Mumbai: Maharashtra is the second most populous state in India, home to over 117 million people or more than 9% of India’s population; unfortunately it is also one of the five largest states with people with disabilities in India. The population of children between 0-6 years old is approximately 1.33 crore. Out of these (as per the incidence rate of 10%), 13 lakh children are likely to have one or more forms of disabilities. Hence, there is an urgent need to prevent disabilities and rehabilitate children with special needs.
There is scientific evidence to indicate that disabilities can be prevented through early intervention and the chances of a child developing a severe disability can be minimised through rehabilitation. The goal of pediatric rehabilitation is to limit the physiological and psychological effects of developmental disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism and ADHD, and to improve overall mobility and abilities to perform everyday activities.
Neurodevelopmental therapy is an integral part of treatment for all the above conditions. It has to be comprehensive as each affected child is unique and needs multiple professionals to be involved.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mrs Tina Ambani, Chairperson, Kokilaben Hospital, said, “Our children are the building blocks of the future, each one is a vital thread in the nation’s fabric and their potential must be recognised—and realised. For children with neuro-developmental disorders, an enabling environment becomes all the more imperative. Unfortunately, in India, those with special needs largely remain marginalised and excluded, even invisible. Through KDAH’s Department for Developmental Disorders, a result-oriented, multidisciplinary programme; we seek to engage and work with families to bring every child into life’s mainstream. Today, my hospital team and I pledge to do our part in creating a more integrated, inclusive, mature society where hope and help enable every dream to take wing.”
On 19 February 2016, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) launched a Department for Developmental Disorders, a pediatric rehab facility with advanced technology, specialised multidisciplinary team and a dedicated area for state-of-the-art services. Equipped with a 3D Instrumented Gait Analysis Lab to evaluate gait problems in children, a multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation medicine specialists, pediatric neurologists, child psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, child psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, special educator, orthotists, nurses, and nutritionists will provide integrated services.
Chief Guest of the function Dr Farokh Udwadia, Eminent Physician and Recipient of Padma Bhushan and Mrs Tina Ambani, Chairperson, Kokilaben hospital launched the department by lighting the lamp.
Speaking on the symptoms of developmental disorders, Dr Pradnya Gadgil, Paediatric Neurologist, said, “The developmental disorder, if caught on early, can be cured or controlled immensely but too often, the parents come to us too late for the treatment because attribute the symptoms to naughtiness or lethargy. Watching closely, parents can figure out some of the most common symptoms such as no eye contact or smiling back by a 3 months old child, inability to walk without assistance or forming complete words by 18 months or even short attention span that might result in academic difficulties. The sooner parent’s start seeking guidance, the better are the chances of recovery for the children.”
The specialised programmes at KDAH’s Department for Development Disorders:
· Neurodevelopmental programme: Offers comprehensive services for children with developmental delay consisting of neurophysiological approaches to hasten recovery of normal movement patterns.
· Spasticity management and ambulation programme: Aims to reduce the detrimental effects of abnormal tone due to spasticity or dystonia.
· Multi-sensory integration programme: Works on the principle that children with special needs have deficient sensory processing which can be improved by a coordinated programme consisting of delivery of multiple sensory stimuli to the brain.
· Autism management programme: Caters to the needs of special children who have difficulty in learning, social communication and performing higher tasks.
· Specific learning disability (SpLD) service: The training programme will provide remedial education to children with persistent difficulties in learning (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia) despite normal intelligence.
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