It has been observed that in India, especially in low socio-economic families, due to lack of education and awareness, the parents of children with intellectual disabilities either don’t realize the problem the child is suffering from or take it lightly and keep ignoring it in the name of slow development. The basic knowledge about a child’s development the parents should have, before and after the birth of a child, is missing in this segment of society. The effect this delay has on child is not only irreversible but also multiplies the sufferings of the child. Also, when a mental disability is identified, no special help is sought due to lack of financial resources.
There is an urgent need to educate, such parents and parents would be, about timely milestones to be achieved by a growing child; they should be able to observe and identify if a child’s growth is not normal. They should understand that given timely medical help and therapies will help children with intellectual disabilities to lead a fairly independent life.
Hence with an aim of educating different development issues, a workshop “Normal Development of a Child from Infancy to Childhood”, was organized by SAMADHAN, at Dakshinpuri centre, New Delhi, on 28th February 2013. Nidhi Talwar (Occupational Therapist at SAMADHAN) conducted the workshop. About 30 mothers participated, came forward with their queries and shared their experiences.
Focusing on Physical, Emotional, Social, Cognitive development of a child, the workshop covered following issues:
• Environment around a pregnant mother• Precautions during pregnancy• General reflex actions of a newborn• Signs of normal and abnormal development • Motor milestones of a child• Importance of different therapies needed for a disabled child
The following queries were raised and discussed during the workshop:• Normal weight of a child at different stages• Balanced diet • Exercises for disabled children• Precautions needed when carrying around a disabled child• Prenatal and postnatal precautions
Role of Early Intervention unit, Pre education unit and Therapy services of SAMADHAN was also explained.
Workshop Feedback:According to the participants, the workshop was fruitful and knowledgeable. They learnt many new facts and expressed that such workshops must be carried out regularly in SAMADHAN. They also promised that, in their social circles, they will help identify children with disabilities and refer them to SAMADHAN.
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