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Global developmental delay and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are developmental disabilities that pertain to variations in the way children grow, learn, and interact with the world around them. Children with global developmental delay take longer than neurotypical kids to reach milestones in areas such as speech, movement, and social skills. ASD shapes a child’s perception, communication, and social interactions in unique ways.

Adharv, affectionately known as Badri, was six when he came to us. By early 2023, he exhibited joint attention skills – the ability to share attention with others by following someone’s gaze, pointing to objects of interest, or engaging in reciprocal communication. This dance of connection, where each partner responds to the other’s cues, is a cornerstone of childhood development, laying the groundwork for social, emotional, language and cognitive development. For Badri, this newfound ability opened doors to deeper engagement with his surroundings and laid the foundation for further learning and growth.

Badri ke Uncle aa Gaye!

Badri’s non-verbal imitation skills helped him learn by observing and mirroring simple tasks. His functional play and receptive vocabulary flourished as he played more purposefully and began to communicate with gestures and simple vocalizations. In therapy with our speech and language pathologists, he worked on articulation and oro-motor drills to expand his repertoire of syllables. In class, his teachers gave him with visual aids to augment his communication so that he could participate in learning. Mom came in for regular training on carrying out articulation drills at home and print-outs of his therapy plans.

Badri now communicates using words, phrases and simple sentences. Regular therapeutic speech drills have helped him develop a good sense of planning and programming so that he can convey his thoughts in words. When his uncle visits, for example, he now says, “Mummy, Uncle aa gaye,” (Mummy, Uncle’s here).

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