FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is autism?

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder which can be characterized by compromised development in social interaction and communication (verbal and nonverbal), and abnormally high repetitive behavior. Autism in children is generally visible around the age of around 2 years. More on what autism is.


Autism can be categorized into pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Asperger’s Syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. To know more about this condition, contact us.

What causes autism?

The exact causes of autism spectrum disorder are still debated. However, it is that autism is caused by a combination of environmental factors and a genetic predisposition. The most prominent causes of autism are those which occur before and during birth e.g. advanced age of both parents during time of childbirth, mental illness and difficulties during pregnancy and/or birth, or exposure to pollution (especially heavy metal particles) during pregnancy. However, do note that no specific factor causes autism in children, but it is a result of a combination of various ones.

What are symptoms of autism?

Autism’s symptoms can be identified through observation and assessments since medical tests to identify these are still being developed. Broadly, the autism symptoms are:


a. Lesser social interaction – Shy children interact less socially. But an autistic child’s interaction will be visibly lesser than those around. Also, the child will not play with toys the way they are meant to be played with.


b. Communication barricades – A child not responding to his name by the age of one is one of the major autism symptoms. Also, the child may communicate very less (verbally or nonverbally), or not communicate at all.


c. Repetitive behavior – Another telling autism symptom is extensive repetitive behavior displayed by the child. Also, hand flapping and an attachment to inanimate objects is visible.

How will I know if my child has autism spectrum?

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex neurodevelopment disorder. No 2 children on the condition are exactly alike. We rely heavily on observation and a series of assessments to detect autism in children due to the absence of medical tests for diagnosis.


You can also get in touch with our experts to conduct an assessment on your child. Contact us and we will respond quickly.

What services are offered at SAI Connections?

At SAI Connections, we offer therapy for developmental difficulties like autism spectrum disorder (including Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS), adhd and more. We offer training programs for parents of children with autism and learning disabilities. You can find out more about our parent training programs here.


We also offer professional courses and certification, which are ideal for you if you are pursuing a career in the field of special education. More on our professional special education courses here.

What is ABA

Behavior Analysis is the scientific study of behavior. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the principles of learning and motivation from Behavior Analysis, and the procedures and technology derived from those principles, to the solution of problems of social significance. Many decades of research have validated treatments based on ABA.


ABA methods are used to support individuals and children with autism in at least 6 ways listed below:

  1. to increase behaviors (e.g, reinforcement procedures increase on-task behavior, or social interactions)
  2. to teach new skills (e.g, systematic instruction and reinforcement procedures teach functional life skills, communication skills, or social skills)
  3. to maintain behaviors (e.g, teaching self control and self-monitoring procedures to maintain and generalize job-related social skills)
  4. to generalize or to transfer behavior from one situation or response to another (e.g, from completing assignments in the resource room to performing as well in the mainstream classroom)
  5. to restrict or narrow conditions under which interfering behaviors occur (e.g, modifying the learning environment)
  6. to reduce interfering behaviors (e.g, self injury or stereotypy)


ABA is an objective discipline. ABA focuses on the reliable measurement and objective evaluation of observable behavior.

What is RDI?

RDI, or Relationship Development Intervention, is a family-based training program founded by Drs. Rachelle Sheely and Steven Gutstein in USA. RDI addresses the core deficits of autism and ADHD like motivation, emotional sharing, coregulation and social referencing. We have been using RDI since 2011 and the results are stunning.

Can autism be cured?

There is no known cure for autism today. However, while children the autism spectrum often cannot be ‘cured’, they can be guided and helped to develop if the condition is diagnosed early and an appropriate intervention program is implemented. Once the core deficits and co occurring conditions of autism are addressed, a child starts developing substantially faster and adjusts better to his/her surroundings.

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism spectrum disorder that affects an individual’s abilities to communicate and socialize. Neuro-typical people take cues from the body language, expressions and tone of voice of individuals they are interacting with to understand how the person is feeling. An individual on Asperger’s Syndrome, on the other hand, finds it difficult to read these signals. Read more about Asperger’s Syndrome here.

What is PDD-NOS?

PDD-NOS stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified and is one of the three autism spectrum disorders. It is also called atypical autism, because the criteria for autistic disorder are not met. PDD-NOS is considered milder than typical autism, but this may not always be true. More on the condition of PDD-NOS here.

How will the programs at SAI Connections help me?

SAI Connections offers two types of programs:


a.    For individuals

We design Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) for each individual to help him/her tap into his/her strengths. We help each individual get comfortable with his/her surroundings and improve social interaction and communication skills, along with specific skills that he/she is good at. This improves the individual’s chances of employment. We also strive towards getting the individual on the autism spectrum employed and lead an independent and self-sufficient life. To know more about our services for individuals, get in touch with us.


b.    For parents and professionals

Along with the individual on the autism spectrum, it is also the responsibility of the parent and the guide to be involved in the individual’s development. Our effective and successful Family Consultation Program enables parents to understand their child better, help him develop necessary fine motor and communication skills, and live a complete family life that they deserve. Rebuilding the guided participation loop between parents and child is an integral part of this program specially designed for training parents of children with autism and other learning difficulties.


Professionals get to reach out to more families and make a positive impact through our training program (more elaboration needed). You can benefit from the Hybrid Training Program if you are a psychologist, counsellor, special educator, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist or if you have a background of providing services in the area of special needs and add to your professional credentials. Contact us to know more details about the program.

Which is better among ABA and RDI?

The two programs cannot be compared. Each has its own strengths. Both ABA and RDI are effective in helping us achieve the final goal – preparing individuals with learning disabilities to become independent and find suitable employment, and empowering their parents to become effective guides and enjoy a wholesome family experience.

If you have any query that we have not answered in this section, please feel free to get in touch with us.