The central government will ask the Medical Council of India (MCI) to ensure that under-graduate and post-graduate medical curriculum includes autism, a development disorder in children.
During a discussion at a conference of the South Asian Autism Network, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said he would also try to ensure that there is increased collaboration between ministries and different departments of the ministries in compiling data and training practices for professionals.
Azad said the health ministry would ask state governments to collect data and compile and analyse it. Autism is a developmental disorder characterised by communication difficulties, social and behavioural challenges and repetitive behaviours. Diagnosis is difficult due to use of different criteria.
The International Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Disabilities held in July 2011 at Dhaka was a momentous event in this regard, the minister said. The conference adopted a declaration committing itself to include ASD (Autism Spectrum Diseases) in all mainstream policies and programmes that address issues related to early childhood development.
India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Bhutan, Democratic Republic of Korea, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste were the countries which took part in the conference.