Early Intervention Services 0-4 yrs.

Pre School Readiness Skills 4-6 yrs.

School for Special Education 6-16 yrs.

Pre Voc & Vocational Centre 18+ yrs.

Recreational & Activity Club 5+ yrs.

Remedial Teaching Services Speech, OT,

Mental Disability

Perinatal Problems

Perinatal problems are the problems that may occur during the birth of the child.

Some of the perinatal causes are:

1. Premature delivery and low-birth weight

2. Oxygen deprivation

3. Infection

4. Trauma

1. Premature birth and Low Birth Weight:

There could be a link between premature delivery, low birth weight and mentally challenged. Smoking and the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy are important factors that could cause MR. Good antenatal care is essential in minimizing the number of babies being born with low birth weight. The availability of intensive care facilities in obstetric areas can help reduce the effects associated with low birth weight.

2. Oxygen Deprivation:

When the foetus/newborn has reduced access to oxygen, brain cells can die, leading to brain damage. If the deprivation is severe and fairly lengthy, then conditions such as cerebral palsy, MR, seizures, visual/auditory deficits and behaviour problems can occur. If the brain is deprived of oxygen for 4-5 minutes, irreversible changes can occur in the brain. There are a number of causes for oxygen deprivation in the perinatal period.

These include :

  • Eclamptic fit.
  • Prolonged second stage of labor.
  • Coiling of the umbilical cord around the neck of the child.
  • Reduction in respiration due to excessive maternal sedation.
  • Severe respiratory infection in the immediate period after birth.

As far as mentally challenged is concerned, there are two main aspects of complications. One deals with damage to the brain in general, leading to mentally challenged. The second refers to specific areas of the brain, which may be damaged and lead to motor and sensory deficits, with symptoms of basal ganglia disorder and epilepsy. Symptoms vary according to the area and the extent of the brain damage.

Some of the conditions that appear are Asphyxia, which is a condition in which there is a lack of oxygen in the air resulting in impending or apparent cessation of life. This in turn leads to a reduced oxygen content in the blood and an elevation of the carbon dioxide content.

Anoxia results from a complete lack of oxygen in the inspired air.

Ischemia refers to an arrest of flow of oxygen to an organ or part of an organ. These conditions may cause mentally challenged.

3. Infection: Maternal infection can cause a lot of damage to the child. Newborn children also contract some infections, which can lead to mentally challenged.

Some infections are:

Jaundice of the newborn (Kernicterus)

Jaundice in newborn babies is common and only presents a problem if severe. Severe cases can lead to brain damage. A degree of mentally challenged may occur.

Rhesus factor incompatibility can also result in brain damage due to bile pigment staining. Again, mentally challenged may occur.

Genital Herpes Virus is most commonly found in newborns. It is seen to cause mentally challenged. The severely infected infant may be brain damaged.

4. Trauma:

Hypoxic injuries are the injuries that are caused to the brain during foetal development or near the time of the birth. This includes Cerebral Palsy, which is a group of disorders characterized by impairment of movement or movement difficulties or loss of other nerve functions. of mentally challenged is Head Injury. Head injury can result from the following :

1. Excessive molding of the head due to disproportion between the sizes of foetal head and the maternal passage.

2. Prolonged labor.

3. Abnormal presentation.

4. Prematurity and post maturity.

5. Instrument or forceps delivery.

6. Caesarean section.

7. Toxemia of pregnancy.

8. Excessive coiling of the umbilical cord round the neck.