The Silent Struggle: Autism and the Hidden Burden of Anxiety

Autism, a developmental disorder marked by social and communication challenges, is increasingly recognised across the globe. In India, the narrative is evolving, shedding light on various aspects of living with this disorder. Central to this narrative is the often-overlooked issue of anxiety, a silent burden that many with autism bear. So, this article talks about the intricate relationship between autism in India and anxiety, aiming to provide insights and foster understanding.

Autism in India: A Growing Awareness

Autism in India has seen significant changes in recent years. More individuals are being identified and supported by growing awareness and improved diagnostic methods. Treatment and care centers across the country play a pivotal role in this journey. They provide not just diagnosis and treatment but also serve as sanctuaries of learning and understanding for both individuals with the disorder and their families.

The Hidden Companion: Anxiety in Autism

It is a common companion to this disorder and often remains hidden, overshadowed by the more visible symptoms of this disorder. These individuals may experience heightened anxiety due to various factors such as sensory sensitivities, communication barriers, and social challenges. It can manifest in different ways, sometimes making it hard to distinguish from the core symptoms.

Recognising Anxiety 

Identifying anxiety in individuals with this disorder can be challenging, as traditional symptoms of anxiety might not be as apparent. Instead, one might notice increased agitation, changes in behaviour, or even physical symptoms like stomach aches. As such, it’s essential for caregivers and professionals at an autism center to be vigilant and sensitive to these subtler signs.

Impact on Daily Life

The interplay of autism and anxiety can significantly affect daily life. Routine disruptions, social interactions, and even simple tasks can become daunting. For many such individuals, navigating a world that’s not tailored to their needs is a constant struggle, with anxiety adding an additional layer of complexity.

Strategies for Managing Anxiety

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this, as it requires a combination of approaches tailored to the individual’s needs. Therapy, behavioural interventions, and, in some cases, medication can be effective. Care centers often employ specialised strategies to help individuals cope with anxiety, focusing on building skills and resilience.

Personalised Approaches

Any autism center in India can play a crucial role in developing personalised strategies to manage anxiety. These strategies might include structured routines, sensory-friendly environments, and social skills training. The professionals in these centers work closely with individuals to understand their unique needs and challenges, thereby crafting interventions that are most effective for them.

The Role of Support Systems

Family and community support plays a crucial role in managing the symptoms and associated anxiety. Understanding, patience, and empathy from those around you can make a significant difference. In India, where family and community ties are strong, leveraging this support system can be particularly beneficial.

Building a Supportive Community

Beyond the immediate family, building a supportive community is vital. This includes creating awareness in schools, workplaces, and neighbourhood communities. Educating the public about autism and its associated challenges helps in creating an environment of acceptance and support.

Moving Forward: Education and Advocacy

Education and advocacy are key to addressing the challenges faced by individuals with autism. Greater awareness and understanding will result in better support systems, policies, and resources. The autism care center, educators, and healthcare professionals have a crucial role in this endeavour, helping to weave a more inclusive social fabric.


The journey of individuals with autism in India is one of resilience and strength. As society gains a deeper understanding of the hidden burden of anxiety in autism, the potential for empathy and effective support grows. This journey, though fraught with challenges, is also filled with opportunities for growth, learning, and human connection.


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