Each child, who is brought to the Community Centre with a delay in development is first evaluated by our professionals and community staff for its general health and nutritional status as well as specific concerns in development and assessed further by to address the special needs. These form the basis for the interventions for the child and counselling for the family.

The guiding principle for programmes at CARENIDHI has been that any assessment is a dead end unless it can guide interventions and provision of services to compensate for the developmental lag in the child. We believe that long-term management to meet the special needs and help the child achieve optimal functional efficiency requires a detailed evaluation of what the child can and cannot do. Such an evaluation is done through a series of sittings with the child and the family. This helps the team develop a family-centered model of services. The services are need-based and individualized. The transdisciplinary/multidisciplinary programme includes infant stimulation, evaluation of mental and social development.

Clinical examination and diagnostic work-up is conducted by the doctor, the rehabilitation professional, the speech therapist, the special educator, etc. From these initial perspectives, the team starts working with the parents in four essential areas:

  • Communicating the special needs/diagnosis in a sensitive and constructive manner
  • Explaining components of the home management programme
  • Counselling to facilitate the child’s development
  • Starting specific therapy inputs, exercises and activities to help the child achieve the optimum functional abilities (mobility, communication skills, manipulation, etc.)

Early identification, assessment and allied services are buttressed with periodic check-ups, using a camp approach, that is, eye camps, hearing camps, distribution of aids and appliances, epilepsy workshops, etc. The multipronged approach to address health promotion for children with disabilities and their families through health exhibitions, melas, parent workshops and meetings with community workers have served to improve the general health of the children and health seeking behaviour amongst families. In addition, workshops with a preventive focus are organized frequently to educate the community as a whole.