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Providing succour to children with autism
Hyderabad-based Pinnacle Blooms Network launched by Dr Saripalli Srija in 2017, is providing therapy to help children with autism lead a normal life
Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complicated condition that includes problems with communication and behaviour.
Children with autism have trouble with communication, understanding what other people think and feel. This makes it hard for them to express themselves, either with words or through gestures, facial expressions, and touch.
In recent times, there is an increase in autism cases among children. Like many parents, it was heart-wrenching for Dr Saripalli Srija after doctors said her son was suffering with autism when he was just 18 months old.
A clinical nutritionist by profession, Dr Srija had observed that her son was not speaking well and shouting regularly that's when she had taken him to a doctor. She says, "The Doctors tested him for an hour and informed that he has autistic."
"At that time, there was not much of awareness about it. We read about it and found about the kind of difficulties autistic children go through. We were heart-broken to know that there was no proper treatment for autism.
Then in 1990s, one child in 500 was diagnosed with autism and now one in 32 children are diagnosed. The count is increasing every day," says Dr Srija.
Usually, children with ASD don't interact with others, but when Srija's son showed normal behaviour, she sought for second opinion.
She says, "After observing our son playing with others and behaving normal, we felt it may not be autism and went decided to have second opinion. After tests, the doctors said he was affected by hearing problem. Doctors found his problem by performing Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry test.
Later, doctors did cochlear implant surgery on him and advised us to take him for regular speech therapies for better improvement. During therapies, doctors take him to a closed room and give him therapy. He used to cry a lot during therapy.
As parents, we didn't know what was happening inside the therapy room. There was no improvement in our son, and he said he won't go to therapy centres as he feared a lot."
To help children like her son to fight various neurological and psychological conditions and autism and to provide them therapies in a home-like friendly ambience for better results, Srija started Pinnacle Blooms Network in 2017 at Suchitra in Hyderabad.
Further, she shares, "We got to know that more than 80 crore children all over the world are facing various neurological and psychological problems and autism.
To help all these kids to lead normal lives like others, we started Pinnacle Blooms Network. We did three years of research about all the conditions and found that by using various therapies we can help these kids."
To help kids with autism, Srija has a team of doctors including speech therapists, audiology experts, child psychologists, occupational therapists, paediatrics and more. When asked about what happens during therapy, she adds, "Every therapy session happens in home kind of environment.
We store every detail like the condition of children when they join and the progress every day. We explain to the parents in detail about the progress in their child's behaviour. Even, parents can watch the therapy sessions through audio-video system set up in the lounge or reception area.
In every session, every child is given about a 40-minute therapy and after that, therapists teach parents about activities to do at homes. We have Miracle Patented technology in which we update everything about children with autism."
After successful therapies and improvement in children, nine more centres were opened across Hyderabad. She says, "More than 1,500 children have been benefitted through our services. Not only from Telugu states, parents from all over India are bringing their children here for treatment.
We also started Seva Foundation where we treat underprivileged children from Telugu states. We are also inviting passionate people to join us in franchise model to help these kids."
Srija shares, "Parents go through depression when their children are diagnosed with autism and other neurological problems. Our aim is to make them happy and make their kids as normal like other children to lead a happy life."