Mumbai: Autistic Kids Have To Change 4-7 Schools Before They Turn 18, Finds Study

The study also suggests autistic children are very rarely admitted to regular schools

In Mumbai, the parents of autistic kids struggle to ensure an ‘inclusive’ education for their children, a recent survey has revealed.

These kids have to be moved to at least four to seven different schools before the age of 18, Hindustan Times reported, underlining the hardships faced by the families of such children.

Dr Subharati Ghosh of Tata Institute of Social Sciences who carried out the research said her finding were based on in-depth interviews with parents of 20 autistic children in Mumbai.

The study also suggests autistic children are very rarely admitted to regular schools, Ghosh noted.

Sharing her experience, 55-year-old Alka Baghdadi said her autistic son Sahil is now 28 adding that it was a ‘nightmare’ to get him through the initial years of schooling.


Photo Courtesy: The Ponty Chadha Foundation

“Since the age of 8, he changed four different schools either because he was bullied or could not adjust to the environment.”

Though there is no specific data recording the number of autistic people in India, it is estimated that around 5 lakh individuals in the country live with the condition.

Snehal Deshpande, consulting therapist and Head of Department (paediatric rehabilitation), Wockhardt Hospitals, says the modern-day lifestyle has taken away the experience of togetherness from families.

“What the child needs most is the time from his mother, father and immediate care-giver to connect and make him feel secure and independent.”

Autism refers to a range of conditions characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and non-verbal communication as well as by unique strengths and differences. It affects one in 68 children worldwide.