Parents urged to screen infants at home


LAHORE – Foundation for Rehabilitation & Education of Special Children (FRESH) Chairperson Ashba Kamran on Friday urged parents to screen infants at home to see the symptoms of learning difficulties.
She said that an early intervention was critical in changing the life of a child facing learning difficulties. News screening tests could now identify a child as young as six months of age, she added. According to the chairperson of FRESH, the earliest warning signs appeared at the age four months. If a child reacts to bright colours, movement and objects, turns toward sound, shows interest in watching people’s faces or smiles back when a person smiles, a specialist should evaluate the child, Kamran said. She said that at the age of six months and more, if a child lacks reaching, waving and shows repetitive movements, appropriate eye gaze, response to name (something parents report very frequently) lack of warm and joyful expressions, he must be taken to a specialist for evaluation.
Kamran further pointed out that if at the age of 12 months and more, a child lacks showing, sharing interest or enjoyment with others, unusual prosody (rhythm and intonation of language), repetitive movements or posturing of the body, delayed speech, unresponsive to parent’s voice, the child is just not responding. She said that all children with learning difficulties will experience some of these behaviors or symptoms. The learning difficulty is a spectrum disorder and could present itself in many ways but there were classic behaviours that need to be taken seriously.