A study by Baba Farid Centre for Special Children (BFCSC) along with National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC), Bikaner, has revealed that autism is not a genetic or mental disability, but a biomedical disorder and has indicated that camel milk is beneficial for autistic children.
Dr Amar Singh Azad of BFCSC, NRCC director NV Patil and NRCC principal scientist Raghvendar Singh supervised the project, under which, autistic children of Baba Farid centre were given 500ml of camel milk along with other treatment and it was found that the milk was turning out beneficial for them. The raw camel milk was brought from the camel research farm in Bikaner (Rajasthan) in a cold chain and distributed to four units of BFCSC at Faridkot, Bathinda, Ambala and Patiala.
BFCSC president Dr Pritpal Singh said, “Number of children with autism, mental retardation and learning disorders is on the rise throughout the world. In USA, the ratio of children with such disorders was 1 in 300 a few decades ago, which has now gone up to 1 in 60 children. Exact number of such children in India and Punjab is unknown. However, their number in Punjab seems to be increasing fast and treatment of these children has become a big challenge. Modern medicine declares these as incurable disorders.”
Dr Azad said, “We along with NRCC had recently undertaken a study on 41 children with severe autism by giving them camel milk. Autism evaluation checklist (ATEC) score was used to measure the improvements in children. This score is accepted throughout the world as a scientific tool to measure improvements. This score has 77 items with 180 marks which are analyzed automatically by software which is operated by Autism Research Institute. On an average, there was an improvement of 26 points. In 27 children, the improvement was 25 points, in 11 it was 26 to 50 points while in three the improvement was more than 50 points. There was no child who showed no improvement.”
Raghvendar said camel milk had proved highly beneficial for autistic children. “We held exhaustive studies with premier institute like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, and found that camel milk is positive for children with disorders.”
Dr Azad said, “The first phase of research is over. In the next phase, we will take 30 children who are drinking camel milk, but are not taking other treatments and 30 children who are drinking camel milk with other treatments. This will help to establish exact role of camel milk in management of autistic children.”
He told that research in other countries had also revealed that camel milk was quite good in tackling autism as a study in Saudi Arabia had proved that all symptoms of autism improved with camel milk. “All these studies have a common conclusion that camel milk improves the immunity of these children,” he said.