Welcome to the Action For Autism Website!
We are Action For Autism (AFA): the pioneering, national and non-profit autism society of India. We provide support and services to persons with autism and those who work with them in South Asia. Founded in 1991, we are a parent organisation began with the goal to "put autism on the Indian map." Awareness of autism in India has grown tremendously in the past decade, and our activities have also changed to meet current needs in India. We work through direct services, advocacy, and research to improve the lives of children with autism and their families. We are an Indian organisation, and our efforts are focused on the needs of those in India. We are also committed to assisting other countries in South Asia achieve legal recognition of autism and develop services for children and families. To more effectively orchestrate national activities for autism, we relocated to the AFA National Centre for Advocacy Research and Training in 2006.
Welcome to our website. We hope you will enjoy learning more about autism in India and the services available through Action For Autism. We look forward to your comments, questions, and feedback!
A society that views the interdependence of people of every ability as valuable and enriching and seeks to provide equal opportunities for all.
To facilitate a barrier free environment; to enable the empowerment of persons with autism and their families; and to act as a catalyst for change that will enable persons with autism to live as fully participating members of the community.
Dr. Wenn Lawson to Speak in Delhi in September
The launch of AFA’s new website will be marked by a talk by Dr Wenn Lawson. Dr. Lawson is an autistic adult and parent of four children one of whom has a diagnosis of autism. Dr Lawson is a grandparent to two gorgeous little girls, also on the autism spectrum. Based in Australia, Dr Lawson is a psychologist, researcher and author of several books including an autobiography. Dr Lawson will be sharing personal experiences and the journey of becoming a self-advocate.
Date: Sunday 14 September 2014, 6:15 pm
Venue: Casuarina, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
RSVP by Wednesday, 10 September 2014
For further details contact:
Aditi Rao, Trainings Coordinator
Mob: + 91 99906 72647
Autism Network is published three times a year. Read the August 2014 issue now! This issue features the following articles:
New publication on the Disability Law in India. Be sure to read the article by Dr. Shubhangi Vaidya, parent of a son with autism!
Know Me, Teach Me: A Foundational Training for Teaching Children with Autism, 9-11 October 2014, 9 am- 5 pm
Based on techniques, internationally recognised as 'Best Practice' for teaching people with autism, adapted to our own cultural needs, the participants will learn creative and resourceful methods to teach communication, social skills, activities of daily living, cognitive skills, as well as address challenging behaviours - a priority both in classroom situations and at home. The workshop is designed to help participants understand autism and apply that understanding to help their student/ child progress in a holistic manner to the best of their capacity and in varied situations and environments.The workshop will be conducted through a series of lectures, videos, practical demonstrations and interactive exercises, to focus on understanding of autism and specific teaching strategies that take into account the unique learning styles of people with autism
This workshop is designed for both the newbie as well as a refresher for the experienced hand and may be attended by all those who work closely with children with autism on a regular basis: professionals as well as parents interested in learning how to teach their children
For further details contact:
Aditi Rao, Trainings Coordinator
Mob: + 91 99906 72647
South Asia International Autism Conference 2015
Action For Autism
in conjunction with the
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare & Autism Speaks
South Asia International Autism Conference 2015
Difference, Not Indifference: The Way Forward
7 – 8 February 2015
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Download the flyer
The South Asia International Conference (SAIAC 2015) will bring together researchers, clinicians, practitioners, educators, and people with autism and their families to share information and build relationships. It will provide a forum to explore latest treatment options and research developments. SAIAC 2015 will be an occasion to celebrate autistic diversity through participation of engaging and thought-provoking international speakers who themselves are on the autism spectrum. It will increase knowldege and understanding of autism, give an insight into possibilities for employment and future life and provide autism researchers an opportunity to share developments in scientific investigation of autism. To complement invited keynote speakers and to provide clinicians and researchers and opportunity to showcase their work we are also accepting submissions of abstracts on or before 31 October 2014. Please see the call for abstracts.
Pre-Conference Workshop on Research Methods in Autism and Developmental Disabilities
5 – 6 February 2015
The pre-conference workshop is designed for those already involved in research activity and those contemplating a career in research and want to gain an understanding of research methods that will strengthen their work related to autism and developmental disabilities. The workshop will provide a critical review of contemporary research procedures, tools and theories and productively establish a link between dominant theoretical approaches and concrete situations in the field. It will provide knowledge and understanding on basic methodological techniques to generate meaningful findings as well as effectively communicate research findings. The format will include presentations, small group discussions, and demonstrations. Lead speakers are Dr Thomas S. Weisner, UCLA and Dr Tamara Daley, Westat, accompanied by others.
You can apply for an individual consult with an expert for your research!
Post-Conference Workshop on UCLA PEERS Training for Teenagers with Autism
9 – 12 February 2015
Negotiating the social space and making friends remain a challenge for persons on the autism spectrum, even for those with excellent communication and cognitive skills. PEERS is the ONLY evidence-based social skills training programme that addresses this challenge. This intervention focuses on those in school experiencing social difficulties, particularly with respect to friendships. The training will include video demonstrations, role-playing exercises, didactic instruction along with research materials. The training workshop will be open to those who have exposure and experience in working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders including school teachers, special needs educators, psychologists, speech and language therapists, clinical researchers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and mental health professionals. Interested persons with autism as well as parents may also attend the training.
Professionals will have the opportunity to become a PEERS certified Trainer.
For further information, please contact:
Ph: +91 11 4054 0991-92; 4059 7319
The National Centre For Autism, Pocket 7 & 8, Jasola Vihar, New Delhi, India
Interactive Classes at the National Centre for Autism
Action for Autism is delighted to announce a range of interactive classes for children and youngsters on the autism spectrum for the 2014-2015 academic session, at the National Centre for Autism, Pocket 7 and 8, Jasola Vihar. The classes will address different needs and skill areas, and, at all times will incorporate the element of fun to ensure that the learning process remains motivating.
Social skills training classes
This interactive programme, gives participants an opportunity to develop social skills for school and everyday life, make friends, talk about feelings and a range of other socially appropriate skills.
• Age of participants: 5-15 years.
• The Social Skills Training Classes commence from 7th July 2014 and will be conducted for a period of 8 to 10 weeks, on every Monday from 3 pm to 5 pm
Magic Beans Language Classes
The Magic Beans Language classes offer a comprehensive and advanced language curriculum. Through this novel language programme, the children learn different aspects of language. The programme is divided into four modules: listening and memory; sentence formulation; reading comprehension and pragmatics,each module having four weekly sessions for two hours each. Participants can choose to enrol for one or more modules.
• Age of participants: 5-15 years.
• The Magic Beans Language Classes will be held on every Tuesdays from 3 pm to 5 pm, from 7th July 2014.
Bubbles: The Social Communication Program
Children who are functionally more able and based in mainstream schools may find it difficult to follow group instructions, comply with daily routines of classrooms like taking out notebooks, copying from the blackboard, sitting during transitions, waiting for their turn in classroom activities, asking for help and even providing answers to questions they may know. Bubbles: The Social Communication Program has been devised to address such difficulties commonly faced by children with autism in mainstream schools. This weekly programme replicates classroom situations through fun activities and builds upon social skills necessary to interact with peers and adults.
• Age of participants: 4 years onwards
• Bubbles: The Social Communication Program, will run Saturdays, starting on 19 July 2014, for a period of 8 to 10 weeks.
Leaps And Bounds
Leaps and Bounds is a unique training program using best practices to help the adolescent and young adult with autism be independent and move towards self reliance in vital skill areas using learning modes like role modeling, to -do lists ,work systems and power points on the skill being targeted. The program comprises of four modules: cooking, daily living skills, leisure time and social etiquette. Each module comprises of four weekly sessions for two hours each.Participants can choose to enroll for one or more modules.
• Age of participants: 13 years and above
• Leaps and Bounds will start from 10 July 2014 and will be held Thursdays between 3 pm to 5 pm.
AAKAAR: Early Intervention School Readiness Programme
Action For Autism is excited to launch the pilot of its newest programme: AAKAAR:Early Intervention School Readiness Programme, in July 2014.
Aakaar will run twice a year, beginning in January and July of each year. Aakaar is a comprehensive early intervention programme for children with Autism Spectrum Conditions up to seven years. The programme is child centric, play based and family focused. The primary aim of the programme is to help the child 'learn to learn' by working on various school readiness skills and prepare the child for a successful inclusion in the mainstream classroom. Each session will have a group of six children who train together with their mothers (or parent primarily involved in the child's education) throughout the duration of the programme.
Aakaar aims at helping the mother understand the unique learning styles of the child with autism. This enables her to both teach new skills and help generalize
learnt skills in the environment using the most appropriate teaching strategies, as well as empowers her to act as an informed support for the child's needs in the mainstream classroom.
Each session will have a group of six children who train together with their mothers (or parent primarily involved in the child's education) throughout
the duration of the programme. Aakaar aims at helping the mother understand the unique learning styles of the child with autism. This
enables her to both teach new skills and help generalize learnt skills in the environment using the most appropriate teaching strategies, as well as empowers her to act as an informed support for the child's needs in the mainstream classroom. in the mainstream classroom.
For registration or any further inquiries, please contact Salini at 01140540991/ 01140540992 or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in Diploma in Education in Special Education: Autism Spectrum Disorders (D Ed Spl Ed- ASD)? 2014-2016 Enrollment information!
The first ever FLASH MOB to celebrate autism in India! Select City Walk, Delhi, 27 April 2014 ('Happy' indeed!)
Check out the video.
April is Autism Awareness Month! Download a list of activities planned for Delhi.
For our friends in the US: Donations to AFA can now be made through Charities Aid Foundation (CAF America).
Simply visit this link and make your donation! As a US 501(c)(3) public charity, gifts to CAF America are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Since US donors are not able to make tax deductible gifts directly to foreign organizations, many use CAF America to fulfill their global giving objectives while still obtaining a tax advantage.
(21 Nov) National Conference on Intellectual Disabilities held on 7th & 8th November, 2013 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi
This conference was open to parents, family members, professionals, and the general public and will provide a forum for presentation of papers, posters, and focused group discussion on various aspects on Intellectual Disability in order to facilitate a comprehensive, interactive, scientific discussion on the latest issues on Intellectual Disabilities. AFA is proud to be a partner in this event, organized by the Department of Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India and NIMH, Secunderabad
Download flyer for more information
(5 Oct) Workshop on Reinforcing Potentials of Individuals with Autism through Computer Based Intervention
Held on Saturday, 28 September 2013. For individuals with autism, technology has emerged to be a great facilitator in the development of communication, social and leisure skills. Everyday new apps and programmes are being developed that can help greatly but often leave us confused. To introduce Prayas-Daksh and BOL developed especially to address the needs of people with autism, Action For Autism invites Kavita Sharma, Project Head, Prayas; Member, Executive Council Autism Society of India; and a mother to two sons with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Daksh is an online free resource that can be used in a home based, center based or a community based set up and has been developed by Prayas, a computer and iPad Training Centre for Individuals with autism. BOL is an iPad app developed with the technical support extended by SAP labs, Bangalore, to address the communication needs in verbal and nonverbal persons with autism.
Through interactive hands-on session, Kavita Sharma will share the use of these tools to enhance cognition, communication and thus social skills and opportunities to generate employment avenues through internet based activities, data entry, software validation, development of teaching aids (like PECS & social stories) through appropriate animation software. The workshop would be useful for both parents and professionals who work with persons with autism.
(5 Oct) Autism Spectrum Disorders - Current Issues, A symposium was held on 27 September at the 7th Congress of the Asian Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Allied Professions and the 12th Biennial Conference of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi. Download the flyer for more information.
Mohammad Ghaziuddin, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, DSM V and ASD
Usha Naik Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry OMC Hyderabad Epigenetics and Autism
Merry Barua, Director, Action For Autism Adolescence and Autism
(24 Sept) Know Me, Teach Me Annual Training Workshop held 21-23 September, The National Centre For Autism
Does your child or a child you work with learn something and seem to forget it the very next week? Why does s/he not tell you what happened at home or at school? Do you sometimes feel that s/he understands ‘everything’, but seems to deliberately not listening/doing what you ask?
If you have these or other questions then this is the workshop for you. The workshop is not about fixing the child with autism, it is about uerstanding and helping him learn and grow with dignity. This workshop will help those who want to get started – in the real sense of the word, and for those who want to go deep into understanding and help the child with autism reach his fullest potential. Read more here.
(20 Sept) AFA Participates in WHO Consultation on Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disorders
Download flyer for more information
(8 Aug) Interview with Merry Barua on Radio Australia
(10 June) Workshop: Microskills for Counselling 3-5 August 2013, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
All busy professionals are aware how critical, and often challenging it is to counsel and motivate parents and to facilitate their belief in their child and themselves. This workshop aims at helping the individual professional reflect on one's own value system that may have an impact on relationships, and understand the core values of Respect, Genuineness and Empowerment. Using a combination of application based theory, interactive case discussions and practice based exercises, this workshop will focus on understanding the rationale and techniques of attending,actively listening and responding to parents, and to further explore relevant issues. This workshop will benefit professionals, as well as interested parents, in the field of mental health and disabilities including special educators, psychologists,counselors, therapists, and students beginning their career in this field or anyone involved in working with children and families.
Faculty: Daisy Daruwalla, Counselor, MA in Clinical Psychology, SNDT University, Mumbai and Jill Sanghvi, Counselor, MA in Social Psychology, University of Mumbai; MS in Mental Health Counseling, Pace University, New York. The speakers have several years of experience in conducting psycho-educational groups with children, parent training modules as well as developing and implementing training programs for professionals Read more here.
Download flyer and information
(7 May) AFA research studies presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, San
Poster: "The Relevance of "RealWorld Evaluation" to Autism Intervention Research"
Educational Symposium: "Evaluation of an Acceptance and Empowerment Parent Training Model: Evidence from India"
Action for Autism is organising series of events through the month of April to mark World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) 2 April.
Download this information in PDF.
- AUTISM AWARENESS JAMBOREE: We begin with our annual event on Tuesday, 2 April 2013, Autism Awareness Jamboree-AAJ. As in previous years, one of the major attractions at AAJ will be an Art Carnival at the India Habitat Centre amphitheatre that will be attended by about 150 children from various schools across Delhi. This is an inclusive art event for children from regular, special needs, and autism specialist schools in the NCR region. Parents who will be visiting the Art Carnival can also visit the multidisciplinary consultation camp from 10 am– 12 pm, which will include a range of professionals including psychiatrist, neurologist, pediatrician, dentist, psychologist, special educators and occupational therapists.
- LIGHT IT UP BLUE: This is a major worldwide awareness campaign. AFA joins Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization in its international campaign called Light It Up Blue, when landmarks around the world turn their lights blue to create awareness of autism. This year in Delhi, with the help of National Trust, we will be seeing "blue" at the Red Fort, Purana Quila, Jantar Mantar, Qutub Minar, Safdargunj Tomb, and Humayun's Tomb. We also welcome Select City Walk Mall in Delhi as part of this campaign. In Hyderabad, with the efforts of AARAMBH, the Buddha Statue will be lit up blue.
We are also requesting parents, families and other supporters of the autism community to light up their homes and business establishments in blue on these days. Illuminating landmark monuments in blue will help create awareness of autism, a condition that affects an estimated 67 million individuals worldwide.
- AWARENESS PROGRAMME AT HUMAYUN'S TOMB: The National Trust is having release a book by Krishna Narayanan on the evening of 2 April. Our young adults will be singing and one of our adults will be sharing her experiences at the programme, which is organised by the National Trust.
- VIEWS FROM PLANET AUTISM: This is an exhibition of artwork by artists on the Autism Spectrum from all across the country. Artists from throughout India have been invited to send in their work for the show and selected artists will be exhibiting their work at the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre from 5th-7th April 2013. This year we have 13 artists from all over India participating in this exhibition. This is an excellent platform for artists to showcase their talent and help society change their attitudes towards persons with Autism. This show will be inaugurated on 5 April at 5:30 pm by eminent artist Padma Bhushan Shri Jatin Das. Download invitation.
- CELEBRATE DIVERSITY, CELEBRATE AUTISM: On 19 April at National Centre for Autism, children and adults with ASD will put up a stage performance to mark WAAD Month and AFA’s Annual Day. The event will take place at 6:00 pm at the National Centre For Autism.
- WORKSHOP ON ADOLOSCENT ISSUES: On 29 April. Adolescence can be a difficult period for all children, and with children with autism it often becomes more so. It is a phase marked by changes, and parents alongside their adolescents, often experience increased stress. This workshop will provide insights into how to manage and cope up with this change and will be conducted by Mrs. Merry Barua, Founder Director, Action for Autism.
- MAILING OUT AWARENESS INFORMATION. As in years past, AFA will mail information to raise awareness about autism.This year, we will target Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and Ministers of State Govts and Corporates.
(17 March) Lawyer Sidharth Mehta, from Mumbai, gave a talk on legal issues relevant to parents of those with a child with autism, including how to write a will and establish a personal trust. The talk was free, held at AFA, and followed by a Q&A session and discussion among parents in attendance. We look forward to additional talks and guidance on this very important issue. See link to story here.
(8 March) Smt. Sonia Gandhi lays foundation stone for ANANDA: Supported Living for Persons with Autism
The National Centre for Autism was set up in 2006. Six and a half years later, the band of parents and professionals from across India have undertaken another initiative: Supported Residences For Adults With Autism. We are proud of this initiative and will post additional information shortly.
(24 Feb) Workshop: The Power of Social Stories 15 March 2013, 1:30-5:00 pm, New Delhi
As we all know, haranguing the child with autism and demanding 'good' behaviour is seldom effective. However as effective parents know, keeping expectations reasonable and using positive and inclusive language can often show dramatic results. Social Stories, an approach that conceptualises and formalises this approach was developed by Carol Gray and is now recognised as an accepted and effective technique to teach appropriate social behaviour to individuals with ASD and other social and communication delays and differences. Read more and download registration Childcare also available, first-come basis
(19 Feb) Second South Asian Autism Network (SAAN) meeting held 11th February in New Delhi. Professionals from throughout India as well as representatives of multiple Asian countries.
(18 Feb) Hans Foundation and Autism Science Foundation support Autism. Action for Autism staff attended a two-day conference sponsored by the Hans Foundation and the Autism Science Foundation on 18-19 February Paired with NAAR co-founder Karen London, Merry Barua spoke on advocacy in India.
(15 Feb) Catch up with us so far this year through our AFA Happenings!
(14 Feb) Give India Tax Challenge- through 14 March! Lakhs of parents spend sleepless nights with one thought on their minds: "What after us?" For the autism community in India there are no answers. To address this concern, Action For Autism (AFA) is setting up ANANDA, a model residence - a home for adults with autism and multiple disabilities that can be replicated by parents and organizations in cities throughout India.
AFA is participating in the India Tax Saving Challenge 2013 (13 Feb- 14 March 2013) for the opportunity to win matching funds in form of daily, weekly or an overall prize, for setting up ANANDA. We ask you to support us generously so that ANANDA takes off! You will receive tax benefits for your donation in India, and GiveIndia will provide you with a receipt. Please visit http://www.giveindia.org/iGive-taxchallengeactionforautism. Support the cause and make ANANDA a reality!
(10 Jan) AFA collaborates on publication in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders related to conducting research on ASD in developing countries
||(12 Dec) AFA loves birthdays. Students from AFA joined those from other schools in Delhi to help President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday celebrate his 77th birthday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
|(20 Oct) Congratulations to our Director, Finance and Operations, Reeta Sabharwal! The Resource Alliance (International), London awarded Reeta award for Outstanding Volunteer. This category is for individual volunteers whose work has contributed a significant impact to the fundraising success of an organisation. Reeta left her flourishing interiors consultancy to join AFA in 1997. Recognising that our work needed finances to achieve its potential, Reeta has worked tirelessly to develop support for AFA. Her efforts enabled us to strengthen and sustain our services. Thank you, and congratulations for this well-deserved recognition!
(18 Oct) Autism Speaks and the Advocacy Leadership Network held the first "Virtual Art Exhibit" featuring artwork from individuals with ASD throughout the world. In addition to artists from India, you can view submissions from Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Japan, Philippines, South Africa and the U.S.
Rohan Sonalkar, Pune
Sanskar Dhir, Mumbai
Pavitra Balaji, Pondicherry
Amrit Khaurana, Delhi
(17 Oct) AFA Staff Build Ties with South Africa There are many commonalitiesin experiences and challenges among countries with growing awareness of autism. These are often dramatically different from the experiences faced by countries and professionals coming from countries with better infrastructure to support families. In recognition of this, AFA director Merry Barua was invited by the Association for Autism South Africa as the featured speaker of their conference, Autism: Practical South African Solutions and a delegation from South Africa will be visiting India in November. Look for more about this conference and trip in the December issue of Autism Network!
(15 Oct) Upcoming Workshop: A Student with Autism in the Mainstream Class Room, 26-27 November, The National Centre For Autism, New Delhi
As an invisible condition, their different social understanding makes people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome appear disruptive and provocative. As a result they often end up with spiraling behaviours leading to 'disciplinary issues'. This workshop is designed to bring more clarity and understanding about students with AS, and to share successful strategies for their inclusion. Read more here.
(10 Oct) AFA Participates in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon!
People may hate to wake up at the crack of dawn on Sundays, but September 30, was not an ordinary Sunday for Delhi-wallahs. Not was it for us at AFA. A massive crowd of an estimated 30,000 people converged at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to participate in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. As you walked towards the stadium, a loud music from several rock bands lining the street greeted you and kept your spirits alive. The enthusiasm was world class and what more, this year event was much better organized over all previous years. The Marathon was not just about passionate racing. It served as a vibrant platform to highlight social causes. All the events -- elite half marathons, open half marathon, wheelchair event, senior citizen run, or the great Delhi run -- were flagged off with a bang. The 6 km Great Delhi Run, which always attracts maximum number of participants, was a fun-filled party with participants cheering, dancing, and singing. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry to finish early We are very grateful to Corporate Executive Board (CEB) who supported us in this Marathon and contributed funds to support AFAs dream project ANANDA.
(Sept 27) Fun, Food, Art, and Flamenco: AFA Gala Dinner a Success!
AFA's annual Gala dinner was an evening of fun, food, art and flamenco, with artists Sonia Rodrigues and Bipin Martha and flamenco dancer Paola Santa Cruz, raising awareness and funds for constructing ANANDA, the AFA model residence for individuals with ASD. Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Mukul Wasnik, Ambassador Mr Feilim McLaughlin of Ireland, Mr Herbert Traxl former Austrian Ambassador to India, Artist Jatin Das, Danseuse Shovana Narayan and Sharon Lowen, and many other friends of AFA joined the merriment.
Along with corporates Unitech, Apollo Tyres, Bharat Gears, Raunaq International, Chivas, Tricone, and Hyatt Regency, a group of Veterans of the Indian Army supported this event at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, New Delhi. Thank you to all our supporters and guests!
(22 Sept) The UCLA-AFA Collaborative Project "RAFIN" completes second cohort of the PCTP Evaluation! Read more about RAFIN and the RAFIN funder, the Foundation for Psychocultural Research.
|(5 Sept) Teachers Day. On Teachers Day, all the trainees at Action For Autism created a beautiful celebration for everyone at AFA, from whom they learn not just about helping children with autism to learn, but also about how to live life with joy. Thank you guys. And thank you everyone who sent beautiful thoughts and wishes. Thank you, from all of us who teach and all of us who learn. -Merry
(5 Sept) Congratulations, Mr. Achyutanal Guha!
A tribute from AFA Director Merry Barua: Achyutanal Guha, Mr G to most of his friends, and whom I affectionately call just ‘Guha’, has made the autism community in India proud. Mr G received the coveted National Trust Annual Award ‘SPANDAN’ on 5th September 2012 from Sh Mukul Wasnik, the Hon’ble Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. In a society where developmental disability, especially an invisible one like autism, comes with such intense stigma, autism is often seen as something to be ashamed of, something to hide. Many individuals with high functioning autism too often imbibe that shame and stigma, hiding, evading, and pretending they did not have autism. In this scenario Mr G, who despite his challenges leads an inclusive and successful life, need not have spoken out about his autism at all. And yet he decided to do so. Openly and in public. That required resolve and courage.Mr G is so spectacular because he displayed the resolve and the courage to do just that!For several years now Mr G has been speaking at various forums about his life with autism. As the first Aspergers self-advocate in India Mr G serves as a role model for other able adults on the spectrum. He gives others the confidence to speak openly about their autism. Mr G contributes to de-stigmatising autism and to making India a place where persons with autism can lead inclusive lives.
Thank you Mr G! We love you.
(1 Sept) Something missing? Have a link to suggest? Email email@example.com with your suggestions!
Recent parent suggestion for an Asperger link: Asperger-Syndrome.me.uk
(20 Aug) AFA Annual Training Workshop: Know Me, Teach Me- 1-4 October 2012
Based on techniques internationally recognised as ‘Best Practises’ for teaching people with autism, and modified to take into account our own cultural needs, the participants will learn creative and resourceful methods to teach communication, social skills, activities of daily living, cognitive skills, as well as address challenging behaviours - a priority both in classroom situations and at home. Read more.
(15 Aug) We are honored to receive the Rising Star Award from the Resource Alliance, a UK registered charity in London. Thank you for your acknowledgment of our work!
(7 Aug) Charter of Rights for Individuals with ASD
AFA first released this Charter in 2008... four years later, we wanted to remind our families and other supporters that we all must continue to work toward achieving these rights in India!
(4 Aug) The 2012 ICare4Autism International Autism Conference just concluded in Jerusalem, Israel. Among the many speakers, AFA Director Merry Barua presented on the AFA Parent Child Training Programme and empowering mothers to increase reach in low resourced settings.
(11 June) The Otakar Kraus Music Trust. Learn more about OKMT London and the music therapy it has established in India in Partnership with Action For Autism, under the registered charity The Music Therapy Trust. Download invitation to UK event
(10 June) There are now three "Talking ATMs" in India. Standard Chartered Bank in Mumbai has two bilingual ones that are very accessible; another "Talking ATM" was just inaugurated near the gate of Blind People's Associaiton in Ahmedabad. Those who are visually impaired can operate these ATMs completely independently. Three is a good start, but only a start...
||(19 May) AFA Director of Research Presents at Invited Educational Symposium, International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) Toronto. Speaking on the topic of ethical considerations in conducting ASD research in low and middle income countries, Dr. Nidhi Singhal joined a panel with Dr. Angelina Kakooza, from Uganda and Dr. Alexia Rattazzi from Argentina with Dr. Roy Richard Grinker as discussant.
|(13 May) The Maldives First Lady Madam Ilham Hussain visits AFA. We enjoyed meeting First Lady Hussain and discussing the ways in which India and the Maldives can work together to improve services for children with ASD in the Maldives. Read more
(10 May) Automated version of the M-CHAT now available online at Autism Speaks
The M-CHAT is a scientifically validated tool for screening children between 16 and 30 months of age to assess their risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The automated version offers free online scoring and recommendations, with the ability to review, print and save the results so that they can be shared with a child’s doctor or other developmental specialist.
||Congrats to our very own "Super Idol" Merry Barua. Merry received this honor from IBN 7, awarded by Salman Khan Read more
|(7 May) Cricket Celeb Brett Lee inaugurates the Music Therapy Academy at Delhi
The Music Therapy Academy, set up in partnership with UK-based non-profit organisation, Music Therapy Trust, will train Indian musicians to make a difference in the lives of children affected by trauma, illness or multiple psychosocial or cognitive challenges by offering an international post-graduate diploma in clinical music therapy. AFA is pleased to house the academy in our facility and look forward to ongoing work with Music Therapy Trust!
(27 Apr) AFA Director Presents at Global Autism Advocacy Leadership Network Inaugural Meeting. Organized by Autism Speaks and held in New York and attended by representatives of more than a dozen countries, this inaugural meeting was held to share best practices as well as the challenges and to discuss how countries can learn from each other and what we can accomplish as a group.
Media coverage of WAAD The fifth World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated in India with gusto! We are pleased that families mobilized throughout India: In New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Secunderabad, Bhopal, Varanasi, Jaipur, Patiala, Aurangabad, Goa, Lucknow. Can any other developing country boast of this level of awareness? We think not! Below is media coverage of some of the events that took place around the country.
Workshop on World Autism Awareness Day (Press Information Bureau, GOI)
Community integration is important (Times of India)
World Autism Day: Awareness and empathy can embolden autistic people (Times of India)
20% rise in autism over last 2 years: US study (Times of India)
Classroom for all (The Hindu)
Autism beyond the celluloid clichés (Hindustan Times)
World Autism Day: Photo exhibition to create awareness (Times of India)
Shame: Why won't Mumbai support World Autism Day? (FirstPostIndia.com)
Awareness for autistic people (PostNoon.com)
Deal with autistic children sensitively, say experts (Times of India)
Early diagnosis will help special children (Times of India)
Salman Khan bats for autism (Zee News)
Going beyond the normal point of view (IBN Live)
Policy interventions, schemes for autism on the anvil (The Hindu)
Early care improves speech skills in autistic kids (Times of India)
Buildings to go blue on World Autism Day (Times of India)
Salman supports Autism awareness (Films of India.com)
Autism challenges notions of 'normal' (ExpressBuzz)
Need-based support should be given to autistic children (Times of India)
(4 April) Live Webstream Available: The Workshop, "Enhancing Communication" by Veronica Smith, Speech & Language Therapist and educator at the University of Alberta, Canada will be available via Live Webstream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/action-for-autism-india
(9 Mar) Notes for Change From the Business Standard: "Still at a nascent stage, music therapy for autistic children is slowly gaining ground in India. Priyanka Sharma visits a special school offering music therapy in the capital and finds out how it works." Read full story here
(23 Jan) AFA joins international consortium for Youth with ASD: Project Activate Yourself!
People with ASD often have difficulties advocating for their fundamental rights. The project Activate yourself! was developed to encourage active participation of young people with ASD, empower them as active citizens, make them aware of their role in creating their own future and promote their equal rights and opportunities. The project is supported by the Youth in Action Programme of the European Union.
AFA is proud to be part of this important consortium of nine organizations worldwide (Center for Autism Slovenia, Autism South Africa, Vš? Socialini? inovacij? centras Lithuania, Jamaica Autism Support Association, Beijing Stars and Rain Education Institute for Autism, Action for Autism India, Autism Europe, The National Autistic Society UK and The European Disability forum) and invite youth aged 13-30 in India to join the Activate Yourself! project! Read more here Download flyer
(20 Dec) Have you visited our list of international autism organizations recently?
AFA has been maintaining a list of international autism organizations on this website since 1995. New countries and organizations are continually added and updated, and outdated information is removed. We have recently added new countries to the list!
(5 Dec) Aadhaar – Unique Identification Authority of India: Special enrollment camp for persons with autism and their families was held 19 and 20 of December. For more information about Aadhaar, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
(20 Nov) AFA is very proud to announce that we have received an award for Best Institution (Additional Award) by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, 2011. The awards shall be conferred by H.E. The President of India at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on 3rd December, 2011.
(19 Nov) In continuation to our endeavours to increase awareness and develop more training opportunities for parents and professionals working with individuals with autism, AFA recently completed two workshops, Connecting Autism and A Student with Autism in the Mainstream Class Room.
(17 Oct) Thank you to all who attended the AFA Diwali Mela!
(12 Oct) Another busy six months have gone by, and AFA Happenings is our opportunity to share with all our friends and wellwishers what we have been up to at AFA. Read the latest issue of AFA Happenings
(1 Oct) Our annual training workshops were conducted 27-30 September... we look forward to seeing you next year!
(12 Sep) We are proud to announce that AFA has received accreditation through Credibility Alliance. Read more
(1 Sep) We are proud to announce that Action For Autism has been selected as the recipient of an award in Community Leadership (demonstrating leadership in delivery of support services and inclusion of autistic people in the local community and society at large). This award will be presented to AFA on September 25, 2011 at the 2nd Annual International Naturally Autistic People Awards and Convention in British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Temple Grandin is the Official International Ambassador this event. For more information about the Naturally Autistic People Awards, see http://www.naturallyautistic.com.
(19 July) Did you know? Information about rail concessions for the Shatabdi and Rajdani trains
(1 July) Download the The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2011
(PDF copy also available here)
(18 May) AFA Staff present their work at IMFAR
Dr. Nidhi Singhal presented work on the Assessment Kit for Autism (AKA) at the International Meeting for Autism Research in San Diego, CA. Download poster.
Conducting research with AFA
Autism research in India dates back decaudes. AFA has conducted, collaborated with and supported numerous research studies over the past 15 years. Learn about a sample of these projects and read more information about research collaborations with AFA
Volunteer For Action for Autism: Information Packet Available
Volunteering for a cause in which you believe can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. AFA has had the good fortune to have a long history of wonderful volunteers from India and abroad. Each has found a corner of our organization in which to learn and grow, and we have learned from each. We have an ongoing need for extra hands, open minds, and creative hearts. Contact email@example.com to learn more about the wide range of options available to you, even if you don't live in India!
Meet the AFA Team
We work hard and love what we do. From the front desk to the bakery to the classrooms to the garden...visit our staff page to see us on our website, and then find a time to visit us in person
View videos of AFA families aired on Aap Ki Antara (RealPlayer needed: download here)
Vrinda and Indu
Nano and Indrani
Ishita and Reeta
Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide for Paediatricians in India was distributed as part of the AFA Professional Awareness Campaign. Pediatricians are often the first point of contact for families of children with autism in India. AFA is currently in the second phase of a large awareness project among pediatricians. Over 800 pediatricians have received the Guide for Pediatricians, posters on recognizing signs of autism in Hindi and English, and other information about autism. Download these materials and read more.
AFA and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India Initiate Inclusive Computer Learning Centre
Through generous support from Adobe India and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India, AFA has recently developed an inclusive computer learning centre for children with autism and mainstream school students. This free computer training course is available for children of all economic strata and background; children from a nearby school work with students from AFA. We are grateful to for support in this exciting project!
Pocket 7 & 8
Directions to our centre
Alliance is a consortium of voluntary organizations committed
towards enhancing accountability and transparency in the voluntary
sector through good governance. Accreditation of a voluntary organisation is different from membership in Credibility Alliance. Membership is only on the basis of self declaration whereas accreditation involves visits and verification by CA and is given only when based on a comprehensive assessment done by CA. Action for Autism is accredited by Credibility Alliance for desirable norms. Accreditation valid from 31 August 2011 to 30 August 2016.
About this site:
As with many aspects of our organization, this site is designed, maintained and operated by volunteers. We are a non-profit organization and rely on friends of AFA to update and provide suggestions for the site. We also have tried to minimize the graphics and pictures to allow for faster uploading, since many families who access our site do not have high speed connections. We welcome your comments about the site, and if you experience problems, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can improve our site and services. Thank you for visiting!
Site last updated on 29 August 2014