Ayan, five years old, was unable to speak and lost in his world. His condition was a concern to his parents. Living in Mumbai’s financial capital, it is common to be aware of developmental disabilities. Early detection is possible. Ayan, three years old, was experiencing speech delays and being lost for most of the day. In the hope that their child would be cured of his ongoing problems, his parents had enrolled him at a school earlier. Before the parents could take action, the whole country was locked down, and the family was kept inside the house for a prolonged time.
Ayan’s refusal to take online classes and his inability to access the early intervention period has hampered his mental growth. According to a medical evaluation, Ayan’s social maturity looks like that of a two-year-old. This is due to Ayan’s lack of positive development over the last two years. This child displays severe autistic characteristics that otherwise would have been mild and manageable if they were diagnosed early.
This is the most common condition for many children affected by the pandemic. Many children who had been doing well with developmental therapies and were likely to become neurotypical are now facing numerous challenges because of the end of the lockdown period. Parents’ overprotective behavior has led to behavioral issues as the essential stimulation, and the technical environment were removed. Some children are even starting to throw tantrums at home and feel erratic. According to parents, the pandemic is affecting the golden years of a child’s development.
This can affect the child’s communication, social skills and repetitive behavior. These children have difficulty expressing mature behavior in society. They need constant environmental stimulation to improve their adaptability and future development. Parents of autistic children are often more concerned about their child’s mental well-being than the children. Communication difficulties caused a slowing down of children’s growth, especially in the pre-schoolers (3-6-year-olds) and toddlers (1-3-year-olds). These are the most crucial stages of child development. In these age groups, the child should be able to become more familiar with their environment and adapt to it faster. This age is when they are most likely to develop in communication, social abilities, and cognitive aspects. They also benefit from the constant social interaction in their surroundings.