A Guest Lecture on 'Overview of Developmental Disabilities' by Ms. Mini Dwivedi Gopinathan
11 August 2017
As a part of Words of Wisdom series, School of Sciences, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) organized a guest lecture on ‘Overview of Developmental Disabilities’ for Psychology students on 10 August 2017. The guest speaker was Ms. Mini Dwivedi Gopinathan, Founder & Director at PlayStreet Specially Abled Educare Trust.
In the first few minutes of the session, the speaker made the students understand the areas in which developmental delays can happen and the consequent areas of everyday living such as economic support, self-care, mobility, learning, language, ability to live independently, and self-direction that would be affected for those children under the autism spectrum.
Briefing on the developmental delay in children she stated that, it is popularly understood among the professionals that if any three of these symptoms are seen in a child, and the onset for those has been before the age of 18 years, the child is said to suffer from developmental delays.
She also opined that the mental health professionals should focus mainly on the needs of the child and the family which are the dimensions in which mental health professionals can make a true and remarkably visible difference.
She suggested psychologists if they would want to be able to help children with developmental delays and their families, they must know the following important concepts:
- What typical development in a child with no difficulties looks like
- What can be the gaps in development
- What makes each child unique
She also explained the measures of development which include
- Physical development
- Emotional development
- Social development
- Cognitive development
- Development of language and speech
- Development of motor skills
- Adaptive development
Explaining about autism, Ms. Mini who is an expert in working with children and families suffering from autism spectrum, stated that, it is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, impaired verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent in early childhood, typically before age three. She illustrated the concept with live examples and urged for the need for awareness.
The guest lecture was a crisp and appropriate orientation for the post graduate students of psychology as the speaker gave the right information which will help to understand the role played by psychologists while working with clients of the autism spectrum.