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OP-117 Nurturing care framework in autism: impact in global context
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  1. Samir Dalwai,
  2. Hilla Sookhadwala,
  3. Kern Rebello,
  4. Ridah Shaikh
  1. New Horizons Child Development Centre (NHCDC), Mumbai, India

Abstract

Aim The centre provides interventions blending the social behaviour and communication sequence with culturally appropriate nurturing care for children with autism spectrum disorder. The centre-developed virtual program ensured ongoing access to intervention despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. To study the impact of the online program within the Nurturing Care Framework on children and their families globally.

Material and Method Nurturing care is a crucial aspect of a child’s development, encompassing health, nutrition, learning, responsive caregiving, safety, and security. It is deeply rooted within the component of responsive caregiving. Consultation with the Developmental Pediatrician involves defining the child’s program, followed by intervention planning for each session, planned engagement with parent and child, monthly follow-up with the doctor, and quarterly progress reports. Emphasis is placed on coaching caregivers, while parents receive guidance on fostering their child’s independence through sequential developmental milestones, with strategies for home implementation. Interactive activities between parents and children aligning with the nurturing care approach are encouraged like play, tickling, and establishing a consistent daily routine. The availability of a committed caregiver is deemed crucial for effective implementation of these strategies. Uninterrupted internet connection is a crucial requirement noted.

Results 150 children were enrolled during the pandemic period. It was possible to continue to provide access and care: 144 (96%) adhered to the program for over 3 months] and improvement in developmental trajectories [136 (90.6%)], and better functional outcomes [140 (93.3%)] were observed]. Parents reported improvements in the areas of social interaction, scheduling, undertaking activities of daily living, household chores, better sleep quality, behavioral concerns, toilet training and attention span.

Conclusions The program is designed to be scalable, with excellent adherence and high acceptability. Sustainable beyond pandemics, offering expert care in areas with limited ASD expertise, reducing travel, cost-effective, and addressing parental concerns for functional improvement.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Nurturing Care Framework

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