DAIVA FOUNDATION has been set up with a philanthropic outlook to support and serve children with any concern and help parents to journey through difficult times.

The motto of the initiative is to see that these children are properly nurtured with compassion, love, and cooperation from one and all. It is our endeavour to facilitate and generate enough awareness so that these children whoever are capable enough for a smooth transition to mainstream education and also lead a better life. It is hoped that the initiative will end up in fruition with the sincere efforts from our end.

Frequently asked questions

What is Autism?

Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours.

Autism has its roots in early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 12 and 18 months of age. Some infants and toddlers develop normally until the second year of life, when (they lose skills and develop autism – a pattern called “regression.” Increasing autism awareness is a key aspect of this work.

What causes Autism?

Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. Research has identified more than a hundred autism risk genes. In around 15 percent of cases, a specific genetic cause of a person’s autism can be identified. However, most cases involve a complex and variable combination of genetic risk and environmental factors that influence early brain development.

In other words, in the presence of a genetic predisposition to autism, a number of nongenetic, or environmental, influence further increase a child’s risk. The clearest evidence of these environmental risk factors involves events before and during birth. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy, extreme prematurity and very low birth weight and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. Mothers exposed to high levels of pesticides and air pollution may also be at higher risk of having a child with ASD. It is important to keep in mind that these factors, by themselves, do not cause autism. Rather, in combination with genetic risk factors, they appear to modestly increase risk.

A small but growing body of research suggests that autism risk is less among children whose mothers took prenatal vitamins (containing folic acid) in the months before and after conception.

What does it mean to be “On the Spectrum”?

Each individual with autism is unique. Many of those on the autism spectrum have exceptional abilities in visual skills, music and academic skills. About 40 percent have intellectual disability (IQ less than 70), and many have normal to above average intelligence. Indeed, many persons on the spectrum take deserved pride in their distinctive abilities and “atypical” ways of viewing the world. Others with autism have significant disability and are unable to live independently.

How did my child develop Autism?

Research suggests that the development of autism is rooted in very early brain development. However, in most cases, no one cause can be identified. Research has identified several genes that can cause autism in and of themselves. These account for about 15 percent of cases of autism spectrum disorders. Those most associated with increased autism risk include advanced parental age at time of conception and prematurity with very low birth weight. Other possible environmental risk factors include maternal diabetes or infection during pregnancy and certain birth complications, particularly those that may involve oxygen deprivation to a baby’s brain.

How Can I Tell if My Child has Autism?

Though autism cannot be definitively diagnosed until around 18 to 24 months, research shows that children as young as 8 to 12 months may exhibit early signs. Parents should look for symptoms such as no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months; no babbling or back-and-forth gestures (e.g. pointing) by 12 months; or any loss of babbling, speech or social skills at any age.

What Should I Do if I Suspect Something is Wrong with My Child?

Don’t wait. Talk to your doctor or contact us at DAIVA FOUNDATION about getting your child screened for autism. Research has consistently shown that early diagnosis and intervention offer the best chance for improving function and maximizing a child’s progress and outcomes.

How Do I Get My Child the Help He or She Needs?

In addition to the Early Intervention Services mentioned above, it’s important to make sure your child has a knowledgeable and reputable healthcare team. This means finding therapists, teachers who understand and have experience with autism and can respond to his shifting needs appropriately.

Contact DAIVA FOUNDATION to meet all your needs.

How Do I Deal with this Diagnosis?

For parents, the first months after learning that their child has a developmental disorder can be emotional, confusing and challenging.

It’s particularly important that parents not blame themselves. The next step is to educate yourself. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more capable you’ll feel about helping your child. However, it’s also important for parents to give themselves a “break” from autism when you are tired or overwhelmed. And if you find that you’re unable to get past the emotional upheaval of your child’s diagnosis, consider talking with a counselor or therapist. You can’t — and aren’t expected to — weather this alone.

Will My Child Be Able to Attend School?

Absolutely. In fact, it’s a child’s right. We at DAIVA FOUNDAION strive to fulfil our mission to support and facilitate these children to get back to mainstream school.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome

There are three major types of Down Syndrome.

Trisomy 21 is the presence of extra genetic material on the 21st pair of chromosomes resulting from an anomaly in cell division during development of the egg or sperm or during fertilization. About 95% have Trisomy 21.

Translocation is where the extra chromosome 21 broke off and became attached to another chromosome. About 4% have Translocation.

Mosaicism is where only some cells have Trisomy 21. About 1% have Mosaicism. Some of the characteristics of Down Syndrome are almond shaped eyes, small ears, small head size, short, broad hands with a single transverse palmar crease. Mental disabilities of varying degrees is also common


Cognitive Disabilities

The term cognitive disabilities encompasses various intellectual or cognitive deficits, including intellectual disability (mental retardation), developmental delay, developmental disability, learning disabilities, and  conditions causing cognitive impairment such as acquired brain injuries or neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.

What is Developmental Delay?

The term developmental delay is used to identify children (typically infants, toddlers and preschool age children) with delays in meeting developmental milestones in one or more areas of development.

Types of Developmental Delays

  • Cognitive Skills
  • Communication
  • Social and Emotional Skills Functioning
  • Behavior
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills

What does the term Developmental Disability mean?

The term developmental disability means a severe, chronic disability of an individual 5 years of age or older that:

  • is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • is manifested before the individual attains age 22;
  • is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency; and
  • reflects the individual’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, supports, or other assistance that is of lifelong or extended duration and is individually planned and coordinated, except that such term, when applied to infants and young children means individuals from birth to age 5, inclusive, who have substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental disabilities if services are not provided.

There are many social, environmental and physical causes of developmental disabilities. Common factors causing developmental disabilities include:

  • Traumatic brain injury resulting from accidental causes or physical abuse (blunt force, shaken baby syndrome)
  • Infection before, during or after birth
  • Growth or nutrition problems (prenatal, perinatal, or postnatal)
  • Genetic and chromosomal abnormalities
  • Premature birth
  • Poor maternal diet
  • Drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy
  • Drug-related prenatal developmental insult from prescription or over-the-counter drugs

What are the challenges with children with mental retardation?

Children with intellectual disabilities (mental retardation) learn more slowly than a typical child. They may take longer to learn language, develop social skills, and take care of personal needs, such as dressing or eating. Children with intellectual disabilities may exhibit some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Delays in oral language development
  • Deficits in memory skills
  • Difficulty learning social rules
  • Difficulty with problem solving skills
  • Delays in the development of adaptive behaviors such as self-help or self-care skills
  • Lack of social inhibitors

An individual is considered to have mental retardation based on the following three criteria:

  • intellectual functioning level (IQ) is below 70
  • significant limitations exist in two or more adaptive skill areas
  • the condition is present from childhood (defined as age 18 or less)

What is ADHD?


ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurobiological disorder characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, attention, and in some cases, hyperactivity beginning in childhood, “typically” by the age of 7. Children with ADHD often have a 2-4 year developmental delay and frequently have other coexisting conditions. To be diagnosed with ADHD, individuals must show at least 6 of the characteristics in either or both of the categories below. Symptoms must be more frequent or severe than in other children the same age. Symptoms must be present for at least 6 months.

ADHD predominately inattentive type

Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
Has difficulty sustaining attention.
Does not appear to listen.
Struggles to follow through on instructions.
Has difficulty with organization.
Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort.
Loses things.
Is easily distracted.
Is forgetful in daily activities.
 ADHD predominately hyperactive-impulsive type

Has difficulty remaining seated.
Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair.
Difficulty engaging in activities quietly.
Acts as if driven by motor.
Talks excessively.
Blurts out answers before questions have been completed.
Difficulty waiting or taking turns.
Interrupts or intrudes upon others.


ADHD combined type

Individual meets both sets of inattention and hyperactive/impulsive criteria.


What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by damage to the brain, usually occurring before, during, or shortly after birth. “Cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” to a disorder of movement or posture. It is not progressive. Prenatal causes of cerebral palsy include illness during pregnancy, premature delivery, and lack of oxygen supply to the baby caused by premature separation of the placenta, an awkward birth position, labor that goes on too long or is too abrupt, and interference with the umbilical cord. Other causes may be associated with , RH or A-B-O blood type incompatibility between parents, infection of the mother with viral diseases such as German measles in early pregnancy, and microorganisms that attack the newborn’s central nervous system. Causes of cerebral palsy after birth may be a result of an accident, viral infection, and child abuse. Depending on which part of the brain is damaged and the degree of involvement of the central nervous system, one or more of the following may occur: tonal problems, involuntary movement, spasms, problems with gait and mobility, seizures, impairment of sight, hearing and/or speech, and mental retardation. Early identification and intervention are vital. About 3,000 babies are born with this disorder each year.

There are 3 main types of cerebral palsy:

  • spastic – stiff and difficult movement
  • athetoid – involuntary and uncontrolled movement
  • ataxic – disturbed sense of balance and depth perception

Many people with cerebral palsy may have a combination of these. This is referred to as mixed cerebral palsy.


Children with cerebral palsy may receive: 

  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • speech and language therapy alternative therapies
  • medical intervention
  • assistive technology
  • early education