Autistic children can now avail of modern treatment and hope for free rehabilitation at the Autism Centre and Sensory Park in Latur in Maharashtra, which state minister Jayant Patil said is the first-of-its-kind in the country.
The centre, jointly set up by the Latur Zilla Parishad's social welfare department and a religious trust, was inaugurated on Friday.
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"It is the first such centre in the country which will provide free rehabilitation for autistic children. Such children will get proper treatment after diagnosis," Patil had said on the occasion.
Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde said the government wanted to set up such centres in all districts in the state.
"Autism, multiple disability and hyperactivity are not permanent ailments but they can be easily diagnosed and treated in time," he said.
The newly set-up Autism centre is equipped with the latest equipment. A team of experts at the centre will treat various aspects of autism such as multiple disabilities, hyperactivity and also offer therapy for children suffering from orthopaedic issues.
The social welfare department spent Rs 1 crore on the sensory park located on the campus of the Autism Centre. The sensory park project is modelled on the lines of similar facilities situated in Tripura and Kerala.
"Before the inauguration of the centre, 500 children with various ailments remained admitted in the facility and some of them returned home after recovery," said ZP CEO Abhinav Goyal.
Munde said children are suffering from mental illness due to self-indulgence and excessive handling of mobile phones as schools remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.