Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder which is defined by deficits in social reciprocity and communication, and by unusual restricted, repetitive behaviors. It begins in early childhood and characterized by qualitative impairment in communication skills, social interactions and reciprocity, imagination and play. Autism Spectrum Disorders can be explained under the disease Unamada in Ayurveda. The majority of clinical features of different varieties of Autism Spectrum Disorders resemble features of Vatika and Kaphaja dominant Unamada.
The classification of Autism Spectrum Disorders has undergone many revisions with progression of knowledge and time. At present, the diagnosis of Autism spectrum brings all similar disorders with Autistic features under one umbrella. The Autism Spectrum Disorders include the following conditions.
Earlier Autism was included under the broader category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders. The term Pervasive Developmental Disorders refers to a group of disorders characterized by abnormalities in communication and social interaction and by restricted repetitive activities and interests.
Clinical Features of Autism Spectrum Disorders Social interactions and relationships:
Verbal and nonverbal communication:
Limited interests in activities and restricted and repetitive behaviours:
The causes of ASD are still controversial. Genetic susceptibility as well as environmental trigger factors are considered as the most possible ones.
The causes of Autism (Unmada) in Ayurveda can be summarized into the following headings:
Autism Spectrum Disorders can be explained under the disease Unmada. The majority of clinical features of different varieties of Autism Spectrum Disorders resemble features of Vatika and kaphaja dominant Unmada.
The rational Ayurveda treatment is carried out in four parts. They are:
Autism requires therapies which work at the physical, mental and spiritual planes. Classical Ayurvedic treatment recommended for Unmada (Psychological disorders in general) is well suited to bring back children affected with Autism Spectrum Disorders to normalcy.
The classical Ayurvedic management of Unmada is as follow:
Apart from the modified Panchakarma therapies, certain procedure based therapies are also used in the management of Autism Spectrum Disorders. These are mainly used to promote the development of brain and to reduce or control the troublesome behaviours found with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Intensive, sustained special education programs and behavior therapy early in life can help children acquire self-care, social, and job skills, and often improve functioning and decrease symptom severity and maladaptive behaviors, claims that intervention by around age three years is crucial are not substantiated.
Available approaches include
Among these approaches, interventions either treat autistic features comprehensively, or focalize treatment on a specific area of deficit.
An Ayurveda dominant pre conception care and life style of marrying partners, a pre, post and neonatal care of pregnant woman, foetus and newborn as well as prescribed daily routines, seasonal care and ethical regimens shall pave way for preventing and eliminating Autism Spectrum Disorders and the like from the society.
Diets and actions contraindicated are,