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  • 19-01-2024


Chiraku’, a free paediatric disability assessment and caregiver training program was conducted during OTICON 2024 by the All India Occupational Therapists’ Association (AIOTA) and the Kerala Branch of All India Occupational Therapists’ Association (KOTA) in collaboration with the National Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (NIPMR), Thrissur and National Institute of Speech and Hearing(NISH), Trivandrum. The program was held alongside the prestigious OTICON 2024, the 61st annual national conference of AIOTA, organised by KOTA at the Gokulam Park Hotel and Convention Center in Kochi on January 19-21, 2024. The title "Chiraku" meaning "wings", symbolises the program's goal of providing disabled children with the support and resources to soar beyond their limitations. It represents independence and embodies the boundless abilities within every individual to transcend barriers evoking optimism.

Inauguration of Chiraku

The programme was officially inaugurated on January 19, 2024, by Smt. Uma Thomas, MLA,Thrikkakara. The Executive Director of NIPMR, Shri C. Chandrababu, served as the Guest of Honour. Honourable President of AIOTA, Dr. Anil Srivastava, Honourable Secretary of AIOTA and Organising Secretary of OTICON 2024 Dr. Joseph Sunny and Vice President of KOTA Dr. Mary Philip along with the chief guest lit the lamp signifying the beginning of the program.

Screening & Assessment

Comprehensive screening and assessments were conducted for registered participants on January 19 - 21, 2024. A total number of 72 children were assessed during the program. After the initial assessment by Occupational Therapists from NIPMR, NISH and Government Medical College, Trivandrum, the children were referred to other rehabilitation professionals that included a team of Developmental and behavioural paediatrician, Physiotherapist, Speech therapist, Psychologist and special educator from NIPMR. Depending on the child’s need, individualised home programmes were given to participants after comprehensive screening/assessment by all professionals.

Training Programs for Parents/Caregivers

Alongside the Individual Consultations on January 19th and 20th, 2024, training sessions specifically tailored for parents were conducted as part of the program. These sessions covered a wide array of topics that included Adolescent development, Sensory Integration and feeding issues, ADL and assistive devices in ADL, Sensory Issues and Sensory Integration Therapy and Feeding issues in children with Special needs with special reference to the crucial role of Occupational Therapy. A specially crafted training session for teachers was held on January 21, 2024, focusing on the early detection of Autism Spectrum Disorder and effective management of classroom behaviours. Both parents and teachers who attended the training and the disability screening/assessment program expressed their gratitude and shared feedback about the sessions.