The Telegraph
Monday , March 10 , 2014
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Focus on early help at IICP seminar

The Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP) recently hosted a seminar to discuss the importance of early intervention in dealing with autism and other conditions.

Special educators, therapists and teachers were of the opinion that a special child can be included into the mainstream or can become highly functional if intervention and therapy begin in the initial months. For that they require the cooperation of the parents as well.

Pallav Bhattacharya, the state nodal officer, spoke about the government’s plans to set up free early-detection centres in district hospitals for better childcare, while Suchandra Mukherjee, resource person and the head of the neonatology at IPGMER-SSKM, highlighted the role of doctors, the importance of genetic counselling and the early detectable signs that make treatment that much easier.

Vision or hearing impairment, neuro-motor impairment and cognitive delay are some of the early signs of disability. “Down syndrome is detectable before birth. Genetic counselling may help prospective parents,” Mukherjee explained to a full house as questions from the audience regarding down syndrome kept pouring in.

Reena Sen, the executive director of IICP, explained on the institute’s early intervention model. The audience also shared some personal experiences during the interactive session.

The second half of the seminar saw Indranil Basu, the director of Autism Society of West Bengal, speaking on how early intervention can help autistic kids. Ruma Chatterjee, the vice-president of the Society for Visually Challenged, spoke about the importance of a doctor’s role in early detection of hearing and sight impairment.