In the autistic awareness month, the food places are also taking steps for children affected by Autism.
According to Statistics provided by Rehabilitation Council of India around 1 in 500 to 1 in 166 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some food places in the city are training their staff, especially for autistic children so that they can also eat and sit in a restaurant like normal people.
Mr Pankaj, Manager of Petoo Café, says “We do our work with zeal and zest. We are trained for 30-40 days where we are taught how to deal with these children. We are taught how to work in a team. We get around 35 customers in a day affected by autism and around 500 in a month.”
These cafes provide rubber toys and mind games like crosswords and find the word to the autism affected children to keep them occupied. If they complete these tasks, they are given gifts. Puzzle games are given to them to keep them engaged.
Miss Venisha, Sister of an autistic child, says “My brother gets different treatment here. My brother feels much better here compared to other restaurants. The staff is very friendly and is trained to handle the tantrums of the children. So it is easy for me to bring him here to eat.”
According to Autismspeaks.org, Children who have Autism face social communication challenges like eye contact, facial expression, gestures and spoken language. Autism Society of India says that one has to be sensitive to the children who have autism.
Mr Anil, Secretary at Autism Society of India, says “It is a good initiative. It’s a sensitisation program where you have to be sensitive with the needs of a child who has autism. Parents of the child can only handle him and all the other has to do is to be sensitive with them. They may be a little noisy; they may be little irritable.”