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Autism in India from a Physical Therapist’s Perspective

I began my career treating children with movement disorders with obvious insults to the brain. During my initial days as a therapist in a special school for students with developmental disabilities, children with autism spectrum diagnoses were often referred to the Physical Therapy (PT) department for treatment of their movement disorganization in their classroom work.

I began treating those children with obvious knowledge of physical therapy and motor development. As each day passed, my intriguing journey began into understanding the deeper sensory basis for their movement disorganization and overall behavior. At this time, in the city where I lived, there were not many occupational therapists practicing.

In 2003, I took courses on sensory integration and autism, and both really opened my eyes and changed the way that I viewed autistic students’ behavior socially and academically and in their daily activities.

Almost a decade later, I find that there is increased awareness in India from grassroots level rehabilitation workers to specific professionals with regard to current knowledge about autism and specific evidence-based practices for children with autism. This is evident in the newer research work which has come out of India over the past several years. The services for children with autism from diagnosis to specific interventions to educational approaches continue to grow in India.

Loganathan Gurusamy, PT

The views expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the NLM Family Foundation.

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