World Autism Awareness Day: How to Normalize and Support Children with Autism

Every year on April 2nd, the world observes World Autism Awareness Day, highlighting the importance of understanding and supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The term “autism” was first coined in 1911 when doctors used it to describe certain behavioral symptoms. In 1940, Drs. Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger contributed significantly to understanding autism more comprehensively. The initiative to encourage countries to promote awareness and support research on ASD culminated in the establishment of World Autism Awareness Day by the United Nations in 2007 on April 2nd.

Occupational therapy is often seen as a blessing for children with autism. Through occupational therapy, children with autism are provided with sensory integration therapy, various types of therapy, counseling, and other interventions aimed at improving their future prospects and giving them a higher position in society.

Understanding Autism and Strategies for Intervention

Dr. Ketan Patel, an autism expert, shares insights on how to help children with autism become more like typical children:

Identifying Symptoms of Autism in Children:

  • Children between 18 to 24 months may not make eye contact with parents or other family members or may not speak at all. Some may speak very few words or suddenly stop speaking altogether.
  • They may engage in repetitive behaviors like spinning wheels, rolling objects, flapping their hands, or tapping their fingers. Some may engage in repetitive movements like running in circles or jumping repeatedly without any apparent reason.
  • They may spend an extended amount of time playing with one object or performing repetitive actions.
  • They may show a heightened sensitivity to noise, such as the sound of a car horn, vacuum cleaner, or blender, covering their ears in response.
  • Children may exhibit a strong preference for routine and become upset when routines are disrupted.
  • They may demonstrate exceptional abilities in certain areas, such as solving puzzles or having a photographic memory.

Intervention Strategies for Autism:

  • Occupational therapy can help children with autism develop sensory integration skills, memory, and problem-solving abilities. It can also assist in improving social interactions and communication skills.
  • Speech therapy can aid in improving language and communication skills, helping children express themselves more effectively.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy focuses on teaching specific skills through positive reinforcement and repetition.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help children manage anxiety, develop coping strategies, and improve social skills.
  • Parental involvement and support are crucial for implementing intervention strategies and providing a supportive environment for the child.

With early intervention and appropriate support, children with autism can develop skills that enable them to function more like their typical peers.

Recognizing Autism in Your Child and Seeking Help

If you notice three or more of these symptoms in your child, it’s essential to consult with a doctor or an autism specialist to initiate appropriate intervention:

Common Signs of Autism:

  • Lack of or limited eye contact with parents, family members, or others.
  • Delayed or absent speech, or repetitive and unusual speech patterns.
  • Engaging in repetitive behaviors such as hand-flapping, spinning objects, or rocking back and forth.
  • Strong aversion to changes in routine or disruptions in their environment.
  • Heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as loud noises, bright lights, or certain textures.
  • Difficulty in social interactions, such as making friends or understanding social cues.

Various Diagnostic Approaches:

Autism specialists, scientists, hospitals, universities, geneticists, and doctors worldwide are tirelessly working on different diagnostic methods for autism. They are also sharing new insights into autism to increase awareness among people. Recognizing the importance of spreading awareness and understanding about autism, the World Health Organization has declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day and April as Autism Awareness Month.

It’s crucial for parents to be vigilant about any signs or symptoms of autism in their children and seek professional help as early intervention can significantly improve outcomes for children with autism.

Diagnosis of Autism:

Autism cannot be diagnosed solely based on city, MRI, PET scans, or other blood or urine reports.

Diagnosis in these cases may involve:

  1. Observation and Assessment: Initially, doctors or specialists assess whether the child’s physical and mental development aligns with their age. They observe the child’s ability to learn, communicate, facial expressions, and practice of speaking. Screening tools like m-CHAT, ASQ, CARS, STAT (Screening Tools for Autism in Toddlers/Young Children) are often recommended. These tests are prepared scientifically based on answers to questions asked by doctors or caretakers of the child, typically between 18 to 36 months.
  2. Expert Evaluation: Further diagnosis is carried out by experts in the field, such as developmental pediatricians, child psychologists, or mental health therapists. They evaluate the child’s behavior, communication skills, and mental health to confirm the diagnosis.

It’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals and specialists who are trained to recognize and diagnose autism accurately.

Causes of Autism:

Scientists, doctors, and geneticists have made efforts to understand the causes of this condition. While there are no definite single causes, studies on both recent and historical cases have pointed towards the following factors:

(A) Chronic Infections During Pregnancy: Infections such as TORCH infection and tuberculosis (TB) occurring in the mother’s body during pregnancy can affect the child’s mental development. These infections can influence the neurodevelopmental process and potentially lead to autism.

(B) Endocrine Disruptions: Disruptions in the endocrine system, such as thyroid gland disorders or hormonal therapy, may contribute to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These disruptions can affect fetal development and brain function.

(C) Environmental Factors: Exposure to pollution, insecticides, and pesticides in the environment, as well as contaminated water, has been linked to an increased risk of autism. The prevalence of these pollutants has been rising, potentially contributing to the rise in autism cases.

(D) Serotonin and Neurotransmitter Related Disorders: According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of autism has been increasing, with one in every 36 children diagnosed with autism in 2024, compared to 68 in 2010 and 150 in 2000. This rise could be due to disruptions in serotonin and neurotransmitter systems, which play a crucial role in brain function and development.

While these factors may not be direct causes, they could contribute to the development of autism and warrant further research and preventive measures to mitigate their impact.


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are being treated worldwide through various approaches including homeopathy, bio-medical interventions, and other detox methods. Doctors across the globe prefer providing homeopathic treatment to their patients with autism. This approach focuses on improvements through methods such as dietary modifications, behavior therapy, and physical exercises. Homeopathic interventions have been observed to bring about rapid improvements in children with autism. However, if significant improvement is not observed within 120 to 150 days (4 to 5 months) from the initiation of treatment, it is advisable to seek assistance from experienced doctors specialized in genetics and metabolic disorders.

How to Initiate Management:

  1. Consultation with a Pediatrician: Upon observing symptoms of autism in your child, consult a pediatrician who specializes in developmental disorders. They will diagnose the child and initiate appropriate management.
  2. Homeopathic Treatment: Homeopathic remedies can be started once the child’s diagnosis is confirmed by a qualified pediatrician. Improvement can typically be seen within the first 120 days (4 months) of treatment, with further progress over the next 45 to 60 days. By about 24 to 30 months of treatment, significant improvements in the child’s condition are usually observed. If there are no complicating co-morbidities, the child should reach a stable state of improvement within this timeframe.

Dietary Intervention:

Implementing a GFCF (gluten-free, casein-free) diet along with sugar reduction by 75% has been shown to bring about improvements in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here are some dietary modifications to consider:

  • Dairy Substitutes: Replace dairy products such as milk, yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, butter, and milk powder with almond milk or coconut milk.
  • Grain Substitutes: Instead of wheat-based products like roti, bhakhri, biscuits, bread, buns, pastries, switch to alternatives like sorghum, pearl millet (bajra), and maize roti along with a variety of vegetables and lentils.
  • Sugar Reduction: Limiting the consumption of sugar, jaggery, and honey by 75% can lead to improvements in children with autism.

Regular physical activities such as running, brisk walking, and engaging in sports like cycling, skating, and swimming can significantly contribute to improvement in autism symptoms.

Differentiating Symptoms between PTSD and Autism:

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can sometimes overlap. It’s essential to consult with autism specialists for proper guidance and diagnosis. Although symptoms may appear similar, they are associated with different conditions.

Genetic Testing

If you are already undergoing treatment with doctors, therapists, or autism specialists, and you haven’t seen improvement in your child within 120 to 150 days, consider getting genetic testing done for your child. This testing can include screening for genetic disorders related to autism (such as chromosomal abnormalities) or metabolic disorders like mitochondrial disease (organic acid disorders) originating from the mother’s womb. Additionally, conditions like PANS & PANDAS, Lyme disease, and leaky gut syndrome, which may present symptoms similar to autism, should be investigated and treated accordingly.

Dr. Ketan Patel is a homeopathic doctor based in Ahmedabad, India, with 32 years of experience as a doctor and 21 years of research and practice in the field of autism. He runs clinics specializing in autism and child neurology disorders in seven major cities across India for the past 20 years. His research papers have been published in leading medical journals worldwide, and he has participated in conferences on autism in more than two countries, treating over 20,000 children with autism from India and abroad. He collaborates with leading geneticists worldwide for research purposes.

Consider consulting with leading doctors and geneticists who specialize in autism to explore further treatment options based on genetic testing results.

Anusha Aggarwal

My name is Anusha Aggarwal. With a deep fascination for the science behind health, hair care, skin care, and body care, I'm a dedicated writer committed to helping readers achieve optimal wellness. Through years of research and personal experience, I provide expert insights into the latest trends and techniques in the beauty and wellness.