St John's Medical College Hospital

Unit of Hope

THE UNIT OF HOPE

ST. JOHN’S CENTRE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

 

Who are we?

Unit of Hope is a team of professionals who work towards the development of children with developmental disorders and disabilities from birth to 18 years of age

Whom can you meet at Unit of Hope?

The Medical & Surgical Team

  Therapy and support team

  • Paediatrician
  • Orthopaedician
  • Physical
  • Medicine & Rehabilitation specialist
  • Child psychologist & psychiatrist
  • ENT doctor
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Dentist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Speech therapist
  • Special Educator
  • Medico-social worker

 

What’s all the fuss about?

 

Disability refers to the inability to do an activity as per the expectations for that age and socio-cultural background.

Children born with impairments/ difficulties at birth are at high risk of developing delay in their milestones in one or more domains (physical, intellectual, language and social milestones). A few examples are children who are born pre-term and premature, low birth weight, children who do not cry immediately at birth, those who develop severe jaundice, children with visible deformities and so on. This delay can later on develop into a disability.

However, early identification & intervention can help to limit the severity of the condition and improve the prognosis. The first 5 years since birth is considered as the crucial period for brain development. Every time the child experiences new stimuli like touch,sight,sound, smell etc., the nerves within the brain develop stronger & more connections between each other.Larger the number of connections, better the brain development is considered to be.

Further, during this time, if the nerves at a certain area are damaged, other functional nerves can be stimulated to develop connections and take over the function of the damaged nerves to the extent possible. This ability is called neuroplasticity and is the rationale for early intervention. The earlier one starts intervention, the more intensively it is practiced, the better the prognosis.

How are children with disabilities different from other children?

Unlike typically developing children, children with disabilities/ developmental disorders may require environmental/ material modifications or adaptations or assistive devices to enable them to participate better in age appropriate activities. For example, use of hearing aids, special foot-wear, provision of handle bars for toilets, etc.

However it is important to remember that children with disabilities are also children- playful, full of joy, curiosity, enthusiasm and energy! We should make efforts to help them use their potential to participate in the home and outer environment so that they may enjoy a fulfilling childhood. The trick is to use and develop the strengths that they have and use adaptive strategies where necessary to overcome limitations.
 

How can we help you?

 When you come to the Unit of Hope for the first time on a Wednesday, one of the doctors will first do an initial screening to understand your concerns, expectations and to do a preliminary examination of your child. He/ she will discuss the plan for further evaluation and management. Following this, you will be requested to meet our medico-social worker to help us understand your family setting. One to two consultants from departments most needed for your child will see you following the meeting with the social worker after which a date will be set when you may bring the child back for further detailed evaluation.

It is advisable to carry water and food for your children and yourselves as the assessments may take a long time to be completed.

 

Outpatient services
In-patient services
  • Paediatrics
  • Orthopaedics
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • ENT
  • Ophthalmology
  • Child & adolescent psychology & psychiatry
  • Medico-social work
  • Dentistry
  • Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy and auditory training
  • Special education
  • Neonatal follow up clinic
  • Networking with centres/ organizations for children with disabilities                                                                               
  • Clinical and Diagnostic Evaluations.
  • Medical Management - Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Psychology
  • Family counseling and support
  • Surgery- Orthopaedics, PMR, Plastic Surgery, Paediatric Surgery, ENT, Ophthalmology
  • Habilitation and Rehabilitation- Physiotherapy (PT), Occupational therapy (OT), Visual rehabilitation, Audiology and Speech pathology, Special education focusing on early intervention

Early intervention

  • Metabolic screening
  • Universal hearing screening
  • High risk ROP screening
  • Early intervention in NICU

 

Who can take help from Unit of Hope?  

All children with risk of developmental problems or who already have developmental delays and difficulties from birth up to the age of 18 years are welcome to access Unit of Hope services.

For example: Children with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, genetic syndromes, multiple disabilities, sensory impairments such as visual and hearing impairments, neuromuscular disorders to name a few..

 

A little about us...

Nestled amidst beautiful gardens and the peaceful serenity of tamarind trees stands an icon of hope and love- The Unit of Hope. This concept of multidisciplinary, comprehensive and holistic care under a single roof originated when a group of doctors noticed the parents of a child with disability struggling to carry the child from one OPD to another to meet doctors of multiple departments while battling new queues to avail of rehabilitation services that were provided in individual departments. These doctors from Paediatrics, Orthopaedics and Community Health brought together a committed and inspired team of professionals to streamline rehabilitation services. Over a long journey of 14 years since August 2004, the clinic that started as a 2 hours OPD in a small room has now moved to a building exclusively named as The Unit of Hope building.

The field of disability and rehabilitation has come a long way from a medical model to the current psycho-social model. The Unit of Hope believes in strengthening the inherent potentials of every child and limiting the challenges faced to help build a better quality of life for the child and the family. We encourage and support inclusive opportunities for all streams of development for the children.

In keeping with the mission of St. John's to reach the unreached, the Unit of Hope predominantly caters to families of children with disabilities from financially constrained backgrounds coming from remote rural areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal through subsidized cost for all services and provision of concessions for deserving families

The Christoffel Blinden Mission (cbm) has been a partner and major external funding agency for Unit of Hope activities for more than a decade. The support of the St. John’s management is commendable. Worthy of mention is the support from alumni in cash, kind and personal service and the contributions of Good Samaritans have helped sustain and carry forward the dedicated work.

What’s special about us?

The Unit of Hope functions as an assessment and referral centre with facility for structured short term therapy sessions including physiotherapy, speech therapy and special education. It is a unique and one-of-a-kind amalgamation of many medical, surgical, therapy, special education and social work services with an outreach component within a medical college hospital set up. Team evaluations and integrated treatment planning balancing parental and clinical concerns is provided for children with neurodevelopmental impairments, disabilities and developmental delay within the age of 18 years

How to reach us?

All children coming to the Unit of Hope are seen on appointment basis. To get an appointment, please call us anytime between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday

080- 2206 5950/ 080- 2206 5951

For visiting us:

Kindly mail us the details of your name, designation, organization that you work for and the purpose of your visit at : sjmch.uhope@stjohns.in

You will be kindly informed of the time and date when you may visit us via mail

For observerships:

If you are interested in doing an observership in Unit of Hope, kindly mail the details of your name, designation, organization, educational qualifications, purpose of observership and preferred duration (with dates) to deansjmc@stjohns.in


For volunteering:

Kindly mail us at sjmch.uhope@stjohns.in 

and we will guide you regarding further procedures.

Where can you find us?

Please enter Gate 1 at St. John’s Medical College Hospital and keep coming straight crossing the OPD, Silver Jubilee Block, Emergency Medicine entrance and In-patient entrance to your right to reach the Unit of Hope building. The building is situated opposite the staff parking lot and is diagonally opposite to the Hospital Utility complex.

 

The Unit of Hope,

St. John’s Centre for Children with Special Needs,

St. John’s Medical College Hospital,

Sarjapura Road, Koramangala,

Bangalore- 560034

 

Would you like to join hands with us please?

Children with delay in development, various kinds and severity of disability and from varied socio-economic background from both urban and rural areas are seen in the Unit of Hope. Many children require long term, regular therapeutic interventions while some additionally benefit from surgical and medical interventions.   However financial constraints often make it difficult for them to avail of the required services. At the Unit of Hope, we have always tried our best to ensure that lack of money does not stand as a barrier for children to avail of services. It is thanks to the sincere, generous and heartfelt contribution of good samaritans such as you that we have been successfully able to do this. For donations towards the Unit of Hope please contact the Secretary, Unit of Hope and kindly specify the following details about yourself-

 Name/ Address/ Contact- phone no./ E-mail

Whether you would like to make a general donation or for a specific cause

Donation to corpus/ General donation

 Please send cheque/ DD to

 “C.B.C.I. Society for Medical Education

and please write Unit of Hope at the back of the cheque/ DD.

Exemption under Income tax act 80G is available. Kindly specify in the covering letter sent with the cheque/ DD if you would like the tax exemption letter from us. The receipt of acknowledgement will be duly posted to you at the address specified by you.

Donations to specific causes/ sponsoring a child

Donations may be made towards

  • Surgery
  • Assistive devices
  • Educational support
  • Therapy sessions
  • Diagnostic work-up
  • Psychometric tests and educational assessments