Center for child development

Dealing With Children With Special Needs

The beginning of the acceptance:

The first step in dealing with children with disabilities is to accept that the particular child does indeed have a condition that needs extra care or specialized care. Often parents and close members of the child’s family refuse to acknowledge the actual condition of children needing special care. This could well be an attitude or a more pronounced denial. The recognition that a particular child is different is the very first step towards the setting rights a problem or a better adaptation to the condition.

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The correct diagnosis:

Once a child has been seen to be different, it is important that the correct condition is recognized. Often it is noticed that doctors and social workers do tend to get the proper condition wrong. This has a lot to do with the limited ability for the child to actively participate in the diagnostic procedures. It is seen that in a number of instances the perceptions change with time thus putting at risk the proper tackling of the condition. What was seen as social withdrawal could later on be considered as the conditioning of a child. This is where the role of occupational therapists come into play.

With the power of observation that is so ingrained in each and every one of us, it is possible to feel the difference that a child that is different from others is presented. The use of equipment comes only after the first observation of a child with disabilities. Most therapists would make a good assessment of a child with difficulties and would in more ways than one be ready for the actual findings that could be had from the various tests available.

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Preparing the parents-

The first people that a condition of a child would be revealed to are the parents of the child. And this can often be the most difficult of situations. With most parents, there is an air of disbelief and a lack of acceptance. That their child could be different from others is something that most parents would find it hard to reconcile to. Putting across a situation along with the persuasive elements of a case would help with matters and this is typically what most therapists aim at doing.

The other equally important aspect is to give the parents some hope to the future. It would be cruel and lacking in tact to announce that the child is totally hopeless. There is bound to be a hope that some way or the other, the child would pull through. It is this hope that would keep the parents to believe in a child. The search for a rainbow must be done till the rainbow is found and the treasure unearthed at its very end.

Dealing with society:

It is quite normal that the society at large would not be that sympathetic to the condition that a particular child has been diagnosed with. Most of the time, people would not have the specialized knowledge to understand the conditions of the child. But they would all be happy to gloat over the misfortune that has befallen a fellow being. The nature of society to see others suffering or bad luck as a point to gloat over is never truly explained by the best of sociologists. If only people could be more like animals, then it might be possible to explain the most barbaric of behavior in acceptable terms.

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Some Common Eating Disorders

It is the usual norm that people must eat to live. There are however a set of people that live to eat. All these points bring to the fore the importance that a proper diet plays in the development of good body and mind. There is however certain disorders that are linked to eating food and some obsessions that are usually brought about by the improper diet that people follow. Usually, some forms of therapy that may at times involve powerful drugs are used to bring about a natural eating rhythm as well as a proper eating habit.

Anorexia Nervosa

This condition is more to do with psychology than a proper diet. People stricken with this condition looses all interest in food and would restrict the diet to just the basic minimum. At times the condition can be so severe that it hampers the proper functioning of the person in society. Most people with Anorexia Nervosa tend to be social recluses as well.

Bulimia Nervosa

This is nothing but the overeating. The condition can usually arise out of a sense of dejection by society. Most people stricken with the condition tend to overeat to take them on a path of self deception. People who have a low self esteem are usually prone to this condition. The need to keep eating all the time would over ride any other feeling that the person might have.

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Rumination Syndrome

This is a very misunderstood and under diagnosed condition. Usually, this causes a person to vomit out whatever the person has eaten soon after a meal. Most doctors when presented with this condition tend to look for a cause that normally does not present itself. Thus bring about a lot of misunderstanding and the wrong diagnosis.

Orthorexia Nervosa

As with most healthy people, they tend to binge on some healthy food item or other. When this attraction towards a certain food item that usually is known to be healthy becomes an obsession, it is seen to be Orthorexia Nervosa.

Selective Eating Disorder

With people, they tend to have some favorite food item or other. There are others that tend to be obsessively attracted to certain favorite food item. These are known to be cases of selective eating disorder. The person tends to be selective on what he eats and gets to a point that the person would need specialist care. Usually this type of disorder is seen in the late childhood and early teens. The patient can also be socially very withdrawn as well.

Compulsive Overeating

When a person tends to overeat for no particular reason but for the act of eating, is known as compulsive overeating. Most such persons tend to be overweight and a general disregard towards self and personal hygiene is an added feature. Usually people afflicted with compulsive overeating tend to binge eat and would not have any control over the eating.


What is seen to a number of people as life sustaining; the act of eating is not to be taken lightly. Most serious conditions as laid out above are all eating disorders in some form or other. Thus having a healthy appetite is a good sign of health.

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Accepting Children With Health Disorders

The Major Reasons For Disorders: Developmental disorders in children are due to a number of varied reasons.  Premature birth has been seen to cause disorders in children as certain development that need to be completed before birth are compromised with.  This does not mean that all premature children do have disorders; but that in some the factors are more pronounced that it needs special care.  Most premature children would have made up for this slack in development once they are set into a homely atmosphere.

Other factors include brain damage or an infection in the early stages of the child’s development.  Most such cases need special treatment and training of children to bring them to a normal working relationship with others and their situations.  At times a hard fall during the first few weeks of birth does bring about damaged children that need extra care.  There are then children with the genetic disposition to certain conditions.  These are the cases that need to and can be detected at the very early stages of pregnancy.  Most doctors while dealing with families having genetic disorders place special emphasis on pre-natal testing.  Most abnormalities can be detected early in the pregnancy to call for a suitable action.

child with disability

The Acceptance Stage: For most parents with children of developmental disorders, it is hard to accept the reality.  Most people tend to run from pillar to post seeking remedies to situations that are completely irreversible.  Added is the lot of charlatans that seek to exploit this situation that has been thrown up.  It does make it really frustrating to be told that the child is not going to be able to live a normal life. Many people tend to be taken in with guilt as well.

Counseling the parents is what a good doctor would advice.  Secondly seeking out facilities that can effectively help the affected child grow and develop to as normal as possible is what is required at this stage.  Here, taking others opinions must be with a bit of caution.  Most often what works out with a certain person or case needn’t apply in the particular situation.  The recognition that each child is unique does help people a lot to come to terms with this sort of a condition.

The Cost Involved: In the western world, it does cost a packet to deal with children with special needs.  In most cases, the provision of state funding or medical insurance does help mitigate the cost incurred in seeking help for an affected person.  The third world countries tend to offer good treatments that could be afforded by most small families and with just a single earning member among them.  This does not mean that the treatment is in anyway substandard.  You do get effective care from the best in the field at affordable costs.

Conclusion: Having a disadvantaged person in the family can be draining for the rest of the members.  The cost is not just monetary, but emotional and psychological as well.  It does need acceptance and support for the disabled to  be able to move on with the condition of disability.

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Our Team

Dr. George Joseph P

Dr. George Joseph P

Consultant Pediatrician
Mr. Boney Kannoth

Mr. Boney Kannoth

Associate Visiting Counsellor
Ms. Mayuri Chaudhari

Ms. Mayuri Chaudhari

Ms. Minna Mathew

Ms. Minna Mathew

Clinical Psychologist
Ms. Meghana

Ms. Meghana

Rehabilitation Psychologist.
Ms. Jobitha.K.J

Ms. Jobitha.K.J

Occupational Therapist
Ms. Jeena Mary

Ms. Jeena Mary

Occupational Therapist
Ms. Varsha Renjan C

Ms. Varsha Renjan C

Occupational Therapist

What People Say

Prayatna clinic is class apart in terms of the child oriented therapies accorded over here. Each therapist takes personal care of the needs of the children and offer palliative cure that starts showing results within few days. I have not come across such clinics across India. The infrastructural support and resource base particularly the brain gym etc. are world class. Children also enjoy learning therapies over here due to the motivating atmosphere. Rehabilitation process is faster. Prayatna is really doing a stellar job.

Vineesh S

I have never had such a pleasant therapeutic experience as I have enjoyed in Praytana clinic. The ambience does not have that medical feeling to it. Therapists are always willing to walk the extra mile to make the process easier. The simple manner in which the therapies are offered is really hard to believe without experiencing at a personal level. They also prescribe therapies to be practised at home so that idleness does not interfere with the effect. Keep up the good job.


It was not long since I started seeing a positive change sweeping the life of my only child who required sensory integration therapy. At first, I was hesitating to go to Praytana and thought it to be like any other clinic with lofty claims but with no substance. But, a rude but pleasant shock awaited me as I could see the therapies work wonder for my child. He was no longer the same old kid seeking vents to express his pent-up emotions. Hats off to Prayatna.

Arunima Software Engineer

My son has been suffering from autistic syndrome and was not able to interact intuitively with his peers. The rehabilitative care offered at Prayatna was life-changing experience for me. Changes in the behavioural patterns of my son started becoming evident. His actions are now more agile and he no longer starts feeling uneasy in the company of others. Prayatna has pulled off the trick for my son. I would candidly recommend the clinic to all parents who want their children to take control of their lives.

Stephan Georage Sales Executive

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