‘National Training Workshop on Autism using International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) and Indian Scale of Assessment of Autism (ISAA) Tools’ organized by The National Trust, a statutory body under Department for the welfare of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment begins here today. This 3 days workshop beginning from today till 2nd September, 2016 is being organized in collaboration with Child Neurology Division, Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS, New Delhi. It is the first of its kind in India organized by the National Trust. The Workshop on Autism Training was inaugurated by Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment (SJ&E) in the presence of Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for SJ&E. Dr. Vinod Agrawal, Secretary, Department for the welfare of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Prof. M.C. Mishra, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi and other dignitaries were present. Shri Gehlot released the Resource Materials, Posters and Training Modules for Master Trainers on the occasion.
Addressing on the occasion, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot said that Divyangjans are an integral part of Human Resources and the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is dedicated for their welfare. Very soon his ministry is going to increase their categories from Seven to Nineteen for their better care. So far, Autism could not be defined properly. Now, INCLEN AND ISAA Tools will be very helpful in this purpose.
In his address, Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar said that Divyangjans don’t need people’s mercy but they need their love and affection. Divyangjans have proved their worth in all walks of life and Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is committed to their upliftment and wellbeing.
Dr. Vinod Agarwal in his address said that it is a very noble initiative of the National Trust to work for the people affected with Autism. 300 Master Trainers will be trained all over the country for this purpose. He also said that soon many Tourism places, airports and railway stations will be made Divyang-friendly.
The aim of the workshop is to train and empower health care professionals like pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists to be trained as Master Trainers. These Master Trainer will further train required number of professionals in their respective States. In order to maintain uniformity and standard in assessment of autism, two types of assessment tools are being recommended, one is INCLEN Tool developed under INCLEN study – “Neuro Developmental Disorder in Children in India”, undertaken under the guidance of Dr. N K Arora, Executive Director, INCLEN Study. The other tool is ISAA – Ïndian Scale of Assessment of Autism”, developed by the Ministry of SJ&E through NIMH, as a research project.
The Resource Persons and Faculties were from All India Institute of Medical Science and National Institute for Mentally Handicapped. Prof. Vinod K Paul, Head, Deptt. of Pediatrics, Prof. Sheffali Gulati, Child Neurology Division, Deptt. of Pediatrics, AIIMS and other Professionals provided training on Autism using INCLEN Tool and Dr Saroj Arya and Dr Beenapani Mohapatra, NIMH provided training using ISAA Tool. More than 75 professionals (Clinical Psychologist, Pediatrician and Psychiatrist) participated from 18 States.
Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder spanning entire life. There is no definitive cure. It is of paramount importance that children with Autism are identified early and started on intervention. The affect of autism can be minimized by early diagnosis and with the right interventions. Though the Government had notified Autism as a disability in 2001, it had not been issuing certificates. It’s a pleasure to inform that the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, under MSJE has notified guidelines on 26th April 2016 to pave the way for constitution of boards and issuing of disability certificates for Autism.