Pre Conference Workshops


(Pre-conference Workshops on Early Intervention - 13th February 2020, Hyatt Regency, Chennai, India.)

Workshop 1:

How to Design, Implement, Monitor and Scale-Up an Early Intervention Program for Children with Delayed Development

Dr.Dinesh Krishna

Dr.Dinesh Krishna, who is based out of Canada is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and an award winning educator. He is a physician in Canada with a clinical focus on emergency medicine and rehabilitation medicine. He is also the Director of Handi-Care Intl., a Canadian disability charity. Dr.Krishna who is a consultant Rehabilitation Director at Amar Seva Sangam helped conceptualize the mobile Village Based – Early Intervention (mVBRI-EI) program in 2014 and has been instrumental in obtaining funding and providing support for communications, monitoring, evaluation and research and scale-up for this program. He was recently awarded the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Solver Award.

AUDIENCE: Non-Governmental (NGO) or Non-Profit Organization’s Senior Executives, Program Managers, Heads of Rehabilitation or Board Members, Govt. Policy Makers and Funders.

BACKGROUND: Amar Seva Sangam has implemented an Award winning mobile Village Based – Early Intervention (mVBR-EI) program that has reached over 1000 children with delayed development under the age of 6. The same program has been successfully piloted by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu

Type of delayed developments include

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism
  • Intellectual Impairment (from a variety of conditions)
  • Speech, Language and Hearing Impairment
  • Multiple Disability
  • Orthopedic Disabilities

In this workshop, we will share and discuss the lessons learned in designing and implementing the mVBR-EI (Early Intervention) programme.

During the workshop, participants and organizations will be introduced to the technology, resources, tools and equipped with the knowledge to implement the mVBR-EI model of early intervention therapy in their own communities and modify it to local contexts.

Following the workshop, Amar Seva Sangam will act as a knowledge partner to help organizations re-create, implement, obtain funding and scale up the mVBR-EI programme in their communities.

Learning objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will have the tools to:

  • Develop a sustainable, equitable and reproducible model for identification and provision of therapy for preschool children with developmental delay that will fit your local context.
  • Recruit and train rehabilitation workers.
  • Apply Technology to facilitate a multi-disciplinary team approach to child early intervention therapy.
  • Apply Technology for real-time monitoring of rehabilitation staff and child and caregiver outcomes using evidence based clinical tools.
  • Provide family centred care with caregiver support and training as a core pillar.
  • Engage your local community through sensitization and awareness programs.
  • Engage funders including government bodies.
  • Monitor and evaluate your program so that measurement driven improvement is guided by intentionality.

Workshop 2:

Home-based Early Intervention for Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Family Centered Interdisciplinary Approach

Marie Brien PT, MSc

Marie Brien is a pediatric physiotherapist with over 37 years of clinical experience working with children with developmental disabilities and cerebral palsy and their families. She also obtained an MSc (Human Kinetics) from the University of Ottawa in 2010, specializing in motor control & motor learning research. She held a joint appointment with the University of Ottawa, Physiotherapy Program (1991- 2015) as a lecturer, researcher and Clinical Instructor at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Center. She has collaborated on many multi-center studies led by the renowned CanChild Center for Childhood Disability Research (McMaster University) since the 1990s. She has been a knowledge broker for CanChild’s motor measures (GMFM, GMFCS, Motor Development Curves for CP).

Marie Brien is a rehabilitation education and research consultant at Amar Seva Sangam, providing training workshops to physiotherapists and rehab specialists in the Village-Based Rehabilitation- Early Intervention Program and collaborating on motor outcome research in the EI Program.


Interdisciplinary team approach in Early Intervention involves all members of the team collaborating with the family in an integrated manner towards child and family goals. In family-centered care, the interdisciplinary team recognizes and respects each family’s unique needs and involvement to maximize the child’s functional potential. This process motivates parental engagement and provides for open communication with the family.

Key elements for a successful model for an Early Intervention Program within a home setting include interdisciplinary approach, family-centered care and best practice interventions for children with developmental disabilities and their families.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Pediatricians, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists, Psychologists, Developmental therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Special Educators and other rehabilitation professionals involved in the care of children with developmental disabilities and cerebral palsy.

Learning objectives:

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Acquire a historical perspective on rural early intervention for children with disabilities: milestones, successes and challenges, and sustainability.
  • Gain knowledge about the Village-based Rehabilitation- Early Intervention (VBR-EI) Model implemented by Amar Seva Sangam
  • Understand the principles of family-centred service (FCS) and identify opportunities to implement FCS in daily practice.
  • Understand the WHO’s International Classification of Functioning, Health and Disability (ICF) framework and the ‘F-Words’ for childhood disability as a guide for EI
  • Understand the International Guide for Monitoring Child Development (GMCD) for monitoring and optimizing child development in the community.
  • Recognize evidence-based approaches across all domains of functioning for children with developmental disabilities.
  • Understand the principles of motor learning, environmental enrichment, task-specific training to maximize each child’s potential.
  • Acquire clinical reasoning and goal-setting abilities by linking FCS, ICF, F-Words and functional classifications for neuro-disabiity.
  • Discuss strategies for child participation and family engagement & empowerment within home and community settings

Tools to support the learning objectives:

Small group brainstorming sessions, case study discussions, interactive group participation, video presentations.