Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactive disorder in children

Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactive disorder (ADHD) both are neurodevelopmental disorders which  impact the same brain functions. Studies have shown that two-third of the total affected children with  ADHD show autism symptoms too. There is a thin line of difference between their characteristic  symptoms, let’s learn about both in detail. 

AUTISM- the isolated self 

Autism can be diagnosed in children from the age of 2years. Each autistic child may show different  symptoms. You cannot really categorise them into one.  

It is one of the syndrome that falls under the range of autism spectrum disorders. The word Autism is a  Greek word ‘ autos’ which means ‘self’.

Here are some of the distinct characteristics to look out for in an autistic child: 

  • They find difficulty in communicating with others 
  • They prefer to sit alone or play alone. Finds difficult to make friends. 
  • Sensory Dysfunction – cannot stand loud noises, strong smell or flavour. 
  • Repetitive Behaviour- Doing or saying the same things over and over again. For example,  constantly clap hands. 

The cause of Autism is largely genetic. So if diagnosed from start and treated well then it effectively  reduces the symptoms.



ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. It’s seen in both Children and adults. Usually,  difficult to identify at before the age of 5 in children because being inattentive , hyperactive are the  normal traits shown by any toddler or kid.

It’s symptoms may or may not stand out clearly depicting ADHD affected children. Symptoms include: 

Cannot focus on one task for a long time 

  • Difficult in paying attention in class or in any given activity or discussion 
  • Always needs to move around. Cannot sit at one place. 
  • Usually responds or answers back without thinking much/ Impulsive behaviour 


-Most diagnosis is by age of 2. Hence, an overall approach therapy- occupational, behavioural,  medical, dietary and physical would help them to cope up with the environment and other children  better. 

MEDICAL APPROACH is important as the drugs given will not cure autism but reduce anxiety and depression  in the child. This will improve their learning and communication skills and make them more friendly and  open. 


– Being over sensitive to, touch , taste and sight they tend to become picky eaters. They prefer to  eat only a particular food item over and over again, making them nutritional deficient. These  deficits need to be addressed through supplements under the guidance of doctor. 

– Expose them to different varieties of the same food item. For example, if they eat apple jam,  then the child will be open to try apple pie or apple as a whole fruit. 

– Usually they are sensitive to foods containing casein ( milk, paneer, curd) , gluten (wheat, barley,  oats) or preservatives (packaged food items). Try to eliminate these items one at a time and  observe how they respond. 

– Once the sensitivity is known, use the substitutes for it. 

For example, in case of casein substitute  their milk/paneer requirements with soybean milk/ tofu respectively OR Almond milk

In case of gluten insensitivity, substitute it with buckwheat, sago, millets, corn, quinoa, rice, and amaranth.

– Gut health is compromised called as leaky (i.e. Gut is permeable to toxins and gets absorbed  into the bloodstream). Long term studies have shown that bacteria B. Fragilis helps to recover  from leaky gut and reduce the autistic syndrome.


Along with behavioural therapy, diet also plays an important role in managing ADHD. A well balanced diet including veggies, fruits, complex carbs like high fiber cereals and more proteins  will slowly help to ease the symptoms.

There are three ways to focus on:

  1. Supplementation 
  2. Elimination approach
  3. Healthy eating habits
  1. Elimination approach: Elimination approach involves not eating certain food items which may trigger symptoms and hyperactive behaviour. One by one the potential food item is eliminated for a few days, change in any symptoms or behaviour is noted.
  2. Supplementation: To make up for not getting  sufficient amount from the foods eaten, vitamin and mineral supplementation  shall help in easing the symptoms
  3. Healthy eating habits:  Healthier habits include choosing wholesome foods instead of refined foods. Example, using wholegrains like broken wheat, wheat bran, buckwheat and  millets instead of maida.– Choosing healthier sweet options like dark chocolates with berries, homemade dates roll, jaggery based halwas or sheera.– Avoid high sugar containing foods like candies, cakes, cookies, sweetened chocolates.– Say no to fried snacking items and ready to eat products. Alternatively, choose healthier food items like roasted chivda with chana, roasted yellow chana, plain popcorn, millet baked wafers, sauteed paneer.– Avoid packaged fruit juices, tetra packs, sugary drinks, sodas and carbonated beverages. Instead, opt for whole fruits, fruit based popsicles, coconut water and other homemade fruit juices without sugar.


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Paneer Do Pyaza


Paneer Do Pyaza

  • Author: Meenu Agarwal
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 25 Minutes


Paneer Do Pyaza is a gravy-based Indo-Pakistani Mughlai recipes that use plenty of onions to add both body and flavor, with the onions cooked in two different ways and incorporated into the recipe at different times. Paneer dopiaza is a dish, half the onions are blended into a paste, with aromatic spices, garlic, ginger, and a mild souring agent like tomato or yoghurt (or powdered unripe mango) or lemon/lime in Hyderabadi Cuisine), and briefly cooked with a little oil until fragrant, before the main ingredient is added and the mixture cooked down further to form a thick gravy. The remaining onions are sliced and deep-fried until browned and crisp to serve as a topping, which is added to the dish just before serving.



  • 100 gms Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 2medium Onion
  • 1 Green Chili, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 tspKasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 large Tomato
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Green Cardamom
  • 1 small piece of Bay Leaf
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Water


1) Cut paneer into 1-inch cubes. Finely chop tomatoes into puree.

2) Finely chop 1 onion. Cut remaining onion into 4 equal parts and separate its layers. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan and sauté onion layers until light brown. Transfer them to a plate.

3) Heat ½ tsp oil in the same pan. Add cumin seeds, green cardamom and bay leaf, when they begin to sizzle, add chopped onion and sauté until light brown.

4) Add grated ginger garlic paste and green chili; sauté for a minute.

5) Add crushed tomato puree and sauté until oil starts to separate.

6) Add kasurimethi, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, sugar and salt; mix well and cook for 1 minute.

7) Add paneer cubes, shallow fried onions, 1/2 cup water and cook for 3-4 minutes.

8) Transfer prepared sabzi to serving bowl. Garnish paneer do pyaza with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 160 – 170 KCAL
  • Fat: 15 – 17 GM
  • Carbohydrates: 25 – 30 GM
  • Protein: 10 – 12 GM

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