By THE NATION
“Delayed development may affect their intelligence quotient [IQ] in the future,” Mental Health Department director-general Sqn Ldr Boonruang Triruanworawat said.
He was referring to findings from a check on 19 children aged under five at the Ti Lai Pa village. Located near the border, this village is home to 607 people from 108 families.
Boonruang said signs of delayed development were mostly about below-average understanding of language and dexterity.
He added that the IQ scores of 67 per cent of Prathom 1 students at the Ti Lai Pa Border Patrol Police School were also below average – less than 90.
“This is because they are children of close blood relatives,” he said.
Boonruang said the problem of delayed development could be solved if parents acquired the right parenting attitudes and skills.
“They should focus on hugging, playing and storytelling so as to encourage their children’s development,” he said, adding his agency had helped by preparing proper group activities for them to attend.
Boonruang said his department would also re-evaluate children suspected of suffering from delayed development on a regular basis.
Regarding physical health, Boonruang said 87 per cent of children at Ti Lai Pa Border Patrol Police School were healthy. The school has 147 primary students.
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited the school on Thursday as it was under her project to provide free primary services such as healthcare services to people.
The Princess’ project covers many border schools, including the Ban Prak Takhro Border Patrol Police School in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
The unit in Prachuap Khiri Khan has provided basic healthcare to about 1,400 people – most of them Karen.
The Mental Health Department checked the development of 87 primary students at the Ban Prak Takhro Border Patrol Police School last year and found that most of them showed proper development.
Regarding IQ, 54 per cent of Prathom 1 students were found to have below-average scores.
The Mental Health Department has vowed to assign experts and clinical psychologists to educate parents about proper parenting techniques. Such knowledge, it said, could facilitate the children’s development.