Asia-Pacific, News, April 2 2019The Center 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.

To open new facility

As part of its immediate growth plans, one more facility is being taken on rent in the city to meet the needs of children in the age group 11 to 17 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 in the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. With this, it would take care of autistic children from diagnosis to rehabilitation, mainstream holistically 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 to 18. “We want to become the best centre for autism in India in three years, and in Asia in five years,” Vijaya Raghavan said.

Originally published on The Hindu Business Line