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Workshop of “Early Child Development: Challenges and Opportunities” held

Mohali, September 23, 2023: A workshop on “Early Child Development: Challenges and Opportunities” was organised by the Fortis Medcentre at Fortis hospital at Mohali here today. It was attended by more than 50 delegates from the region including pediatricians, developmental psychologists, school counsellors, special educators, researchers, school administrators, and teachers.

The training was imparted by Dr Prahbhjot Malhi, Consultant (Child Psychology) Fortis Medcentre, Prof Bhavneet Bharti (Director-Principal, Dr BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences, Mohali), and Dr Manjit Sidhu, Asst Prof. (Psychology), MCM DAV College, Chandigarh. The workshop trained delegates on the use of developmental screening and assessment tools to assess the language, cognition, behavior, and social-emotional development of young children. It was emphasized that the early identification of developmental delays and timely interventions is critical as it can lead to better outcomes for the child and the families.

The early signs and red flags of developmental disorders like autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders were discussed and management techniques that caregivers and school teachers can use to support and empower families to help children learn were deliberated upon at length. Since the quality of children’s early environments has a large influence on child development, the need for guiding parents to verbally stimulate and provide responsive parenting was one of the central themes of the workshop. The need to build strong partnerships and collaboration between the concerned stakeholders was highlighted in a panel discussion of experts including Dr Naveen Sankhyan (Pediatric Neurologist, PGIMER) and Dr Sunil Aggarwal (Neonatologist, Fortis hospital).

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