As my son was growing up and trying to achieve his growth milestones, we realized that somehow he is not growing at the same pace as kids of his age would. However we didn’t want to rush to any conclusions and were patient to help him grow and develop his motor skills at his own pace. It was only when he turned 4 that the doctors told us that our son is suffering from Autism, ADHD (neurological and developmental disorder ). Unfortunately, there isn’t much awareness in our society about Autism and even we weren’t fully aware about it till we experienced it with our child.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurological and developmental disorder that is characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.
In my child’s case, he has no speech, cannot make eye contact, has no sitting tolerance and an attention/ concentration deficiency along with sensory issues. He is unable to have any social interaction, is hyperactive that he starts screaming when he sees unfamiliar faces and has absolutely no understanding as per his age.
I was told that there is no cure of autism, but therapy can help to reduce the degree of the condition. Since the time he was diagnosed with this condition, we have left no stone unturned in helping him make gradual improvements through therapies for the last 3 years. Currently, he is undertaking the following therapies, 2 sessions each day which cost approx. 800 to 1,000 INR per session.
- Speech Therapy
- Engagement Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Social Skill Therapy
- Behavior Therapy
According to Neurosurgeon, the Stem cell treatment involves Bone Marrow Aspiration and the overall stem cell treatment needs to be conducted in cycles. He needs at least 4 cycles and the cost of 1 cycle is close to 4.5-5 lakhs and each cycle of this treatment has to be observed after 6-8 months. The good news is that post this treatment and daily therapies, patients start showing positive responses to all their daily therapy. The autism percentage also gets reduced and hopefully he might be able to lead a normal life in future.
It is unfortunate that due to lack of awareness and ignorance towards conditions like Autism, even insurance companies do not provide coverage for daily therapies for autism and have also declined the request to insure Stem cell treatment. Without Insurance coverage, it becomes really difficult for salaried people like me to manage the entire cost of treatment which is humongous.
We have already invested most of our savings and may continue to bear the cost of therapies for next few years too. Despite all odds, we have embarked on this journey and his first Stem Cell Therapy will start from 10 October for the next 14 days. Since this is a long battle which involves multiple cycles of treatment and daily therapies , I am seeking your help to join my efforts to help him.