Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Kerry Magro: Autism can’t define me. I define autism.😊

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of developmental disabilities that affect a person’s ability to socialise and communicate. This neurodevelopmental disorder is sometimes diagnosed before the age of one year, but is usually not diagnosed until much later. Most children with autism are diagnosed after age 3, and some have been diagnosed as young as 18 months. Early intervention is the most effective step, so when children between 2 and 3 years of age show signs of autism, they should be evaluated by a professional.

Autism spectrum disorder symptoms vary from person to person and range in severity, so it is classified as a spectrum. Children with ASD communicate and interact differently from other children. They learn and think differently from others. Some have major challenges and need ongoing support in their daily lives, while others have high autonomous functioning. There is no cure for autism, but symptoms can improve with the right help of Professionals.

Autism symptoms in 2 to 3 year old children :
For some children, symptoms of autism become apparent in the first few months of life. Other children do not show symptoms until age 2. Mild symptoms are often difficult to detect and may be mistaken for a shy nature, or choleric.

We’re going to look at the most common symptoms of autism in children between the ages of 2 and 3.

1. Social skills
2. Does not respond to his name
3. Avoid eye contact
4. Prefers to play alone rather than with other children
5. Does not share with others even when asked to share
6. Does not understand what it means to turn, or turn, using toys
7. Not interested in socialising with other children or people
8. Dislikes or avoids physical contact
9. He’s not interested or doesn’t know how to make friends
10. Lacks facial expression or, conversely, makes inappropriate expressions
11. Not easily appeased or comforted
12. You have difficulty expressing your feelings or talking
13. Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings

Language and communication skills :

1. Compared to other children his age, he is delayed in speech and language skills
2. Repeat words and phrases over and over
3. Does not answer questions well, so communication can be complicated
4. Repeat what others say
5. Does not point at people or objects, or does not respond when pointed at
6. Do not use personal pronouns well, for example, say “you” instead of “I”.
7. Doesn’t gesture or use body language, or rarely does
8. Speak in a monotone or monotonous tone of voice
9. Does not understand role playing or simulation games
10. Does not understand jokes, teasing or sarcasm

Erratic behaviour

1. Makes repetitive movements, such as flapping, rotating, or waving their arms
2. Arrange their toys or other objects in an organized way
3. Get angry and frustrated at small changes in their daily routine
4. Have weird routines and get upset when not allowed to do them, like locking the door
5. There is a fixation for certain parts of the object such as wheels
6. Have obsessive interests
7. Has hyperactivity or short attention span

Autism in children aged 2 to 3 years: Other possible symptoms

1. is induced offensive self harm
2. Have persistent and severe tantrums
3. Have an irregular response to sound, smell, taste, sight or touch
4. Have irregular eating and sleeping habits
5. Lack of fear or more fear than usual
6. Having any one of these symptoms may be normal, but having several of them, especially with language delays, should raise some concerns for parents or caregivers.

Symptoms in boys and girls :

Symptoms of autism are usually the same in boys and girls. However, because autism is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls, the classic symptoms are often described in a biassed manner. For example, a girl who does not play with trains, trucks, or dinosaurs may show other behaviours such as dressing or arranging dolls in a certain way.

High-functioning girls also have an easier time imitating social behaviour. Average social skills may be more innate in girls, making deficits less marked.

Author Sradhanjali Dasgupta

Consultant Psychologist, Speaker , Learning Developmental Coach, Teacher and trainer Miss. Sradhanjali Dasgupta has been extensively working in the field of Counselling and education for the past few years in several Clinics, Hospitals, NGOs and educational sectors. She also contributes her writings and blogs in various newspapers, magazines and e- magazines Her training and workshops are both for the corporate as well as for the educational sector and are geared up for learning and development,upgradation and capacity building. She have actively taken part in many debates.


“Rapunzel at the Hair Saloon”

“मन – day की बात SpecialSaathi के साथ”

“Rapunzel at the Hair Saloon”
Date: 29/01/2023 Author- Hetal Rathod

Myself Dr Hetal Rathod and my daughter’s name is Aadhya Rathod 6years old, I want to share our amazing experience with all of you.
Since many months we were trying to convince Aadhya for cutting her hair but she was not willing to do this because she is very much influence by the character Rapunzel (Tangled). She wants to grow her hair like Rapunzel 70Ft.
But we are facing issues that she doesn’t like to tie her hair, and it was very difficult to comb her hair due to tangled. So many times, we talk with her and explain her that small hair is very beneficial for her and she will look more beautiful.
Initially she was hesitated but she agreed to go with it.
Yesterday I saw her video of one girl went to saloon for manicure, pedicure and haircut. So, after watching this video she was agreed to do it on Sunday.
So today in the evening we went to the saloon where she explained hair dresser about what type of cut (On her Grandpa’s Birthday during videocall she had Bob Cut hair) the same hair cut she wants.
We took her favourite doll Chutki as a translon object with us while visiting hair cut saloon.
During her hair cut she co-operates very well. She also started talking with hair dresser. (about his name, his wife’s name, his baby’s name age schooling etc because she is chatterbox)
After finishing hair cut hair dresser told her that she can clip her hair on the sideways and she can leave open her hair. So, I told Aadhya that she can have hair clip like one of her classmates. But she corrected me that “I Won’t copy her but I will be Myself Aadhya”. So, every member at the hair cut saloon appreciates her reply and praised her.
Every day I was teaching her that do not compare your self to anyone. You should be yourself.
Today she corrected me on the same.
I am really proud of her.

Artwork by Aadhya Rathod

Thanks Everyone,
Hetal Rathod

My Rapunzel After Hair Cut

Author Hetal Rathod

Artwork by Dhrov Tikoo

Creative representation for this blog is done by our talented CreativeSaathi associate Dhrov Tikoo

bloggersaathi Junior

Navneet Kulkarni’s thoughts


Experiences as a Special needs parent

A video blog by Ramya @simpleathomeclub sharing her experiences as a special needs parent.

Author Ramya

I am named Ramya, would love to be called mom from my 13 year old son.  Certified in various streams and last year remedial too.

@simplyathome YouTube channel was created to have my sanity and to support other caregivers of kids in spectrum who are aware of what needs to be done, but stagnant like I have been on the “how to’s”  break down the process.

This is my small way to give back to community by sharing all that I attempt at home. Home is where values embed and home is the first school for each of us.


Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: diagnosis and best strategies to manage.

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a behavioral condition that is often related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). PDA is characterized by an excessive need to control situations by a child’s intense resistance to everyday demands and expectations. Children with PDA may appear to be very flexible and adaptable, but they often experience overwhelming anxiety when faced with even small demands, such as getting dressed or brushing their teeth.

One of the key characteristics of PDA is a child’s ability to manipulate and avoid demands in order to reduce their anxiety. They may use charm, pleading, distraction, or aggression to avoid completing tasks or following rules. They may also display unusual or unexpected behaviors sometimes, such as making excessive noise or engaging in self-harm.

PDA is characterized by a persistent avoidance of everyday demands and expectations, often leading to significant impairment in daily functioning. Understanding the diagnosis of PDA is essential in providing effective treatment and support.

Image courtesy- Sally’s cat guide to PDA

Assessment tools:
There are several assessment tools available to diagnose PDA, including standardized questionnaires and interviews. The most commonly used is the Pathological Demand Avoidance Questionnaire (PDAQ) and the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO).

1. Behavioral observation:
Observing the individual’s behavior in various settings, such as school, home, and social environments, can provide valuable information about the presence of PDA. Qualified professionals should observe the individual’s behavior when faced with demands and expectations, and how they react to these demands.

2. Medical history:
Gathering a comprehensive medical history, including any history of mental health conditions and developmental disorders, can help to establish a diagnosis of PDA. This information can also be used to rule out any other potential causes of the individual’s symptoms.

3. Developmental milestones:
Examining the individual’s developmental milestones, such as speech, language, and motor development, can provide further insight into the presence of PDA.

4. Rule out other conditions:
It is important to rule out other conditions that may present with similar symptoms, such as anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The diagnosis of PDA requires a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified professional, including the use of assessment tools, behavioral observation, medical history, developmental milestones, and ruling out other conditions. With an accurate diagnosis, individuals with PDA can receive the appropriate treatment and support to manage their condition and improve their quality of life.

Image courtesy- Sally’s cat guide to PDA

Managing a child with PDA at home can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can be helpful in managing PDA in individuals with ASD:

1. Establish clear boundaries and create a predictable routines: Establishing consistent and predictable daily routines can help a child with PDA feel more secure, in control and reduce their anxiety.

2. Use visual aids: Visual aids such as pictures, schedules, cues and social stories can help individuals with PDA understand what is expected of them and reduce their stress and anxiety.

3. Communication and negotiation: Encouraging open communication and negotiation can help individuals with PDA feel more in control and empowered. This can include discussing expectations, compromising, and finding alternative ways to meet demands.

4. Use positive reinforcement: Reward your child for positive behavior, such as completing a task or following through on a rule.

4. Avoid power struggles: Children with PDA often engage in power struggles to avoid demands. Instead, try to find a way to meet their needs while still enforcing boundaries and expectations.

5. Avoid ultimatums: Avoiding ultimatums and giving individuals with PDA a choice can help them feel more in control and reduce their stress and anxiety.

6. Creating opportunities to make choice in daily life: Giving children with PDA some control over their environment, such as allowing them to choose their own clothes or snack, can help them feel more in control and reduce their anxiety.

7. Break down tasks: Breaking down tasks into smaller, manageable steps can help individuals with PDA feel less overwhelmed and more capable of completing them.

8. Encourage self-care: Encouraging self-care activities such as exercise, mindfulness, and relaxation can help individuals with PDA reduce their stress and anxiety.

9. Support and understanding: Providing individuals with PDA with support and understanding can help them feel more secure and confident in their ability to manage their condition.

10. Seek professional help: A child with PDA may benefit from therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or occupational therapy. They may also benefit from medication to manage anxiety and other symptoms but it’s required to consult a doctor to start with any medication.

It is important to remember that PDA is a complex condition and every child is unique. Please note that every individual with PDA is unique and what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to work closely with a healthcare professional such as a pediatrician, psychologist or speech therapist, to understand how to support your child best, to determine the best course of treatment for each individual with PDA.

Parents should also be prepared that PDA is a lifelong condition and it will require a lot of patience and understanding from the family and caregivers.

In conclusion, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a condition related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and with the right strategies and support, children with PDA can thrive and lead fulfilling lives.

Image courtesy- Sally’s cat guide to PDA

Thank you for reading!

Author Shilpi Mayank Awasthi

Shilpi Founder of a help and awareness portal for special needs, is mother of a 5 year old boy(suspected ASD PDA profile).

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Dhrov Tikoo