particularly impressed by the carnatic music and bhajans we play during the massage sessions. The swaras in the music “sa ri ga ma pa dha ni sa” and the different ragas made from them have their own vibrations, which appeal to the spirit. It has a purifying effect on the cortical and sub-cortical levels. We have personally found that the children are far more receptive and co-operative, when mild classical music is played during the massage.

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