Chennai, Feb 15: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder that can impair a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others and hence results in inappropriate executive skills. Though currently there is no cure for ASD, early intervention and education can help a child progress more fully, said Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
Inaugurating a two-day ‘Early Intervention International Conference’ organised by Amar Seva Sangam, Ayikudi (ASSA) here Thursday, he said the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD), Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 provides a comprehensive assessment of prevalence and Years Lived with Disability (YLDs) for development disabilities among children younger than 5 years. The estimated global number of children younger than 5 years in Global Burden of Diseases 2016 was 598·5 million in 1990 and 632 million in 2016, he said.
”Though in India the incidence of infant mortality is decreasing while the incidence of non-communicable diseases is increasing which is a major cause for disability. According to a 2016 study published in the Lancet, there are more than 53 million children under the age of 5 in the world living with a disability, with 12 million in India and almost one lakh in Tamilnadu. There is an urgent need to address this issue with quality early intervention to support the children in the development of physical, cognitive, emotional, sensory, behavioural, social and communication capabilities and skills,” the Governor said.
The Governor also declared sanction of Rs 51 lakh from Governors discretionary grant to Amar Seva Sangam for the construction of compound wall on their premises within a day of request from the organisers. Thanking the Governor for the grant, ASSA founder-president S Ramakrishnan said, ”Disability is a major barrier to access to education in India.”
ASSA secretary Sankara Raman said, ”There is an urgent need to address this issue with quality early intervention to support children in the development of physical, cognitive, emotional, sensory, behavioral, social and communication capabilities and skills. This would increase inclusion and participation of those children in schools and society.”
The international conference is attended by over 500 experts, which saw presentations on various aspects of early intervention such as parent-based early intervention for children with developmental delay, stroke in children – current diagnostic and management challenges, and early identification of risk for developmental delay.