Thiruvananthapuram, July 14 (IANS) A state-of-the-art institute for autistic children will open here in Kerala with a vision to transform the lives of such children through best practice principles and family-centered holistic care.
Founding CEO of Technopark and founder director of National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH), G. Vijayaraghavan will be heading the Center for Autism and other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education (CADRRE) which will open in September.
"This Center is being designed to cater to the needs of up to 50 children in the age group 1.5 to 16 years and will have extensive indoor and outdoor facilities including play areas. Technology will be used to assist learning and also for parents to observe their children," said Vijayaraghavan.
He said discussions have already been initiated with leading centers in the US for training of the faculty of CADRRE at their institutes.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder which has a significant impact on the individual's development in childhood and in adult life.
Autism 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 children between ages 2 and 9 in India are afflicted by ASD. Unfortunately, no compulsory screening tests are done in India and very few organisations in India provide proper therapies and support," Vijayraghavan said.
"There is also a significant gap between the needs of autistic children and their families and the delivery of high-quality remedial measures," he added.
Those behind this not-for-profit entity, include IT honchos from the Technopark-based company AUST Global, SunTec Business Solutions President K. Nandakumar and the George M. Thomas Foundation.