Event Date:

March 24, 2024

Event Time:

9:00 am IST

Event Location:

Vestin Park Hotel


This year saw the 8th edition of AUTCON – an autism focused conference organized by NICE (Nishta Center for Excellence) held at Vestin Park Hotel on 24th March 2024. To expand the spread the knowledge, this year AUTCON stepped up by including multi-city participation – including clinics like Ramana Rehab Center from Trichy, Threysol solutions from Hosur and Ashay clinic from Ahmedabad. The conference was screened across these cities, with 2- way interactive, cross-city participation from all these centers and their audiences by sharing their experiences and knowledge. This collaborative multicity centered set-up of the conference helped to educate on the localized issues aiding increased awareness on autism care in the Indian context.

The event was inaugurated by the honorable chief guests who graced the occasion – Dr. Lakshmi Velmurugan, President of IAPCCB (Indian Academy of Pediatrics Chennai City Branch). Mr. Rangarajan, CFO of Kanchi Kamakoti Child’s Trust Hospital and Dr. Janani, Managing Director of Kanchi Kamakoti Child’s Trust hospital – honored the event with their presence as the guests of honor. The event was inaugurated followed by a talk by Dr. Subramanian, Director of NICE – on what is AUTCON and how it helped connect the dots, by connecting the various stakeholders in autism care.

The first morning session included interesting talks on perinatal factors, maternal health and autism risk in them by Dr. Deepthi Jammi, Obstetrician and Fetal Medicine expert followed by Dr. Gauri Krishna (Pedicatrician and Clinical Genetics expert) sharing her knowledge through a talk on genetic testing and diagnosis in autism. The talks were followed by an enriching discussion and question and answer session throughout the multiple centers. Talks related to epilepsy in autism (by Dr. Subramanian) and early detection and intervention of this epilepsy in autistic population was given by Dr. Ranjith Kumar Manokran, pediatric neurologist and epileptologist.

Following this was a discussion on the multicenter experience and a talk on models of delivery of care in autism in the Indian context given by Dr. Shabina Ahmed, a developmental pediatrician. She talked about the varied models of this care delivery in the Indian diaspora and highlighted the success and factors behind it. Followed by discussions on this, was a talk on AAC in autism by Dr. Krupa Murugesan, a speech language pathologist, emphasizing on the need for our way of communication to be augmented. Continuing with this theme, Dr. Anil Krishnaiah, pediatric intensivist and digital health expert from the UK, talked about using assistive technology in communication in differently abled population. The talk included an eye-opening anecdote of a young girl with cerebral palsy, who communicated verbally through eye-gazing technology. This provided an encouraging future to look forward to in India, hoping for such technologies to be implemented to aid our population too.

Parallel to these engaging talks were paper presentations and infographic poster presentation – by various budding students and professionals in the field related to autism. Students and professionals from various states shared their interest and new-found knowledge and engaged in an eye-opening discussion with the judges’ panel – who gave them valuable feedback to take away along with great encouragement to keep delving more into the field of autism in India and increase its knowledge and research foundation

After breaking for lunch, Dr. Amola B Patel talked about the role of physical activity in autistic population. Following this important talk, a case-based approach – Autism Mimics” was presented by developmental pediatricians Dr. A Somasundaram, Dr. Sudhakar P and developmental and behavioral pediatrics fellow Dr. Rathi Sharmila. This session moderated by Dr. Subramanian was a true opener, throwing light on mimics that seem like autism and how differential diagnoses can impact a child, through case based discussions. A talk on food allergy in autism was given by Dr. Ashutosh Sinha, pediatric intensivist and allergist from Fortis Health New Delhi, explaining the food allergies, habits and gut-brain axis in autistic population. A multicenter discussion on this was concluded by the final talk by Mr. Hariharan, head of mental health at Smrthi Healthcare and Dr. Deepa Sundareshwaran, principal of occupation therapy at MAHER. Their talk included ways to synthesize behavioral techniques in everyday life, delving deep into the strategies and concepts that are needed to implement it.

The event concluded with a prize distribution to the winners of paper and poster presentations and was graced by Dr. Rupa Nagarajan, Dean of Sri Ramachandra University providing her valuable inputs and knowledge to the sessions. This year’s AUTCON was an overall success with a full-house in Chennai and enthusiastic participation from the other city hubs to further spread awareness and improve knowledge about autism.

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Event Location:

  • Vestin Park Hotel
  • 39, Red Cross Rd, Egmore
  • Chennai
  • Tamil Nadu
  • 600 008
  • India

Event Schedule Details

  • March 24, 2024 9:00 am IST   -   5:00 pm IST
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