Parent
Support Group

Parents of children with special needs often experience stress, burnout, and loneliness. They also face challenges in locating and accessing effective treatments and resources, learning more about the disability and getting appointments with medical providers, therapists, advocates, and school personnel for appropriate interventions.

But help can come in from other parents with similar challenges, and this is possible by networking with other parents through support groups.

Understanding this, Fernandez Child Development Centre is spearheading a Parent Support Group, which will function both within the physical presence (when applicable) and virtual presence.

For more information or to register:

Register Now

The Parent Support Group by Fernandez CDC is an initiative to help build a community for parents and caregivers of children with special needs.

Preetikana Biswas

Behaviour Therapist

Preeti is a licensed Rehabilitation Psychologist (RCI). She has completed her M.Phil in Rehabilitation Psychology from the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Secunderabad. She also holds master’s degrees in Applied Psychology and English and a PG Diploma in Disability Rehabilitation Management. Her primary areas of expertise are psychological assessments and diagnosis of various neurodevelopmental conditions and curating individualised educational and home management programs for children with special needs. She is a passionate behaviour therapist and has over four years of experience in working with children with special needs.

SANDESH M

Senior Executive

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DR. DEDEEPYA PUSKUR

Developmental Paediatrician and Clinical Head

Dr Dedeepya completed her MD in Paediatrics and her Fellowship in Development and Behaviour Paediatrics from SRIHER, Chennai. Her interest lies in the field of early detection and early intervention of global development concerns.

While working with Neurology in her previous stint, she felt that there is a lacuna in the Development Sector and believes that she can contribute to this sector and become part of this change. Heading the clinical team in FCDC, her focus will be on existing concerns in physical/mental development, educating and counselling parents in early detection & intervention and providing suitable treatment options and follow through.

PRIYANKA MUSALAY

Head of Operations

Priyanka Musalay is an Organizational Psychologist who has spent her career engaging with young people in developing their skills to work as a team. She has a specialization in Human Resource Management and is a certified Six Sigma Green belt. She is also a counsellor, a certified Motor Skills Learning Coach from the Motor Skills Learning Academy, Switzerland, and a certified Therapeutic Art Life coach.

Prior to Fernandez, Priyanka worked as a faculty member at St. Francis College for Women, as well as served as a Coordinator for the American Corner and PG Diploma Psychology Counseling Skills course. She was also a Project Manager for a specialized course on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults in collaboration with the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and St. Francis College.

As part of her leadership roles she has delivered several training interventions that included outbound training and community outreach programs, programs on stress management, personal branding, time management, Interpersonal Relations, Social Skills, Communication skills and Organization citizenship behavior.

CHAKRAVARTHY B

In charge Physiotherapist and Early Intervention Therapist

Chakaravarthy B has over 11 years of experience. He completed his bachelors in Physiotherapy and a postgraduate diploma in early intervention for special needs from the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped (NIMH). He also obtained a master’s degree in Psychology from S.V. University. He is experienced in treating children with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and developmental delays. One of his core areas of specialization is working with children who are autistic and have learning disabilities.

Chakravarthy has been a training resource for many programs in NIMH and has also trained special educators of SSA on early intervention. He was a key member of a core group charged with training grass-root special educators in government agencies on the identification and management of disabilities. He has a keen interest in in designing cost-effective aids for children.

DR. LATHA SASHI

Head of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics

Latha has over 18 years of clinical practice. She also teaches post-graduate students and serves as a research guide to PhD scholars.

Latha was selected for the Young Scientist Award by the Nutrition Society of India in 1997. She has earned  recognition at the National and International Fora, and has established herself in the academic circles as a passionate researcher.  She is a nominated member on the Board of PG Studies, Anwar Uloom College and Women’s College, Koti, Osmania University.  She has contributed immensely towards raising awareness on Diet and Nutrition as a panelist for various TV channels and print media, and her articles appear regularly in leading publications.

Dr. E Madhavi

Clinical Psychologist and Behaviour Therapist

Dr.E.Madhavi is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with the added expertise of a  Speech therapist and  Special Educator from the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). She obtained a Diploma in Communication Disorders from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing, a B.Ed. in special education (Hearing Impairment) from Andhra Mahila Sabha, Osmania University, a Professional Diploma in Clinical Psychology from Sweekar Academy of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hyderabad and a Ph.D. from SV University, Tirupati. Madhavi has over 20 years of experience in working with children and adolescents with developmental, behavioural and academic difficulties. Her core areas of expertise are psychological assessment and diagnosis of children with developmental disabilities such as Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD & Specific Learning Difficulties, Interventions & Behaviour Modification and  Assessment & intervention of adults with mental disorders.

She has presented 11 papers at National and International conferences and received the best paper award for her presentation on Autism. She published 8 articles in National and International Publications.

Madhavi has conducted training programs for upcoming psychologists on assessments, counselling skills and has trained around 5000 software employees on stress and time managements. She has also conducted training programs for parents of children with special needs on behaviour modification techniques, speech and language stimulation, auditory training and special education.

K CELESTIAL LYDIA

Speech and Language Therapist

Lydia, has a specialization in Speech  Language Pathology from All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysuru. Pediatric population is one of her main interests. Her experience as a Speech therapist in Rajendra Institute of  Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi and a posting at Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad widens the range of cases observed in children with multiple disabilities. She is energetic and passionate towards her work.  Lydia, has completed Level ’A’ in Indian Sign Language and has Bachelor’s in Audiology and Speech language Pathology from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech & Hearing Disabilities (Divyangjan)-SRC.

RIDIMA

Head of Occupational Therapy

Ridima obtained her master’s degree from Manipal University and is certified in Brain Gym and
Handwriting Without Tears. She has extensive experience in working with children with special
needs and her innovative therapy approaches have brought her many awards.

She brings with her over 10 years of work experience.

Ms. Hemalatha

Billing Executive

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Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

G. Jyoti

Yoga Therapist

Jyoti has completed her training from Vivekananda Institute, Bengaluru and Yocures Yoga Institute, Hyderabad. She also has a certificate from Prafull Oorja Yoga for Special Needs Children, Bengaluru. She is a passionate yoga instructor with over 15 years of training experience. Besides providing assistance to children with special needs she also conducts yoga classes for an MNC in Hyderabad.

RAFIA AHMED

Senior Occupational Therapist

Rafia Ahmed obtained her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, specializing in Orthopaedics. Rafia has worked extensively with children with different learning disabilities, sensory processing disorders, ASD and down syndrome. Her work includes programs such as forming groups of children with multiple disabilities to help them enhance their social interaction and designing economically viable tools for children with learning disabilities to use at home. Her focus of interest lies in enabling a child to become functionally independent in society.

SALEEM UNNISA

Remedial Therapist and Special Educator

Saleem Unnisa has 22 years of experience in education of which 7 years are in the field of special
needs. Saleem has worked in the United States, with Savannah Chatham County as a special
educator, and in India. She was the Head of the Department for Special Needs in Meridian School,
Hyderabad and is experienced in handling students with diverse developmental needs which include
autism spectrum disorders (ASD), dyslexic SLD and hyperactivity, and developmental delays in the
age group of 2.5 to 19 years. Saleem holds master’s degrees in Education, Psychology and English, a
diploma in LD and B.Ed in Special needs (MR).

SANDHYA VARUDHINI

Head of Audiology

Sandhya graduated from Manipal University with a Bachelor’s in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology and obtained her Master’s in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology from Osmania University. She has over 9 years of experience in teaching, training, and research in audiology. She has worked as an audiologist in several hospitals and hearing aid clinics. She specializes in infant and pediatric assessment, middle ear testing, childhood hearing screening, auditory cortical potentials, and vestibular testing. She was a resource person at NISHD and is particularly interested in Special Pediatric Populations, Auditory Processing Disorders, Educational Audiology, Family Centered Care and Cochlear Implant technology.

Shiza Emmanuel

Occupational Therapist

Shiza acquired her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from SRM Institute of Science and Technology, specialising in hand rehabilitation. Along with this, she is passionate about and has experience in Paediatrics. She is certified in Paediatric-related programs like handwriting, therapeutic listening for children with special needs, and echo therapy for autism. She aspires to provide therapeutic interventions to maximise independence and to help special children in need.

SHABEENA FERNANDES

Head of Speech and Language Therapy

Shabeena Fernandes has over 18 years’ experience in both clinical practice and academia. She completed her Master’s in Audiology and Speech & Language from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities (Divyangjan), Mumbai. She has also trained in Autism Spectrum Disorder for Coordinators of DSE, Makaton Sign Language and the Infant Program. Shabeena’s area of expertise are in motor speech disorders, articulation, phonological disorders, and fluency.

She has been a guest faculty at Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities for over 16 years, for both their bachelor’s and master’s courses.

SIVA PRIYA

Physiotherapist

Sivapriya completed her Masters in Orthopaedic Physiotherapy and is a certified manual therapist. She has trained in PNF techniques, Hand Therapy and Sensory Integration, and has also specialized in post-surgical splints.

Sivapriya has worked with children who have developmental delays, paediatric orthopaedic conditions and children in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is passionate about working with children with multiple disabilities and designing specialized programs for them.

DIPA PRIYA PRASAD

Occupational Therapist

Dipa Priya Prasad completed her Master’s in Occupational Therapy (Orthopedics) from the National Institute of Locomotor Disabilities (Divyangjan), Kolkata. Dipa has also undertaken courses like Continuing Occupational Therapy Education [COTE] on ‘Sensory Integration: Occupational Therapy Perspective,’ NILD, Kolkata. As an occupational therapist, she has conducted various evaluations to identify clients’ specific needs to devise individualized rehabilitation plans.

K KARUNIKA

Speech and Language Therapist

Karunika has completed her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from the All-India Institute for Speech and Hearing, Mysuru. She is a certified Level-A in Indian Sign Language and has the “Becoming a Behavioral Detective” course by Dr Kim Barthel to her credit. She has worked closely in various clinical settings including government hospitals and other private rehabilitation centers. She has a passion for various areas of child disorders, phonological disorders, and alternative augmentative communication for children with severe impairments.

POONAM KHAPARDE

Remedial Therapist

Poonam holds a B.Ed in Special Education and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Psychology. She was trained at the Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA). She is a passionate teacher with 7 years of experience and has worked with students having diverse learning needs.

Kusuma Kumari Bommi

Speech and Language Therapist

Kusuma Kumari has completed her Masters in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology from the
National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai. She is also certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has more than 15 years of clinical experience in assessing early speech and hearing disorders in children. She has worked as a speech-language pathologist at Pristine Rehab Care, USA. Apart from this, teaching also interests her and she has been actively guiding students and medical professionals on subjects related to hearing and speaking.

MULUKUNTLA VASUNDHARA

Coordinator

Vasundhara is a social worker at Fernandez Child Development Centre. She obtained her Master’s degree from Sri Venkateswara University and is certified in Child Development. She has 11 years of experience in the social service sector.

Apeksha Agarwal:

Educational Therapist

Apeksha Agarwal is an educational therapist at Fernandez Child Development Centre. She holds a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from St. Francis College, Hyderabad and has done Tutor Training in Specific Learning Difficulties from Alpha to Omega, Chennai. She has also done a wide range of Instrumental Enrichment Program from Feuerstein Institute, Israel. Apeksha has been working in the field for over six years and has experience working with children having neurodevelopmental disorders.

She is a passionate educator who is calm and well organised, which is demonstrated through her emotional connection as she works along with children and their parents.

DR. RAVIKANTH

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr Ravikanth Tangella has 9 years of experience in various government and private psychiatric institutions. He has completed his super-specialization from PGIMER, Chandigarh and trained with the National Institute of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (NIEPID) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. He exclusively focuses on children and adolescents with mental health needs. His areas of expertise are Autism, ADHD, Learning Difficulties, Behavioural problems, Childhood-onset Mental Health Issues, Preventive and Promotive Child Mental Health. He is a visiting consultant at several child development centres and children’s hospitals across the twin cities.

Nisha Printer

I-Can India Hub Coordinator

With over 30 years of experience, Nisha’s professional career has been primarily as a Clinical Therapist in the areas of Rehabilitation and Counselling in India and the UK. As Head of the Rehabilitation Department at HOSMAT Hospital, Bengaluru, and Deputy Director of the Indian arm of Action on Disability & Development, a U.K-based NGO, she has acquired experience in strategic planning and managing rehabilitation programs in the healthcare and social service sectors. She has completed her Master’s in Applications of Psychology from the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and is a certified counselor. Nisha set up the Fernandez Child Development Centre, Hyderabad, and now provides Program Development and Strategic Planning for the same. She is also the Coordinator for the Indo-Canadian Autism Program at Fernandez CDC.

Punyasloka Rath

Occupational Therapist

Punyasloka has completed his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research, Cuttack.

He comes with one-year of academic experience as an Assistant Professor at SRM University, Chennai. He has specialized in Developmental Disability and has experience dealing with pediatric populations with various critical conditions. He is also experienced in managing and assessing kids with special needs.