The 4th International Conference 2013 is a sequel to the first, second and the third international conferences held in 2004, 2007, and 2010 respectively. This year the National Workshop was combined with the Conference so that they were conducted in tandem. The participative Workshops were interspersed with the lectures to make the programme more interesting. The Workshops and the Conference were conducted by resource experts both from India and overseas. The Conference was inaugurated on the evening of the 20th at Hotel Savera. It was heartening to see that the number of registrations for the conference was over a hundred and fifty, and had a pan India representation. The dates of the Conference were Thursday 21st, Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd November 2013.
The aim of the present conference was to take on the theme of the importance of Early Intervention for children with Mental Retardation and Associated Disabilities, age group, birth to six years. The theme Early Intervention was presented under the heads:
Every conference leads to more learning, with interaction between people, professionals and experts. Awareness of Early Intervention and its importance is still inadequate among parents, care givers and even among professionals. Therefore an annual workshop is a platform to encourage knowledge sharing between people at grassroots level and experts from various related fields, to help update their skills and knowledge, networking etc. to set them thinking and maybe innovating. It also helps to change people’s outlook towards the importance of early intervention. Even experts have a chance to see for themselves how the theory gets implemented at the grassroots and the need for developing new services and research studies.
In the past few years, Genetics has assumed a larger role in the early detection, and prevention of inherited disabilities. This conference had eminent resource persons from the field of Genetics presenting papers.
As a precursor to the conference, a workshop was held at MNC which saw eminent geneticists and special educators coming together with the children and staff of MNC. The experts had hands on experience of examining children who were genetically predisposed, and this opened up an opportunity for MNC to initiate a genetic centre with a view to future research. There was also our interaction between the visiting experts on special educator and MNC teachers.
Apart from the proceedings at the Conference the other events in the orbit included: