India Autism Center (IAC), an initiative by Ratnabali Group, setting up a first of its kind development center in the world for individuals with autism, over a 52-acre land near Kolkata hosted an esteemed international conference on Autism (www.autismconference.in) on and from January 10 to 12, 2019 at Swabhumi, The Heritage Plaza, Kolkata. Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neurological and developmental disorder that affects about ten million Indians. As per the data released by World Health Organisation in 2017, nearly 1 out of every 160 children are suffering from ASD globally. It refers to a range of conditions characterized by some degree of impaired social behaviour, communication and language. The term “Spectrum” reflects that symptoms can occur in any combination and with varying degrees of severity, implying that it manifests itself differently in every individual.
Mr. Suresh Somani, Managing Trustee & Chairman, India Autism Center, stated, “The 3-day conference is an effort to answer one of the most pressing public health questions of our time – how to effectively treat individuals with Autism. Experts were specially invited to help care-givers, families and service providers with behaviorally based interventions like applied behavior analysis, behavioral psychology, and positive behavior support that have the most empirical support to autism. The speakers highlighted several key areas for continued focus. These included how quickly a child receives an autism diagnosis, the need for early intervention, and ensuring that families have accurate information about effective treatments.”
The Conference (www.autismconference.in) included subject experts, professionals, researchers, educators and parents from the around the world. They exchanged ideas on Autism Spectrum Disorder, behaviour therapy, applied behaviour analysis, speech and language therapy, social skills therapy and occupational therapy which can help reduce the difficulties of individuals suffering from Autism while helping them learn new skills and make the most of their strengths. There were 28 speakers from around the world, globally acclaimed researchers from the medical fraternity like Dr. Stephen Shore, Professor at Adelphi University, USA, Ms. Jalynn Prince, Founder and President of Madison House Autism Foundation (MHAF), USA, Mr. Chris Bonnello, an award-winning writer and international speaker, Mr. Robert J. Bernstein, Author “Uniquely Normal: Tapping the Reservoir of Normalcy to Treat Autism”, Ms. Merry Barua, Activist, educator, writer and trainer and pioneered the Autism movement in India, Dr. Neil Martin, Behaviour analyst teaching behaviour analysis courses worldwide, supervised students working with individuals with autism and consulting to organisations and families internationally, Dr. Gauri Divan, Director of the child development group, Sangath, Ms. Joanne Lara, Executive Director Autism Works Now, USA, Prof. Bhismadev Chakrabarti, Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health and Research Director of the Centre for Autism at the University of Reading, UK, Tali Berman is an autism specialist and author, who has been guiding and supporting families with children on the autism spectrum from around the world since 1997. Dr. Martin has been working as a behaviour analyst since 1990.Dr Praveen Kumar is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who is working with Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata, Dr. Jai Ranjan Ram, Psychiatrist with special interest in children and young people, and many others dignitaries are expected to address to the concerns of the parents of autistic individuals and offer solutions through discussions, speaking on early intervention, professional learning, therapy provision, services for adults and many upcoming research and clinical practices in the field of Autism.
About India Autism Center
India Autism Center (IAC), an initiative by Ratnabali Group, aspires to be the first of its kind development center in the world for individuals with autism. The Center is coming up on 52-acre land parcel at Sirakole on Diamond Harbour Road near Kolkata, India. The Center will be equipped with residential, day-care and vocational training facilities for its residents and visiting students and aims to be completed by 2022. Equipped with a professional team and many other resources, India Autism Center aims to address each individual’s educational, emotional and social needs and assist them in reaching their full potential by teaching them essential skills needed to live a more independent life.