EVALUATION AND INTERVENTION STRATEGIES IN CHILDREN WITH LEARNING AND BEHAVIOURAL DISORDERS: AN EXPERIENCE OF 333 CHILDREN FROM A TERTIARY REFERRAL CENTER IN MUMBAI, INDIA
 
Desai, S.A., Drishti and Kothare, S.V., India
 
To study prevalence of 1) Learning Disabilities (LD), 2) Behavioral Disorders (BD) (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD], Conduct Disorder [CD], Oppositional Defiant Disorder [ODD]), 3) Developmental Disorders (DD) (Autism, Asperger's, Rett's, Developmental Delays), 4 Mental Retardation [MR] and 5) Emotional Disorders [ED] (Depression, Anxiety) [DSM- IV] in 333 children aged 3-14 years; To assess effect of intervention in a subset of children with LD with average IQ. 333 Subjects (242 males, 91 females) were evaluated using standardized tests. Intervention was individualized to suit the presenting complaint Intervention was carried out with a sample of 24 children with LD having average IQ. Effects on Intervention sample were subjectively assessed at the end of six months. The primary diagnosis was LD (42.6%), BD (9.6%), DD (23.4%), MR (18.6%), and ED (5.1%). Excluding children diagnosed with primary MR, 36.25% had below average IQ. Delay in speech acquisition was seen in 58.0% of sample. Perinatal encephalopathy was seen in 65.2% of sample. Intervention showed positive effects for entire intervention sample (n=24), with 79% showing significant improvement and 21% less significant improvement. Progress was best seen in the area of Word reading and least in Creative writing. Academic difficulties and delayed speech secondary to Autism were frequent symptoms for referral. More boys and less ADHD were seen. This may be related to cultural and referral bias. Awareness for early referral, correct diagnosis and effective intervention strategies in each sub- category of disability needs to be emphasized.