This is a welcome step by NMC. This recommendation was made at a time when there was an increasing number of advertisements for the use of SCT in areas where there was no clear evidence of its use. ASD is a chronic developmental behavior disorder that causes children to have difficulty communicating and speaking. Children with ASD are usually “lost in their own world” and have other traits such as likes and dislikes, extreme likes and dislikes, and anxiety in crowded places. There is a possibility that Treatment is primarily therapeutic and results take a long time to become apparent. The results of long-term treatment and slow improvement often lead to despair in parents. Centers that offer SCT prey on gullible parents who want to see their child improve.
The NMC regulation is welcomed by pediatricians and professionals caring for children with ASD. This will help curb the unethical and evidence-based practices that are currently prevalent in the use of SCT.
As physicians, we frequently encounter patients who, when they discover SCT as a treatment option on the Internet, ask the question of whether SCT will work for their child. In addition to the lack of significant evidence to support its use to date, SCT is costly. Having rules to rely on definitely helps us consult parents. Before considering SCT for a child with ASD, it is most important to have a thorough discussion with the treating clinician. Autism is a difficult road and interventions take time to show results, and the results vary from child to child. Consistent treatment is the key to successful outcomes. Early recognition is another aspect that leads to early intervention. Baby doesn’t respond to his name by 9 months, seems “busy” with himself, doesn’t make eye contact, doesn’t start babbling after 1 year, or doesn’t point out to use baby Whenever a parent has concerns about speech or language development, a pediatrician can refer them to the right person for diagnosis and intervention. If found or diagnosed with autism, the focus should be on verbal, occupational, and applied behavioral therapy for autism. Some children may also need sensory integration therapy for sensory problems. Medications for some problems such as hyperactivity, aggression, and sleep disturbances may be prescribed according to the doctor’s requirements for the child. Up front, it’s very important that from age 1 to her 2 years she doesn’t see a screen at all and focuses on her one-on-one playtime with an unstructured baby. Too much screen exposure robs children of time they should have spent actively interacting and picking up social and verbal milestones from their families.
Furthermore, until high-quality research on the role of SCT in ASD becomes available, parents should not fall into the trap of obtaining SCT for their children.
Dr. PRABH JOT KAUR MBBSMD Pediatrics, DNB Pediatrics, DM Pediatric Neurology
Consultant – Pediatric Neurology
Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Marathahalli, Bangalore
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