Patient with Cerebral Palsy with Autistic Features

Master Harish Shankar is a known case of diplegic Cerebral Palsy with autistic features. On examination, it was seen that he had poor social kills, stereotypical features and was slightly aggressive as compared to other children his age. He also displayed problems with his fine motor skills and balance and was dependent for most of the activities of daily living.

“It was never in the wildest imagination that my son may have problems with achieving his regular milestones. We come from a family of doctors and my husband is a surgeon himself. So of course I had taken the utmost care of myself during my pregnancy. However, due to some stroke of misfortune, my son had a brain injury at day 3 of his birth leading to delayed developments.” says Mrs. Shankar, mother of Harish Shankar.

“At first, everything was going smoothly. We were enjoying being the proud parents. However, when at three months Harish had not achieved his milestones, I started to worry. We showed to a couple of pediatrics in town, but were not satisfied with the response. Finally, we went to Mumbai for a consultation with a well renowned pediatrician and there Harish was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and the doctor also reported to us that he showed autistic features as his social interactions and responses were poor. Being from the medical field, I was well aware of what CP was and honestly, it was a shock for me because I was aware about the difficulties involved with the condition.” Says Dr. Shankar

“My husband was shocked with the diagnosis. He completely lost hope as he knew that no available drugs would possibly help our son to become completely fine. Personally, I was worried about both his physical and social health. His vision was affected and I knew I would be there to help overcome his disabilities but the fact that he was displaying autistic features, was even more troublesome for me.” says his mother.

Not giving up, his parents tried everything they could, from physical rehabilitation to private counseling sessions. However, his progress was not what they expected to be. After an interval of progress, his improvements would show a downfall again. This went on for quite a while, until they realized that they needed to look for alternative options for their son. It was then that a colleague of Dr Shankar advised them to have a consultation with Dr Alok Sharma and introduced to them the concept of Stem Cell Therapy.

Without further delay, they came down to Mumbai for a consultation with Dr. Alok Sharma at NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute. They were explained at length what stem cell therapy is and how it can benefit their son. “Hearing Dr Sharma talk and clearing out doubts it was like a window of hope and a promising future opened for us. I finally felt that we had reached the place we were looking for.” says Mrs. Shankar.

Harish Shankar underwent Stem Cell Therapy at NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute on 14th May 2014. Along with stem cell therapy he was put on an extensive rehabilitation program. The rehabilitation program was customized in a manner such that it benefits him to the maximum limit. The aim of rehabilitation program was to improve his motor performance, to channelize his aggression and to help him develop his vocational skills.

What Dr. Shankar, father to Harish Shankar has to say

“It’s like a miracle I feel. My son has responded so well to the treatment. We see the change in his behavior now. He has improved several levels on the social front and physically also his balance and co-ordination have improved. I’m grateful to the entire team at NeuroGen for their efforts into making my son better.” says Dr Shankar.

Clinical Improvements seen in Harish Shankar post Stem Cell Therapy

  • Concentration & attention improved
  • Drooling of saliva decreased
  • Cooperation for medicine improved
  • Has become more cheerful
  • Duration of reflex seizure improved but frequency is the same
  • Head nodding has reduced
  • Command following has improved
  • Dynamic sitting balance has improved
  • He could do activities like walking staircase climbing better & did not take much visual & tactile stimulus to perform the activities
  • Posture has improved.

Harish visited the centre again after six months, for his post stem cell therapy evaluation. The improvements noted in Karan were as follows

  • Duration and interval of reflex seizures has decreased. Earlier he would get around 7-8 episodes of reflex seizures lasting for 12 seconds.
  • He is more independent in his activities and also takes more effort in doing his activities.
  • Eye contact has improved. Earlier patient had to be reminded to give eye contact to known people. Now he gives eye contact to people whom he knows.
  • Speech is clearer.
  • Drooling has decreased.
  • Presently he is speaking sentences.
  • Sitting static, dynamic and standing static, dynamic balance has improved.
  • Confidence while walking has improved. Walking balance has improved and is more independent, guarding has decreased while walking.
  • Fear of fall while walking has decreased.
  • Ambulation has improved earlier required minimal support.
  • Stair climbing is more independent.
  • Fine motor control has improved. He can now try to eat food with his own hands.
  • Weight shifts have improved.
  • Can maintain independent kneeling, half kneeling positions.
  • Can perform balance activities well.
  • Head nodding has reduced.
  • Used Jumper’ gait, now it is more towards normal gait.
  • Parents also feel vision has improved as now child watches TV from a more distant level and identifies colors in the cartoon characters. He has improved in his reading.
  • Performance in studies has also improved, scored well. Takes interest in learning new tasks.
  • His coloring has also slightly improved.
  • His visual perceptual skills, eye hand coordination has improved.
  • His social interaction has improved and tries to mix up with people and other children.
  • His awareness of surrounding and environment has slightly improved.
  • Memory has improved and performed well in oral exams – 37/40 in English and answered all questions. His English Grammar has improved slightly.
  • Aggressive behavior is more manageable.
  • He is developing his choices, likes and dislikes.
  • Fear while swimming has decreased.
  • FIM score has improved from 70 to 80.
  • Score on GMFM have improved from 56.46% to 74.81%, PBS from 21 – 30/56, DGI 7-9.

Currently he is attending a regular school and is also catching up on academics. His vision has also improved as compared to before. He is also continuing with physiotherapy to further improve on his physical disabilities.

What does Mrs. Shankar, mother to Harish Shankar have to say

What does Mrs. Shankar, mother to Harish Shankar have to say
“Never ever give up. That’s the biggest lesson that life has taught me. If one thing does not work out, it in no way indicates that the other thing wont.” Says a joyful Mrs. Shankar.