On the occasion of World Autism Day on April 2, a district-level early intervention centre was inaugurated at the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) to provide free behavioural therapy to children with developmental disorders.
It would be a very useful service for families that can’t afford private treatment for their kids with conditions like autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and cerebral palsy among others. Private practitioners offer such behavioural therapy for a fee ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 3,000 per session.
This is the first district early intervention centre to have an ABA centre for autistic children attached to it, informed Dr V Booma, head of the hospital’s paediatrics department. She hopes that this provision will help in improving the lives of children with developmental disorders across Coimbatore enjoy an improved quality of life.
The centre will be run under the name Saathvik by the not-for-profit organisation Third Eye that specializes in ABA therapy and has been working with special needs children since 2013. Around 40 children had registered for the treatment on the inauguration day itself.
Talking about the offerings of the centre, director of Third Eye Saranya Babu Prasath said that each therapist would spend an hour with each child. “At the current staff strength, we could have each therapist attend to six children every day for five days a week. Depending on the registration and response, we will hire more therapists later,” she said. She added that the NGO is running a similar centre in Pollacho which was inaugurated in March.