11th National Workshop on mental retardation

The 11th National Workshop was held between 7th - 8th of November 2014.

MNC has been conducting National level workshops in the domain of Early Intervention in Mental Retardation since the year 2004. The objectives are to provide a platform for rehabilitation professionals from across the country to share their experiences and knowledge of new developments in this area. The theme of the workshop was “Early Intervention in Mental Retardation and Associated Disabilities – “Discovering Differences and Developing Strengths.” The 11th National workshop began with an invocation by the Special Educators of MNC and the traditional lighting of the kuthuvilaku. Mrs. Jaya Krishnaswamy, Director MNC, welcomed the gathering and also gave a preview to the two day workshop. The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. P. Jeyachandran, who elicited the importance of the National Workshop and the benefits which accrue from it to all the stakeholders. The workshop was attended by 150 participants including delegates on both days, mainly Special Educators, Therapists and Rehabilitation professionals from different parts of the country, medical and paramedical practitioners, and special invitees. Eight distinguished experts in their fields formed the faculty of the workshop.

Each day saw two sessions. Each session had a workshop conducted by an expert, followed by a presentation by another expert, with a question answer session at the end. The topics were varied and included sessions on 'Individual Education Programme and its steps and forms'; 'Early detection and prevention of metabolic disorders, and their nutritional management'; 'Preparing for self management with Early Intervention and Sensory Integration techniques'; 'Early Intervention towards Mainstreaming'; 'Language development in children with Down’s syndrome'; 'Theatre for children with special needs'; and 'Management of Epilepsy and Seizure disorders'.

The event concluded the second day with a valedictory ceremony. The valedictory address was given by Dr. Neeradha Chandramohan, Director NIEPMD, Chennai. Mrs Priya Rajkumar, Principal, MNC who welcomed the chief guest gave a synopsis of the various sessions of the workshop. She also read the recommendations which emerged from the workshop for the consideration of professionals in the field as well as Government bodies. Dr. Neeradha Chandramohan distributed certificates of participation to the delegates. The valedictory function concluded with a vote of thanks by Mrs Vimala Kannan, Director MNC.

  • Mrs. Padma Shastry BE., MS Special Education (Santa Clara University, USA) - After a ten year stint as the Head of Special Education Department in schools in California, she founded SAMAM VIDYA at Bangalore, an educational resource service to facilitate equal access to education for all in 2012. She conducts disabilities simulation workshops both in India and in the US.
  • Dr. Sujatha Jagadeesh, MBBS, DCH, DNB is Genetic Consultant, Paediatric Geneticist and Dysmorphologist at Mediscan, Chennai. She is in charge of Cytogenetics Laboratory and Biochemical Screening tests in Perkin Elmer Health Sciences, Birth Defect Registry of India, MPS Support Group societies and is a visiting consultant at Sooriya Hospitals and Apollo Hospital.
  • Dr. Dharini Krishnan, Consultant Dietician is a registered dietician (RD) and her qualifications include a Master’s in Nutrition, a doctorate in Science, a Diploma in Software Systems Analysis and Design, and a B.Ed degree. Presently she is the President of the Indian Dietetic Association, Secretary of Ecoscience Research Foundation and is working towards the organic movement in the country.
  • Mr. Karthik Ranganatha Rao is Senior Manager Technical Services, SPASTN, Tamilnadu and is a Paediatric Physiotherapist certified in Sensory Integration and trained in Aquatic therapy, with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has designed and developed the Sensory Integration Gym in the State Resource Training Centre, Government of Tamilnadu. He is the co-author of the manual on basic developmental therapy, published by SPASTN.
  • Mrs. Priya Rajkumar - Bachelors in Nutrition & Dietetics, Masters in Food Service Management and Dietetics, B.Ed, and Diploma Course in Special Education (MR) is Principal at MNC.
  • Dr. Ambika Kameshwar - is a danseuse & vocalist of international acclaim. She has presented dance and music concerts all over the world, and has composed music for and choreographed several solo dance pieces and dance dramas on various themes. She is a PhD in Natyabinaya (Indian theatre). Her Post Doctorate Fellowship is on the application of Theatre Arts as a Holistic tool of Development with special emphasis on Children & people with disabilities. Dr. Ambika’s skills have found fruition as a repertoire Artiste of R.M.C.L, Bangalore, and as the Founder – Director of Rasa, Chennai.
  • Prof. Nirmala Venkateswaran, B.Sc., OTR. FACOT., MT - She has been practicing Occupational Therapy since 1960. The honour of “Fellowship of Academic Council of Occupational Therapy” was conferred upon her in appreciation of the exemplary services, academic achievements and leadership, provided for promoting occupational therapy countrywide, by the All India Occupational Therapy Associations (World Federation of Occupational Therapists). She was one of the members of the interdisciplinary team of experts who was involved with the development of Upanayan, and remains a beloved and respected honourable advisor/consultant occupational therapist at MNC. She brings with her a life time of teaching and practicing occupation therapy.
  • Prof. Usha Dalvi, PhD - She is presently working as Associate Professor in the Department of ENT, Audiology and Speech language Pathology at SRM Medical college Hospital and Research Centre, SRM University. She worked as a Research Officer for the UNICEF funded Joint project of Ali Yuvar Jung National Institute for Hearing Handicapped and Regional Rehabilitation Training Centre, Chennai titled “The development and standardization of Articulation and Language test” in Hindi, Gujarati, and Marathi. She is the first recipient of “Teacher in Residence” an international award conferred by International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISSAC) to professionals from developing countries.
  • Dr. Rema Raghu, MBBS, MSC Epidemiology (London), as clinical Director of Trimed oversees patient care and service delivery across Trimed centres. She is responsible for clinical staff recruitment and training. She also coo-ordinates processes for inpatient admissions in relevant hospitals and ensures provision of holistic inpatient care. She addresses and resolves clinical complaints, grievances and other service matters and ensure quality of overall service delivery. She also leads the development and piloting of new clinical processes and procedures at Trimed.

Experts and eminent persons from India in the various areas covered, rehabilitation professionals, public opinion makers, advocacy groups, parents/parents associations, funding agencies and the public participated in the conference. They numbered about 150.

Friday, 07th November 2014 - Day 1

Workshop Individualized Education Programme – Process, Steps and Forms Mrs. Padma Shastry
Presentation Metabolic Disorders – Early detection of Metabolic Disorders in the prevention of related disabilities in children Dr. Sujatha Jagadeesh
Presentation Nutritional Management of Metabolic Disorders in children 6 years and below Dr. Dharini Krishnan
Workshop Across Disabilities – Preparing for Self Management with Early Intervention in children with disabilities – CP/ASD/DS Mr. Karthik Ranganatha Rao
Workshop Across Disabilities - Early Intervention with Sensory Integration techniques Prof. Nirmala Venkateswaran

Saturday, 08th November 2014 - Day 2

Workshop Down’s Syndrome – Language Development or children with Down’s Syndrome Prof. Usha Dalvi
Workshop Early Intervention for Mainstreaming – Happenings and challenges - MNC Mrs. Priya Rajkumar
Workshop Theatre for Children with Special Needs Dr. Ambika Kameshwar
Presentation Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders Dr. Rema Raghu
Valedictory and Recommendations

Held on - 07th - 08th November, 2014
At : Pastoral Centre, Mylapore, Chennai - 600004

  • IFSP (Individualized Family Service Program) is a mandatory first step in any EI program for effective results in development.
  • Early detection of Inborn errors of metabolism is made easy with
    • Premarital counselling
    • Pre pregnancy counselling
  • The impact of Inborn Errors of Metabolism can be reduced if we have
    • Newborn screening
    • Early medical attention
    • Counselling in Specific diet with management
  • A well planned and vigorous early intervention program is the key to independent living in adult years.
  • A well planned and a Systematic EI combined with experiential learning for an inclusive mainstreaming
  • Speech & language training should be a part of all the activities of the child.
  • Theatre and arts as a part of the curriculum makes learning of concepts and life skills joyful, easy, natural and permanent.
  • Epilepsy management
    • Regular Medication and compliance to medication
    • Periodic reviews
    • Good sleep
    • Avoidance of risks like driving, night shifts etc