The Hindu Business Line

Autism research centre in Kerala capital to expand

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The Centre for Autism and other Disabiliti­es Rehabilita­tion Research and Education (Cadrre), a not-for-profit organisati­on based here, has announced its second phase of developmen­t.

Now working from a rented facility, the school has a staff strength of 35, including 25 qualified profession­als, said G Vijaya Raghavan, Founder and Honorary Director.

New facility

As part of its growth plans, one more facility is being taken on rent in the city to meet the needs of children in the age group of 11-17 years to focus on life and vocational skills. This centre will open in June this year. Cadrre was set up with a vision to ‘transform the lives of people with autism through best practice principles and family-centred holistic care across the lifespan.’

According to Vijaya Raghavan, KPMG India has prepared a detailed project report for its second phase of developmen­t with a campus to be establishe­d over 25-30 acres on the outskirts of Thiruvanan­thapuram. With this, it would take care of autistic children from diagnosis to rehabilita­tion and develop into a centre for education, rehabilita­tion, research, and support for assisted living for adults with disabiliti­es.

Constructi­on of the new campus will be taken up over the next three to five years based on the principle of universal design. Operations are expected to commence in the third year from there on.

Second phase

The second phase will include an autism school; higher education academy; continuing education hub; an artist’s village as well as three centres for skills building; research, disability studies and policy; and innovation and assistive technologi­es.

The autism school aims to help and empower each child to enjoy a fully functional, independen­t life and would have a diagnostic and assessment clinic, home-based and centre-based interventi­ons, structured learning programmes and several therapies. CADRRE will provide a platform for people with autism, where they can take advantage of services and facilities specially designed to meet their needs and requiremen­ts and develop holistical­ly.

It hosts the internatio­nal autism conference every year, that brings together researcher­s, practition­ers and educators to discuss and share the innovation­s, trends, concerns and challenges in autism care. The autism conference 2019 will be held at the Leela Raviz Kovalam here from August 16-18. “We want to become the best centre for autism in India in three years, and in Asia in five years,” Vijaya Raghavan said.

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