ASHA BHOSLE INAUGURATES MORRIS AUTISM CENTER
The Small Steps Morris Autism and Child Development Centre The Small Steps Child Development Centre caters to needs of various challenges in child development like attention deficit, hyperactive, disorder, learning difference, mentally challenged children, spasticity, communication disorder & autism. An interaction of Dr.Suneel Godbole with Dr.Anjali Morris, a wellknown resource person in the field of learning differences in children, started a new association of thought regarding helping autistic children & their parents in a holistic way. Dr.Anjali Morris, a Pediatrician by education & an educationist and philanthropist at heart had a vision of developing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary resource centre to help autistic children in and around Pune. A series of meetings between Dr. Anjali Morris, Dr.Suneel Godbole and Dr. Dhananjay Kelkar, Medical Director of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital & Research Centre Pune, came with a fruitful conception of Morris Autism Centre in Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Pune. With this vision, the Small Steps Morris Autism and Child Development Centre is established with the goals of early diagnosis of Autism & Delated Developmental Disorder in children, developing an Individualized Education Plan for the Specific needs of each autistic child, Providing multi-disciplinary Service of Developmental Pediatrician, Clinical Psychologist, Physiotherapist, Speech Therapist and Special Educator, and to educate the autistic children to such an extent that they can be included in normal school. Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children is a Spectrum of developmental disorder in children which affects children in early years of life (1 ½ to 3 years) in multiple fields of life. It primarily affects “language, social and emotional domains of development. The incidence of Autism is alarming. A recent research in US suggests that 1 in 68 children born suffers from Autism, while the research from South Korea suggests an incidence of 1 in 33 children. The exact incidence in India is not known, though some studies in Metrocities report incidence similar to US. A report by health department in 2009 quotes that India is 4th largest country having autistic children. Autism is diagnosed by a clinical trial of Repetitive Movements, Poor Communication, Difficulties in socialization. These children have poor eye to eye contact, echolalia (repetition of spoken words), purposeless movements, emotional swings, difficulties in sensory integration -- abnormal reactions to touch, smell, etc. Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children Most importantly early diagnosis can help children to establish in normal lifestyle. Some autistic children have ‘savant skills/giftedness – the knowledge of which will help them become fruitful and independent in society. Clinical and psychological assessment will help in diagnosis. The therapy is long term, and requires s multi-disciplinary team. There is no cure for autism till today, but we can help these children live a comfortable and well adjusted life if treated early. About Dr Anjali Morris · Dr Anjali Morris, MBBS, MD (Pediatrics), FAAP and MPH UC Berkley, California, is a pediatrician by profession. · She was trained in Delhi and Kolkata after graduating in medicine from Kolkata National Medical college. · She did her MD in pediatrics from Pune University and practiced in Pune for a while. She migrated to USA in 1981 and got retrained in pediatrics as per the protocol of USA medical system. She finished her pediatrics training in a well-known pediatrics hospital in Los Angeles and moved to East Bay California. · She joined the pediatrics department on Kaiser Hospital which is a well-known HMO (health maintenance hospital) of USA and worked till 1998. She took a premature retirement from active practice and decided to work for the children where the need was extremely high. · She joined the Dalai Lamas Tibetan children schools to help them in their health care through the pediatric clinic. · She worked with the staffs to improve the health of the children in the area of nutrition and immunization. · Hepatitis B infection was a big problem with this community. She organized an immunization drive in Dharamsala and the surrounding area . Worked with the administration of Tibetan Children schools and with the blessing of Dalai Lamas sister helped to immunize ten thousand children and adults in Tibetan community. · Organized the food in the Kitchen to be nutritious and with health related advantage. · Trained the Mothers (care takers) of the homes in Tibetan village about how to take care of the children in the area of nutrition and healthcare arrangement. · She moved on for Voluntary work through American pediatrics association after her retirement and worked in countries such as: · South Africa: training the Nurse practitioner in pediatrics in 1998 to 2000 Yr. · Santarem hospital in Brazil in the pediatrics clinic along with the nurses & trained them. · Angkor Children Hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia training the general physician in Pediatrics. They are today running the hospital independently. · Worked in Uganda in their pediatrics department in hospital in Embrara. Trained the doctors to handle pediatric sick patients and the normal pediatric newborns. · Worked in Guyana in South America and lectured in pediatrics for the medical students in Pediatrics to train them how to take care of pediatrics patient. · Helped financially Friends without border to build hospital in Laos for children. Hospital started functioning in February. · She moved on the next phase of working with the normal children in the community in Pune, India and founded a program for the children who struggled in the schools to learn eleven years ago. In this program children are identified in the schools who have a learning problem. It is called LD (Learning Disability Program). They are tested and they are helped by remediation as per the area of need of individual child. Today it is the main and organized center who is catering the need of LD children in Pune and trying to build replicated center in other part of the country. · AMF has become a Global partner with IDA (International Dyslexia association) with her effort. It will help to grow the big awareness in India regarding the LD. · Organized teachers training program in English and Marathi language to train the teachers in this field. There are a number of teachers trained in this field and successfully helping these children in different schools and in community. · She has written a book on LD along with another pediatrician named Dr Prabir Sarcar a retired Brigadier from AFMC for helping the parents, families and educators to understand the problem and referred them In right direction. Last year the book has been translated in Marathi and it has been well received by the public. Last year it received an award from Psychological association of Maharashtra. As a small NGO has tried to spread the wings outside of Pune and started a center with the help of psychologist in Kolkata. · Last year she was approached by Dr. Suneel Godbole the developmental pediatrician from Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital for setting up a center for autistic children. She along with Dr. Donald Morris decided to help through their foundation in USA. Centre is sponsored by Morris Fund of USA and Dr. Donald Morris is a part of this foundation. · The Morris Autism & Child Development centre took up the shape with efforts and support from doctors and administration of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital . Today she is proud to dedicate the centre to people of Pune for the children that she has always believed in helping them for their future.Pune: Asha Bhosle inaugurated the Small Steps Morris Autism and Child Development Center in Pune on March 8 evening. The veteran singer traveled from Mumbai to Pune to be part of the endeavor that seeks to educate autistic children to such an extent that they be included in a normal school. Small steps child development centre is a child-centered activity in Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital & Research Centre, headed by Dr. Suneel Godbole, Developmental Pediatrician. Since last three years, Prematurely After care – An early intervention program for NICU graduate babies is successfully run by small steps child development centre. It includes service of developmental Pediatrician, psychologists & physiotherapists. The goal of this service is helping the child to acquire all Developmental skills required for schooling. Says Asha Bhosle, “every child has the right to live a normal life. I would like more and more children with autism to benefit from this centre at Deenananth Mangeshkar Hospital. Hence, I am personally here to express my support for this noble cause initiated by Dr Anjali Morris and Dr Suneel Godbole.” Says Dr Anjali Morris, “when I was approached by Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital for setting up a center for autistic children, Dr. Donald Morris and I decided to help through their foundation in USA. The Centre is sponsored by Morris Fund of USA and Dr. Donald Morris is a part of this foundation. I am proud to dedicate the centre to people of Pune for the children that I have always believed in, and helping them for their future.” “Start early, go slowly, reach safely in terms of medication”, says Dr. Suneel Godbole.