Autism research centre to come up in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, July 14

A Centre for Autism and Other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education will come up here soon with a vision to transform the lives of afflicted children through best practice principles and family-centered holistic care.

A not-for-profit entity, it will be set up with the assistance of Chandaria Foundation (UST Global) and K Nandakumar (SunTec Business Solutions) as donor patrons and the George M Thomas Foundation (Trivandrum International School) as donor.

G Vijaya Raghavan, Founder-Director of National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH), Thiruvananthapuram, will be the Honorary Director of the Autism Centre.

Significant impact

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neuro-developmental disorder which has a significant impact on the individual’s development in childhood and in adult life, Vijaya Raghavan told BusinessLine.

It is a rising medical and social challenge all over the world; in fact, it is considered to be the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the US.

It is estimated that 1 to 1.5 per cent of children between ages two and nine in India are afflicted by Autism. Unfortunately no compulsory screening tests are done in India unlike in the developed countries.

Very few organisations in India provide proper therapies and support. There is also a significant gap between the needs of autistic children and their families and the delivery of high-quality remedial measures.

Holistic care

When all the phases of the proposed Centre here are implemented, it will probably be one of the first Institutions in India that will take care of autistic children from diagnosis to rehabilitation and mainstreaming holistically, Vijaya Raghavan said.

It is expected to evolve over a period of time to be a centre for education, rehabilitation, research, and support for assisted living for adults with disabilities.

The Centre is expected to start operations from a rented premises in the city by the end of September this year.

It is being designed to cater to the needs of up to 50 children in the age group 1.5 to 16 years.

It will have extensive indoor and outdoor facilities including play areas. Technology will be used to assist the learning and also for parents to observe their children.

Published on July 14, 2017



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