Parents scramble to continue support as children report regression of abilities acquired
After years of speech therapy, 12-year-old Shubhana, an autistic child, was elated to hear herself utter simple sentences on her own for the first time — “Mummy, I want food; Can you please switch on the TV?; Shopkeeper uncle, please give me a biscuit packet.”
But a two-month disruption in therapy, caused by the COVID-19-induced lockdown, has regressed her speech dramatically. Only her mother can grasp the disjointed mumble now. And Ms. Shubhana, whose grandmother survived the 1984 gas tragedy here, no longer enjoys hanging out with neighbourhood friends: ‘Shah Rukh Khan’ and ‘Dhanno’, tethered goats she practised speech with and confided in.
“Therapy eluded her for two months. But it will take her at least six months to a year to return to the same level,” said Nousheen Khan,…