Children’s Intervention Centre for A’pura Teaching Hospital | Daily News

Children’s Intervention Centre for A’pura Teaching Hospital

SLACD President Dr. Saraji Wejesekara and CEO (CDB) Mahesh Nanayakkara opening the Children’s Intervention Centre at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital.
SLACD President Dr. Saraji Wejesekara and CEO (CDB) Mahesh Nanayakkara opening the Children’s Intervention Centre at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital.

Marking World Children’s Day this year, the Sri Lanka Association for Child Development (SLACD) and the Citizens Development Business Finance PLC (CDB) recently opened a state-of-the-art Children’s Intervention Centre at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital with an investment of over Rs. 7.5 million.

Aptly named ‘Pragathi’, the intervention centre is specifically designed and equipped to provide children with autism and other neuro-developmental conditions with the best treatment options in order to improve their learning and development skills, thus ensuring a higher quality of life. The centre was opened by SLACD President Dr. Saraji Wejesekara and CEO (CDB) Mahesh Nanayakkara.

Under the ‘Act Early for Autism’ programme, the ‘Pragathi’ intervention centre was the latest project initiated by the SLACD and CDB to create awareness and necessary interventions on autism spectrum disorder, a growing neuro-developmental health condition amongst children of Sri Lanka.

According to research, by 2009, approximately one in 93 children in Sri Lanka was suffering from autism spectrum disorder, and one of the major current issues is that most parents are not even aware of such a condition and its treatments.

Children with autism should be assessed and managed by a team of professionals after thorough observation with utmost care and patience. In order to execute this, it is undeniably important for doctors, parents and children to have their very own space.

Moreover, parents of children with autism spectrum disorder are faced with unique challenges when providing care. Thus, the doctors at the ‘Pragathi’ intervention centre also focus on educating parents on the specific treatment procedures which need to be carried out within the home setting.

The ‘Pragathi’ intervention centre provides the space required to treat these children. Special features of the intervention centre include the one-way mirrorwhichis a tool that allows doctors and therapists to observe the children while they are continuing their usual routines without any disturbances and without the children noticing that they are being observed.

The sensory room for the children to practice and participate in sensorial activities stimulates their senses. The other special future, Gross Motor Room is designed for physical activities which stimulate their motor skills.

Several practices such as toilet training for children with autism spectrum disorder are adopted to ease the day to day lives of both the kids and their families. The intervention centre is equipped with special toilet training facilities aimed at teaching both the children and parents the necessary procedures required to ensure the development of proper toilette etiquette.

The team of professionals at the ‘Pragathi’ Children’s Intervention Centre welcomes parents and children from all walks of life to visit them and utilise these services for early detection and treatments. Parents can contact the ‘Pragathi’ intervention centre through the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital and the Child Guidance Clinic.

Since the inception of this programme, the CDB and the SLACD have taken steps to educate doctors, nurses, parents and midwives in rural areas about the importance of detecting the early signs of Autism and its treatments. As a part of this programme, the CDB and the SLACD established an ‘Outdoor Therapeutic Sensory Garden’ at the Ampara General Hospital, allowing children to enjoy activities that stimulate their senses.

Child and Adolescent Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Anuradha Herath, Prof. Hemamali Perera, Dr. Saraji Wijesekara and Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Palitha Bandara were present on the occasion.

 


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