Families of children with autism face high physical, mental and emotional burdens, are sometimes ridiculed and even accused of child abuse, says a new study.
For the study, published in the International Journal of Autism & Related Disabilities, researchers surveyed 25 caregivers of 16 children ages 2 to 20 with autism spectrum disorder to evaluate how their care affected their family dynamics, physical and mental health, and social functioning.
The researchers also asked about the caregivers’ worries, daily activities, family relationships and insurance.
“While the understanding of how autism spectrum disorders impact individuals has grown, the awareness of the burden on families who care for these individuals is less established,” said study’s researcher Xue Ming from the Rutgers University, US.
“Caring for loved ones with autism spectrum disorder is emotionally and physically taxing,” Ming said. The study found that emotional burnout was more likely in families with a child with low-functioning autism spectrum disorder and simultaneous conditions.
Social isolation was greater in families who reported significant emotional burnout. Families with more than one caregiver experienced less emotional burnout and social isolation, the research added. According to the researchers, families with a higher socioeconomic status tended to spend more money on medical treatments outside of their health insurance policy.
Families with an aggressive and irritable child tended to experience more social isolation and emotional burnout. Simultaneous medical and behavioural disorders were common in these children, they added.
Nine of the 16 families in the study reported being ridiculed or accused of child abuse, which they said limited them from attending social events, visiting public places such as churches, supermarkets and restaurants, and using mass transportation.
“This suggests that communities need to improve their inclusiveness for families with children with autism spectrum disorder,” Ming said.
The World Health Organization accuses the tobacco industry of devious tactics to get children and young people hooked on their deadly tobacco and nicotine products. In advance of World No Tobacco Day (May 31), the WHO is launching a campaign to alert young people to the dangers they face from the industry’s manipulative practices.
More than 40 million young people aged 13 to 15 smoke and use other tobacco products. The World Health Organization says the tobacco industry tries to get children and young people hooked on tobacco early in life, knowing this will turn them into life-long smokers. Unfortunately, WHO says many smokers do not live very long. Every year, it notes millions of people have their lives cut short because of cancers, heart disease and other smoking-related illnesses.
Coordinator of WHO’s No Tobacco Unit, Vinayak Prasad, says the tobacco industry invests more than $9 billion a year to advertise its products. He says much of this huge budget targets young people with attractive promotional campaigns. “At the moment, they are spending a million dollars an hour, which is by the time we finish our press conference, that is a million dollars spent,” said Prasad. “And, why are they doing it? They are doing it to find replacements users. Eight million premature deaths every year. So, they need to find new replacements.”
WHO says the industry sets its sights on the next generation of users by targeting children and young people in markets where tobacco products are not regulated and they can be manipulated easily. WHO is launching a new kit for school students aged 13 to 17 to protect them from the tobacco industry’s exploitative practices. WHO Director of Health Promotion, Ruediger Krech says the kit alerts young people to the industry’s devious tactics and teaches them to say no.
“The tool kit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries, e-cigarette flavors that attract youth in like bubble-gum and candy, e-cigarette representatives presenting in schools, and product placement in popular youth streaming shows,” said Krech.
WHO is calling on all sectors of society to prevent the tobacco industry from preying on youth. To reach a young audience, the agency is spreading its no tobacco message on TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and other social media. Health officials urge schools, celebrities and influencers to reject all offers of sponsorship from the industry. They call on TV and streaming services to stop showing tobacco or e-cigarette use on screen.
This summer season is all about trying new trends while spending time at home. Making the most of your cocoon and staying safe in the current times is a priority.
For an exciting twist to your everyday home sheltering, here are a few tips of a quick makeover to enjoy, or better yet make the heat a little more bearable.
“The lockdown phase has certainly brought along the opportunity to embrace this time by exploring your creative instincts while being mindful of personal and environmental hygiene. Since, your home has become your only shelter, staycation destination and hangout spot for some time now, we should take care of the look and feel of the interiors and maintain proper cleanliness to enjoy being cocooned and safe in our perfect abode,” says Parul Mittal, Director, Greenlam Industries Ltd.
Mittal shares with IANSlife these easy to do home decor ideas:
Vacation vibes at home
Is the beach or hill side staycation calling you out? If the answer is yes, then bring the easy-breezy vacation vibes to your home. Opt for a wooden overhaul to refresh your room with its natural essence.
Decorative veneers that radiate warmth and tranquility of natural wood give you a feeling of the outdoors indoor. Adorn your accents, sofa covers and cushions in shades of white to invite as much light into the room as possible. Now, all you need is your delicious summer mocktail to relish your vacation time at home!
We all have a favourite spot at home which gives us immense comfort and happiness. Such corners can play a major role in unwinding us from a hectic work from home yet recharge you for days ahead. Therefore, it’s important to keep it clean and summer ready. Place a bean bag or a single mattress along with floral patterned cushions for an exotic touch. Today, people are extensively looking for wood flooring options that are easy to maintain and durable. Go for real wood floors that are temperature neutral as they resist becoming too hot or cold with the sudden rise and drop in the temperature. Lastly, make the best out of waste by revamping an old suitcase as a table or a storage for your fun activities.
Enjoy summer while working at home
You can effortlessly replicate this season’s liveliness and vibrancy around your work desk at home. Start with mixing playful pastel hues like pale pink, dark sea green and moonstone blue to introduce a new life to your working area. When these shades are used against laminate walls in light brown shade, it beautifully accentuates those pops of colour. Arrange all the essential work stationary and gadgets on your desk to keep the space neat and tidy. This minimal workspace will help you focus while working at an optimum speed to achieve a work-life balance even while working from home.
With this decor, enjoy warmth and good vibes throughout the day!
Home paves way for a peaceful mind and a calm soul during the warm season. While keeping yourself hydrated, it is also important to maintain personal and environmental hygiene to keep oneself safe from the germs. Well, worry not, as there are surfaces like antibacterial laminates for your walls and table-tops that can help you do that. Moreover, looking at the current situation, it is best to choose antibacterial laminates which can retard the growth of bacteria up to 99.99 per cent, making it a hygienic surfacing option for your walls.
This summer season while quarantining at home our living room will be used more often. Keeping this space clean and spacious which infuses tranquillity and doubles the fun of the quality time with family. Bring some fresh plants inside from your garden to complement the natural decor theme. Pair summer tones like light blue, green and orange with your engineered wood floors to infuse a dose of refreshing air. As an important health advisory by the government, we too suggest to always keep a hand sanitizer close by and maintain cleanliness at home. (IANS)
Being in close proximity 24×7 due to restricted movement outside may create strain in relationships. Experts believe that just as the Coronavirus pandemic increased divorce rates in China and the rest of the world, it seems like India, too, could face this psychosocial crisis after months of lockdown.
Rahul Krishnan, co-founder of Bold Care, a digital men’s wellness platform, says that couples should utilise this time to rejuvenate themselves and their relationships. He suggests a few ways how couples can make the most of this period.
Find Balance In Your Relationship
The greatest friction during lockdown is when one partner or both the persons are anxious. The balance of power shifts when you’re both working from home. Remember to be patient and accommodating. To keep things pleasant in the long term, create a work schedule. During working hours, treat your partner just like you would treat your colleagues. When work hours are over, remember you’re at home, with your loved ones. Being able to distinguish your role through the day is a habit formation that goes a long way in strengthening relationships.
Make Time For Yourself
Being in constant contact with the same person for days on end can lead to frustration and irritation – for both of you! Making time for yourself to be alone is important, and it helps you to decompress and process your emotions. Take a little longer with your bath and grooming. Read a new book, re-read old favourites, or listen to a podcast. Spending time alone could be as simple as lying down, with no compulsion to make small talk.
Exercise is a good way to get some alone time while also keeping yourself in shape. The endorphin rush that your body experiences during exercise is a great mood booster. Stretches and floor exercises are a good way to start. If you are missing your gym sessions, try exercises that use your own body weight such as pushups, pullups, squats and planks. Household items such as bags of flour, backpacks and water bottles can substitute weights. If you have space, there are plenty of dance exercise routines that you can try.
Reconnect With Your Partner
The lockdown opens up the possibilities for greater intimacy. Take this opportunity to reconnect with your partner. Unplug social media for a while and talk to each other, and check in with your partner’s feelings and fears. Make a work-at-home schedule so that you can spend more time together.
Board games are great at bringing people together. Some people might enjoy the mental intricacies of Chess and Scrabble. Others prefer the simplicity of Ludo, Snakes & Ladders, or Carrom that still hold their appeal across generations.
Lend A Helping Hand
This is the best time to collaborate on chores around the house and help each other out. Be willing to try out new tasks to the best of your abilities, and be mindful of what needs to be completed. Even a small attempt on your part goes a long way in easing both your workloads, and doing chores together can become a productive way to spend quality time.
Living In A Big Family
Larger families in lockdown together have made it difficult for couples to find their own space. If possible, go out for a short walk together and make grocery shopping a couple’s activity. Use your phone to keep personal conversations going and try out new ways to be intimate.
Mend Your Relationship
For couples in strained relationships, this lockdown is a good time to talk things out. Social distancing sparks an “us against the virus” instinct which is great for relationships. Focus on getting through this with your own and your partner’s mental and physical health intact. Co-existing, being kind, and extending compassion can heal rifts. If you have children, spend time doing simple activities that they enjoy. Make time to talk about their feelings and troubles and remember to give them their own space and privacy.
Staying Connected To Family
Scheduled video calls can make everyone feel connected easily. Keep in touch through messages for the rest of the time. But also remember that if you feel stressed, you’re allowed to take a break from social media. Mute notifications on apps when you need some peace and quiet, and change your status to indicate that you’re taking time off. Always keep your phone available in case of emergencies.
Many couples have been separated and stuck in different cities. A situation like this is always difficult and especially more stressful in these tough times. This is a good time to recreate the initial days of your relationship with intimate texts and long phone calls. Distance gives us newer perspectives and new opportunities to explore intimacy. Analyse your role in your relationships and see how you can better meet your partner’s needs and expectations, and they yours. (IANS)