About Akshara Initiative

Akshara Initiative and NEUCRIN
Born from their tears.

The following is a detailed explanation of what Autism is and what is it that Akshara Initiative does? Don't have time to read all of that? Then go to our abridged version at Abridged Version of the explanation.

You can visit this link My Experiences with the children suffering from Autism to know more about the Autism and Cerebral Palsy with some examples.

Even thought the concentration while explaining was on India, there are the same condition in every country around the world irrespective of developed, developing and under-developed states of the country.

Akshara Initiative is a student’s organized team working for betterment of Autism children. We are a team of engineering and medicine students working on a project that helps Autism children to express their thoughts and feelings effectively because Autism is a complex neurological disorder that impairs abilities to communicate, socialize, respond to emotion or express it and characterized by restricted and repetitive behavior found in many children in our country and across the globe now-a-days. With an epidemic outbreak at rate of 1 in 500, in India, there are more than 2 million children with Autism and yet public awareness of this disorder and governmental resources directed towards it are insignificant. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. There is no cure for Autism.

Other than NEUCRIN, many social welfare programs and technical assistance programs for Autistism children can also be planned.

Main objectives can be working for awareness about Autism in public giving life for Autistics without being considered as mentally retarded as it is not a mentally retarded condition.

There are no medications or treatments but there are therapies and special treatments to help them live like normal people. But using Technology also will definitely help them. We are working on such a technology which uses working of brain of Autistics to help them express their thoughts and feelings even if rate of deficit is very high.

Without enough knowledge in medical field and support, these are in need of help and support which we can give and we ask for your support in making their lives better.

While the disorder is not rare, the majority of autistic people in India has not been diagnosed and do not receive the services they need. This problem occurs in many countries, but is especially true in India where there is a tremendous lack of awareness and misunderstanding about autism among the medical professionals, who may either misdiagnose or under diagnose the condition.

Impairments in social skills are typically accompanied by emotional disturbances and severe problems in adjustment, making autism one of the most disruptive disabilities for a child's life. Its prevalence is estimated to be at least 1:1000 children. More recent estimates have suggested an incidence as high as 1:500, making autism even more common than Down's syndrome. Given its prevalence and its devastating consequences on the lives of the children affected and, indeed, their families, our general lack of understanding of autism's causes and options for ameliorative interventions, is of grave concern.

Autism children typically have trouble maintaining eye contact and reading social cues such as facial expression, body posture and gestures. Most person-to-person interactions require an exchange and interpretation of subtle facial cues. It is conceivable that an inability to effectively process facial signals would manifest itself as impairment in social skills.

Most of the research findings in the area of language and communication in autism indicate an intact phonological and syntactic system in individuals with autism. The basic factor essential for communication is a 'theory of mind', which is not fully developed in autistic children. Its absence or impairment affects the inter-subjective understanding essential in successful communication. As a result, communication in autism can seem self-centered.

The examples from studies of social cognition in ASD are encouraging because they suggest some moderate degree of consensus on brain regions that may be functioning abnormally in autism. However, a caveat regarding potential developmental and experience-driven effects of relatively normal plasticity, as brought up in the discussion on face processing, applies here as well. It cannot be ruled out that individuals with ASD activate the mentioned regions less because they process stimuli that elicit mentalizing in neuro-typical individuals in different, non mentalizing ways. The underlying causes of this may not at all be dysfunction of medial frontal cortex, STS, or the amygdala. For a hypothetical but not entirely improbable example, early onset impairments in mentalizing may be related to sensory-motor integration and action understanding. It has been argued that the ‘‘mirror neuron system’’ provides neural mechanisms crucial for imitation, but also for relating another person’s action to one’s own identical action. This implies that the roots for the ability to mentalize may be found in the mirror neuron system. If the role of a brain region and the relevance of its atypical function in ASD can only be understood when all interactions with other functional systems during development are taken into account, it becomes obvious that neural compromise in ASD is distributed. Even if at some very early point of brain development the impairment was local, brain maturational and activity related interaction between functional systems during development would result in a more distributed profile of regional effects.

Major symptoms are

> Lack of social-responsiveness
> Resistance to change or need for sameness
> Lack of eye contact
> Rigid or Stereotyped play activities
> Peculiar speech characteristics
> Language delays
> Repetitive and Restricted Behavior
> Compulsive Behavior
> Self-injury
> Unusual responses
> Under-responsivity
> Thought disorder
> Aggressive behavior
> Unusual mannerisms
> Attention deficits

So, if your child or someone you know is suffering from any of these symptoms starting between six months to three years of age or now also, show them to pediatrician for Autism check.

What we are really up to is NEUCRIN (NEUral-ComputeR INterconnectivity) for Autistics, and our concern revolves over the use of technology, to be precise, NEUCRIN, that uses direct brain interaction with external system.

Our technology can bring out solutions for major deficits of Autism creating a pathway between Autistics and their care-takers. We believe that even better technologies and therapies are not met by normal and poor children suffering from Autism in our country. NEUCRIN sees this problem as a major stone in path of their treatment. NEUCRIN works for expression of thoughts and feelings of Autistics enabling them to save themselves from dangers when no one is around. But, there is a need to know more about Autistics and their behavior to know what to be done more. Technologies and therapies like VisTA (Visual Training and Assessment) and RISE (Random Image Structure Evolution) which are not nearby reachable by poor in our country can also be met. Establishing the basic face-processing deficits associated with autism is important from many perspectives; it is a pre-requisite for diagnostic purposes, for guiding the course of treatment and for constraining the search for causes. All this can be met by poor in our country.

Many children are losing their valuable childhood being considered mentally retarded or thrown into asylums like mentally retarded and their parents, without knowing where to go, running behind many doctors and surgeons without any knowledge.

Giving support to them, not in terms of money or goods, which is a bit difficult and less than required, but in terms of what we have learnt and what we do is essential and you can do it now.

Join hands to give life.

We also refer to Cerebral Palsy.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement.

Cerebral refers to the cerebrum, which is the affected area of the brain (although the disorder most likely involves connections between the cortex and other parts of the brain such as the cerebellum), and palsy refers to disorder of movement. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or after birth up to about age three.

Cerebral palsy describes a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation, that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain. The motor disorders of cerebral palsy are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, communication, and behavior, by epilepsy, and by secondary musculoskeletal problems.

Visit Akshara Initiative and other works for other works of Akshara Initiative.
Visit About NEUCRIN for about NEUCRIN.