Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General (Sion) Hospital becomes first government hospital in Mumbai to get Autism Intervention Centre. It was inaugurated on December 20 at hospital’s Urban Health Centre.
“It is a first-of-its-kind Autism Intervention Centre in government hospital where severe and mild-moderate autism children can avail of multimodal treatment at reasonable cost. There are many private centres in Mumbai, but autism children of economically-weaker sections cannot afford them. So, we decided to set-up this centre,” said Dr Mona P Gajre, in charge of Paediatric Neurodevelopmental Centre, Sion Hospital.
Centre will function six days a week, from 9am to 5pm. “At this centre, a team from occupational department comprising Dr Sushant Sarang and Dr Rashmi Yeradkar will provide occupational therapy where self-care activities will be taught. Speech and language therapy will help in improving a child’s communication and conversational skills,” said Gajre.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting development of brain in children. Autism is common in India, affecting all strata of society, with a high prevalence of about 1 in every 250 children being affected. Every year, hospital receives 80-90 cases of autistic children.
Centre has capacity of handling 40-50 children. Apart from usual therapies, it also has audio-video assisted technology for better learning.
“Autistic children can improve significantly with proper training and therapy. We will have a team of experts who will observe their development,” added Gajre.
Centre will also conduct autism awareness workshops for school teachers, parents and community leaders with an aim to create acceptance and integration of this condition in society.
“It is observed that these children are good with technology. Keeping this in mind, with help of videos, a child will be taught basic numeric, alphabets and poems,” said Gajre.
Centre is funded by Warke’s Hi Media laboratories through CSR activities.
“Mission of our department is to ensure that every child gets optimal care and our vision is to provide quality care to all. Autism spectrum disorder needs comprehensive team care, which will now be made available to all children,” said Dr Mamta Manglani, Professor and Head of the Department of Paediatrics, Sion hospital.