Multiple Disabilities Research Centre to come up in K'taka

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Bangalore, Jan 11 (UNI) A National Research Centre on Multiple Disabilities will be established in Karnataka this fiscal, State Women and Child Development Secretary Shalini Rajnesh said here today.

Inaugurating a two-day international conference on 'Autism-The Future Defined', she said the proposed Centre would deal with all kinds of disabilities, including mental and physical.

Dr Shalini regretted that the country had only four schools for students with disabilities.

There was a need to improve early detection and treatment for autism, she said.

National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Science (NIMHANS) Director D Nagaraja said, ''autism is not a disease. People have misunderstood it for a disease. It can happen any time. Significant improvement is possible with early detection. Management of autism cannot be done in hospitals.'' ''Massive education and public movement are necessary to identify the affected children. Public participation can make government schemes successful in this regard,'' he added.

Autism Action (AACTION) Medical Director Tom Owley stressed the need for more surveys in the adolescent group to identify the affected.

He said persons with autism display a range of deficiencies, particularly in speech, language and communication and often present bizarre patterns of behaviour.

Conference Chairperson Jayashree Ramesh said there were about 40 lakh people affected with autism in India.

About 300 delegates from various parts of the country are attending the two-day conference.


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