NEW treatments and therapies for children with special needs will be the focus of an international seminar today.
Highly-qualified and experienced doctors and speakers are expected to attend the ‘Special Smile with Sneha’ being organised by the Indian Ladies Association (ILA) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Manama from 4pm to 7pm.
Parents will have the opportunity to get information about the latest advancements in treatments and therapies for different types of special needs children, while they would also be able to have their questions answered during an interactive talk.
The keynote speaker at the seminar is Dr Alok Sharma, who is the director of NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute, professor and head of department of neurosurgery, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Medical College and consultant neurosurgeon at Fortis hospital, Mumbai.
Sneha, the flagship project of the ILA launched in 1987 with just four members, is a free recreation centre for special needs children of all nationalities. It was the only such facility operating online even during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The association is hoping to resume offline classes and monthly trips for Sneha children in September (2022).
“The centre is a haven for all nationalities and many Bahraini children have also benefited from our centre,” said ILA honorary president Shipra Dhir Passi.
“We cater to the learning needs of children with autism, cerebral palsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Down syndrome, developmental delay issues, among others.
“We train them in self-help, independent living, functional numeric and language skills, social behaviour, and art and music.”
She pointed out that the centre was run entirely on donations which has dropped of late either due a lack of fund-raising events or the general downturn in the economy.
“We have been struggling to pay fixed expenses for the past two years – salaries of teachers, rent, utility bills, maintenance of premises, medical facilities and therapies.”
Two trained teachers and three helpers run Sneha with the support of volunteers.