Kozhikode: The Child Development Service (CDS) of Calicut Medical College Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), which works as a refuge for mentally challenged children and their parents, is celebrating its 10th anniversary on May 6. Kozhikode MLA M. Pradeep Kumar will inaugurate the function at 11am.
Nearly 30,000 children from the districts north of Thrissur have been taken care of at the center so far.
The center provides free medical care for challenges that inhibit the development of the brain, such as cerebral palsy, autism and retardation. It also attends to emotional issues in children. It should be noted that such care involves huge amount of money at private facilities. The CDS was opened at the RCH building of the Medical College in 2007 and was shifted to the new facility of IMHANS later. Initially it functioned with assistance from the National Rural health Mission (NRHM), but utilizes IMHANS funds now.
Experts like pediatrician, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, speech therapist, physiotherapist, psychiatrist social worker, and special educators are available at CDS.
The facility has the potential to develop into an advanced center for neuro science mental disorders disorders, viz., autism and retardation. It has the specialists as well as the space to support such growth. CDS outreach centers are functioning now in Thamarassery, Perambra and Kadalundy in Kozhikode and also Kottakkal, Edavanna, Malapuram and Edappal in Malapuram district.
IMHANS director Dr. P. Krishnakumar said more and more children with attention-deficit hyper activity disorder, learning disability, behavioral issues and depression come to the center now. Such children need solid support from families and the schools if their treatment has to be effective.
What is most important is that disabilities in children should be identified early. A child should be able to laugh on reaching two months. Its neck should settle at four months, it should be able to sit without support on attaining eight months and should stand up at 10 months. The child should utter at least two words as it reaches one year. Responses should be ensured with the child smiling back, waving back a bye etc. Dr. Krishnakumar said parents should seek expert examination if these turning points in a child's growth looks challenged.