5 autism NGOs empowering people in India

AUTISM spectrum disorders are a group of neurological disorders, i.e. disorders of the brain. These developmental disorders can impact a person’s speech and communication skills, interaction and social skills, or response and behavior patterns. Autism is officially called autism spectrum disorder or ASD and impacts one in every 100 children, according to WHO estimates. Autism can be diagnosed in both children and adults, and since it is a spectrum disorder, the signs and symptoms are different in each person. While some people have difficulty speaking, others may suffer from harmful conditions such as epilepsy. 

It is theorized that autism is a genetic disorder but is also brought on by the environment around the person. There is also no known cure for autism but when detected early, autism spectrum disorders can be managed by multiple specialized therapies that help the person function and live independently. 

The term autism was coined in the early 1900s by a Swiss psychiatrist named Eugen Bleuler who made the observation while treating a patient with schizophrenia. Since then, the term autism has been used to describe various neurodevelopmental disorders to allow for the spectrum of conditions it defines. In India, autism NGOs have a crucial role in empowering children and adults with the neurological condition. The work of autism NGOs in early intervention and multiple therapies make a massive difference in the lives of almost 18 million people in India with autism.

Here are 5 autism NGOs empowering people across India:

Satya Special School

Satya Special School is a school and rehabilitation center for differently-abled children and young adults. During the crucial childhood-to-young adult period, people are in need of assistance in two major areas to prepare them for the future: education and employment. Founded in 2003 by trained professionals, Satya Special School is one of the autism NGOs that helps people with autism and other disabilities by offering academic assistance, job skills training and multiple therapies such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and more.

a woman playing with a special needs child

Founder Chitra Shah observed that children with disabilities are often harmed, beaten and even sexually abused. Due to their disabilities, they are often helpless and unable to care for and protect themselves. Based in Puducherry, the NGO’s Center For Autism is a safe space for young people with autism, and their guardians, to be empowered. Using specialized equipment and facilitated by trained professionals, the NGO’s programs make sure the children are fully equipped to live their lives with dignity. To support Satya Special School, you can donate here

Action For Autism

One of the trailblazing autism NGOs in India is Action For Autism, which paved the way for autism research and tailor made therapies for people with the condition. In the early 1990s, Delhi-based Action For Autism started out as a support group for parents who had not yet understood that their children, who were diagnosed with serious illnesses, were in fact on the autism spectrum disorder. Action For Autism empowers people with autism to live as productive members of society by offering education, training, counseling and resources to help them live self-sufficient lives.

a young man sitting on the ground working on crafts
Image: Action For Autism

Action For Autism ensures that there is early intervention and accurate diagnosis so people with autism can start receiving the care they need in its early stages. To prepare people for mainstream schooling and employment, the NGO offers education, vocational training, residential facilities, family counseling, Furthermore, Action For Autism has conducted studies with the University of Cambridge, UCLA and MIT Laboratory to further research into autism and determine how best to serve people with the condition. To support Action For Autism, you can donate here

Centre for Autism and other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education

To address the alarming increase in autism in India, Centre for Autism and other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education, or CADRRE, is one of the autism NGOs that aims to facilitate real change in the lives of children with autism. By providing education and employment focused interventions and programs, CADRRE aims to create an inclusive environment where people with autism can receive the care they need to reach their highest potential. The NGO also provides counseling for family members to be a strong support system. 

a woman in a wheelchair working at a table
Image: Centre for Autism and other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education

Based in Thiruvananthapuram, CADRRE has been transforming the lives of people with autism since 2016. The NGO offers after school support programs, job skills building programs, autism evaluations and services for parents to help their children with autism. The specialized therapies offered by CADRRE offer children and young people holistic care provided by trained therapists, teachers and medical professionals. To support Centre for Autism and other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education, you can donate here

Adarsh Charitable Trust

Founded in 1998, Adarsh Charitable Trust is one of the leading autism NGOs with the main objective of providing psychological care and physical rehabilitation for people with autism. The NGO also provides academic training and vocational skills to help people with autism lead an independent life. The interventions include early intervention, school preparation programs, remedial teaching, visual and sensory stimulation and mobility training for children of all ages. In addition the NGO conducts awareness campaigns and counseling for family members.

children sitting around table working on crafts
Image: Adarsh Charitable Trust

Adarsh Charitable Trust runs individual and group sessions to evaluate the specific needs of individuals with autism and prepare individualized therapy and treatment plans. These plans are designed to help each person work through their challenges with professionals who are trained to help them be integrated into mainstream schools, workplaces and society. The aim is to empower each person to be self-reliant and live their lives with confidence in who they are and what they can accomplish. To support Adarsh Charitable Trust, you can donate here.

Radhaka Autism Welfare Society

This Haryana-based organization is one of the autism NGOs that assists families with the support and resources they require to raise a child who has been diagnosed with autism. Radhaka Autism Welfare Society’s interventions include holistic care that covers physical, emotional and neurological developmental care. The NGO provides committed caregivers who are available 24/7 to assist individuals and their families. These caregivers are trained to understand the needs of the individual and provide assistance while keeping everyone’s well being in mind.

children standing in a field
Image: Radhaka Autism Welfare Society

Most families are unaware of what to do when their child is diagnosed with autism. Radhaka Autism Welfare Society steps up and provides such families with the information and tools to provide their child with the best possible care for their specific condition. By providing education assistance and employment training, the NGO prepares autistic individuals for a future in which they are employed or running their own businesses and living in a safe environment. To support Radhaka Autism Welfare Society, you can donate here

Support these 5 autism NGOs on Give.do

To support children and young people on the autism spectrum disorder, you can explore these 5 autism NGOs that are working to improve and empower the lives of people across India. 

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