Pune: Pune-based therapy and a Child Development centre, Lexicon Rainbow, organised a webinar titled “Beyond Early Intervention” on April 29th, Saturday, with the aim of raising awareness about Autism and early intervention. April is commemorated as World Autism Awareness Month, and the online webinar was an endeavour to address the concerns of parents and what they should do beyond early intervention to help their children lead a better life.

The webinar was hosted by Dr. Archana Kadam (MD, DNB(Paed), who is trained for ADOS and ADIR for Autism, Prechtl for motor assessment, Bayley’s 3, DASII 2 for development assessments) and Dr. Isha Soni (Senior Occupational Therapist, Centre head, Lexicon Rainbow Therapy and Child Development Centre, Pune).

The experts discussed various aspects of beyond early intervention, including the ideal age to start intervention and its outcomes. They also answered the most frequently asked questions by parents regarding autism, such as whether early intervention can reverse autism and what happens beyond early intervention when the child turns 7 years.

“We want parents to know that early intervention is crucial in the treatment of autism, and it is essential to start as early as possible. However, it is also essential to understand that every child with autism is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It is important to focus on the child’s overall development, even beyond early intervention, and provide them with the necessary support and resources to help them reach their full potential,” said Dr. Archana Kadam.

Dr. Archana Kadam highlighted the fact that early intervention is the key to autism treatment and emphasised the importance of starting intervention at an early age. She also explained that while early intervention can help children with autism, but we must take multiple factors into consideration to decide further step with help of doctors , therapists and the school.

Dr. Isha Soni reiterated that how important it is to consider the functionality of the child in his environment and that only if the entire family comes together to help and implement the strategies recommended by the therapists will we have desirable outcomes.

The experts also shed light on what parents should focus on beyond early intervention when their child turns 7 years. They talked about the goals and therapies parents should prioritise to ensure their child’s overall development. In addition to this, the experts also addressed the concerns of parents regarding the schooling or education path that children with autism should follow. They discussed whether children with autism can study in regular schools and shared alternative options available for their education.

Dr. Archana Kadam and Dr. Isha Soni also discussed the issue of early puberty in children with autism and how parents can be prepared for it. They talked about the available options to delay puberty and how parents can make informed decisions in such cases.

The experts emphasised the importance of early intervention and urged parents to be patient and supportive of their children. They also urged parents to seek professional help and not hesitate to reach out for support. The webinar was well-received by parents and professionals alike, who appreciated the insights shared by the experts.