Chennai, Nov. 2023
To emphasize the need for individualised support to neurodivergent children, The Child Development Centre, Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital Pvt Ltd conducted a program “Celebrating children with Neurodivergence” targeting parents and extended family members of children with neurodivergence on 17.11.2023, Friday. The programme was presided by Dr. T.G. Govindarajan – the Founder, Medical director and Chairman; and Directors Dr. Jayanthi Govindarajan and Dr. Sivaranjani Govindarajan. The scientific sessions included topics explaining how neurodivergence is a growing challenge today and role of effective parenting, self-regulation and communication in the upbringing of these children. This was followed by a Panel Discussion with experts and an Open Q&A session for answering the queries of the assembled parents.
Dr. T.G. Shivaranjani Director, Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospitals, in her inaugural address welcomed the speakers, dignitaries and the parents in the gathering and said “It gives us great pleasure to host this seminar which we hope will greatly benefit the parents who are attending this session. The session would also offer new insights in dealing with children with Autism. I am sure awareness programs like these would go a lot of way to creative inclusiveness of children with neurodivergence and sensitise the public while dealing with these children“.
Dr. Rajeswari N, Chief consultant and head of Pediatrics and CDC explained “Judy Singer, a sociologist, coined the term neurodiversity in 1997, to describe the natural variation in how people’s brain work. Neurodivergence is the difference in thinking, learning and behaviour that fall outside what is considered “normal” or neurotypical. Neurodivergence includes Autism, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Dyslexia and Tourette syndrome, among others. Children with Autism have deficits in social and communication skills. Children with ADHD have inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity as core features and children with dyslexia have difficulty in reading and decreased phonological awareness. The prevalence of such neurodivergent conditions has increased in the past 2 decades. One in 6 children are neurodivergent, 1 in 36 children have Autism, 10% of children aged 6 to 10 years have ADHD and 1 in 10 people have dyslexia. These children have sensory issues and can “melt down” in social gatherings with a lot of noise, light and crowd. 30% of children with Au tism have fits”.
Dr. Rajewari added “These children also have unique strengths. They stay focussed on their topic of interest and can give innovative solutions to complex challenges. Some children have strong skills in music, art science and technology. Such talent can be nurtured with early intervention and adequate support from parents and schools”.
Dr. T.G. Govindarajan, Chairman and MD, Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital remarked “Inclusive schools should have sensory rooms to handle “melt down”, special educators and therapists for providing Individualised educational program for these children. The importance of support groups and systems for neurodivergent children and their parents is necessary“.
The program concluded with the resolution to join hands to celebrate, accept and embrace children with Neurodivergence and integrate them with society.
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