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NRI children: Abhigyan suffering from attachment disorder

West Bengal,Health/Medicine, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 IANS

Kolkata, April 27 (IANS) The Bhattacharya family may have won the legal battle against the Norwegian authorities over Abhigyan and Aishwarya's custody but the young boy faces another challenge -- his attachment disorder, an ailment which has rendered him with behavioural problems requiring immediate medical attention.


Abhigyan, 3, who clings only to his uncle Arunabhash Bhattacharya, has lost his ability to speak and gets petrified at seeing strangers or on hearing a loud noise.


"He has been diagnosed with attachment disorder. He interacts only with me and seems to be apprehensive of all others. He hardly utters any words and communicates mostly through signs," Arunabhash told IANS.


"He lifts his shirt up when he has to go to the toilet or cries when he feels hungry," said the uncle who recently got the custody of the children.


Consultant developmental paediatrician Anjan Bhattacharya, whose medical care the child is in, however, hoped for a speedy recovery for the boy.


"Though the boy suffers from a severe attachment disorder and has developed self destructive behaviour, with the treatment that was administered at the foster care home in Norway, he has shown remarkable improvement.


Abhigyan now has been trying to speak imitating some of the words said by his uncle, he said.


Attachment is the result of the bonding process that occurs between a child and caregiver during the first couple years of the child's life. When the infant has a need, he or she expresses the need through crying and the caretaker is able to recognise and satisfy the need, according to experts.


Through this interaction, which occurs hundreds of thousands of times in a year, the child learns that the world is a safe place and trust develops.


When this initial attachment is lacking, children lack the ability to form and maintain loving, intimate relationships. They grow up with an impaired ability to trust that the world is a safe place and that others will take good care of them.


"Conscience development is dependent upon brain development and follows attachment. Therefore, children who suffer from attachment disorder lack pro-social values and morality as well as demonstrate aggressive, disruptive and antisocial behaviors," said consultant psychiatrist Sabyasachi Moitra.


When Abhigyan's mother Sagarika went to meet him Wednesday, he was seemingly frightened and disturbed.


"Abhigyan saw me after five months and could not recognise me. So he behaved that way. But when I hummed a song which I used to sing while feeding him, he smiled and stared at my face," said Sagarika who wants to make up with her estranged in-laws for the sake of her children.


"Only a mother can give the best care a child. Neither I nor my children can live apart. I want my children back at any cost. Arunabhash has a future... who will take care of my children after his marriage," she said.


Her father said the elders of her family were trying to work out an amicable solution to problem so that the children are not deprived from the love and care of both of their parents.


The two NRI children, who were in foster care in Norway after they were separated from their parents, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, on grounds of alleged negligence, returned to India Tuesday.


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