: While early intervention has been accepted as the method to teach skills and mainstream children with developmental delays, even among children with severe impairments changes have been remarkable. Participants of a two-day workshop on early interventions for persons with disability reiterated the need for early intervention for all disabilities.

It has become a norm that children with disability needed intervention, as delay in providing intervention slowed down the learning process among children, according to Neerada Chandramohan, director, National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD).

“A critical period for development is between zero and three years of age. There is empirical evidence that multi-sensorial intervention will benefit children. CT scans of children with disabilities before and after intervention have shown remarkable changes,” she said. The workshop, organised by Madhuram Narayanan Centre for Exceptional Children, (MNC) along with NIEPMD was inaugurated on Friday by Social Welfare secretary Kannegi Packianathan, who said that it was necessary to ensure all adolescents were administered the Rubella vaccine when they attained puberty. Calling for radical measures to prevent disabilities, she suggested that along with the birth certificate, schools, both private and government-run, should insist that every child be assessed by an early intervention centre to rule out impairments.

MNC has been innovating and creating environments for children with mental retardation and developmental delays to learn skills, explained director Jaya Krishnaswamy. A.K. Mittal, president of All India Confederation of the Blind, recalled a study on “newly blind” persons done in Delhi which found that the early intervention among the newly blind persons had made a difference.