Category Archives: Our Approach

World Autism Awareness Day

Autism spectrum disorder or autism is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by impairments in social functioning, language and communication and unusual behaviours and interests. Autism is commonly understood as a neuro-biologically based lifelong developmental disability that is present in the first few years of life. Typically,  by the age of 2 ½ years odd behaviours are visible in most cases, however it may occur later in the childhood as well. Autism is a spectrum disorder meaning its symptoms, abilities and characteristics are expressed in many different combinations and in any degree of severity. Not only do children with autism vary in their cognitive, language and social abilities, they may also display features not common to autism.

 Unlike other children, children with autism have difficulty in forming loving relationships with others, expressing gestures to communicate their needs, little or no interest in sharing pride or pleasure. Autism is much more common than most people think. A recent study conducted by the Intervention Clinical Epidemiology Network Trust (ICENT) suggests that more than 100 million children in India i.e. 1 out of every 150 approx. children suffer from autism in India.

 Autism has a range in terms of the degree of the impairment. Sometimes autistic features range from mild to moderate and children may display average or above average intelligence in particular areas. If they receive adequate intervention in childhood, these children can lead a successful and meaningful life. A few researchers argue that, world famous personalities like Einstein and Mozart also displayed signs of autism and nonetheless have left their mark on the world! On the other end, children who exhibit moderate to severe impairments and deficits fall in the low functioning autism range. Such children need lifelong training and support.

Clinical Features:

  1. Marked impairment in reciprocal social and interpersonal interaction
  • Does not smile while acknowledging others.
  • Fails to imitate behaviours of others.
  • No social play and marked impairment in making friends
  • Lack of attachment to parents and lack of awareness of others’ existence
  • Absence of fear in dangerous situations
  1. Marked impairment in language and nonverbal communication
  • Lack of facial response to voices
  • Delayed speech and absence of communicative sounds like blabbing.
  1. Abnormal behavioural characteristics
  • Repetitive stereo typical behaviours such as head-banging, rocking, clapping
  • Attachment to inanimate objects e.g. blankets, toy
  • Fussy eating habits
  1. Learning Disabilities
  • Since some children with autism show intellectual, sensory, perceptual and cognitive impairments, there are chances that such children are likely to display symptoms of learning disabilities as well.
  1. Co morbid conditions
  • Sometimes autism can be accompanied by mental retardation, epilepsy, ADHD which can cause additional behavioural issues however these may occur separately also.

Treatment

Treatments for autism are directed at minimising the core problems of autism, maximising child’s independence and quality of life and helping the child and family cope more effectively with the disorder. Treatment may consist of different modes of intervention such as medication, behaviour therapy, parental counselling, speech and occupational therapy along with special education.  Assessing the inherent talents and with proper training in those areas, parents can see positive developments in these children.

How We Work

We work with individuals to enhance awareness and understanding of their challenges to ensure a more informed course of action. This results in a positive impact on their psychological health, well being and personal effectiveness. Our work is based on scientific principles of counseling, therapy and life coaching. We work with evidence based principles of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Resilience and Positive Psychology. Wherever applicable we employ standardised assessment tools so that the results have a high degree of validity and reliability.
Our approach is:

  • Individualized – although there are certain common solutions to common difficulties, we believe that every individual is unique and we ensure a confidential, blame free and solution focused approach that allows individuals to start experiencing the benefits from their first contact with us.
  • Holistic and integrative – we ensure that the changes that our clients initiate are well integrated in other aspects of their life.
  • Non directive – allow individuals to uncover their own strengths
  • Focused on outcomes – we maintain a focus on outcomes that our clients identify to monitor their progress in therapy.

Introduction to Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of human mind and behaviour. We use scientific principles of evaluating and understanding what techniques our clients use to deal with challenges in life in order to explore alternatives that might be more helpful.

  1. Counselling, therapy and coaching are all talking interventions during which a client explores a specific area of their life with a qualified therapist. Reviewing this from an independent unbiased perspective allows people to themselves identify solutions to life challenges that they may not have previously identified.
  2. Every individual is unique because of their individual experiences; the sum of these experiences influences each person to perceive external occurrences in a different way. The social context and significant relationships further complicate how individuals perceive situations.
  3. Every person  is different with regard to some aspects that are relatively unchangeable (e.g IQ) and others that can be  modified and developed (e.g. EQ). Our assessment and evaluation service undertakes both informal and formal (relying on validated structured and recognized tools) assessment of an individuals abilities, personality, intelligence, aptitude etc. This raises awareness about their own strengths and difficulties which in turn can allow people to make better decisions regarding various aspects of their life.