ISLAMABAD – Medical experts advised the parents that early screening of infants with disability can help them recover to a great extent and improve their abilities to full potential. “Early treatment with a loving, stimulating environment can prevent the more severe disabilities and also foster independence in the child with learning disabilities” informed Dr. Irfan Ahmad, Senior Audiologist. The earlier a learning disability is detected, the better chance a child will have of succeeding in life, reaffirmed the health experts, here on Tuesday, at the Awareness Seminar on “Disabilities and their Management”.
With early detection and intervention, parents can give their children the necessary skills for coping with disability. “But the early treatment are meant for children under the age of three” cautioned Dr. Ahmad, adding that “still, most children in Pakistan are not diagnosed until after they reach age 5,” and so they have to go through life with difficulty.
People with disabilities represent around 10 percent of Pakistan’s total population, but they continue to experience lower employment rates, have less education, and poor access to appropriate health care facilities. As full citizens, disabled people also have equal rights and are entitled to dignity, equal treatment, independent living and full participation in society, stated Dr. Saim Ali Soomro.
Talking to Pakistan Observer, Naeema Bushra, Director of NISE, said that for a long disabled people had been deprived of their rights due to primitive thinking, and tradition that disability was an expression of God's wrath for people's disobedience. This is the reason we decided to raise public awareness that people with disabilities also deserve respect, equal treatment, education opportunities and quality health services as everyone else.”
Naeem Aslam, a clinical psychologist, discussed the behavioural management of special children. Persons with mental illness have long been subjected to neglect, stigma and ridicule in the country. Although in the last half- century, medical science has made major progress in finding some cures for difficulty of the mind - of emotion, mood, thinking and behaviour. But changes in the mindset, social attitudes, and the work of healthcare institutions have not kept pace with these scientific and normative advances, noted the speakers. --