Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 40, Tuesday May 23, 2006



Banking Tips

Nasreen Sattar Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

Q 1. I am a foreigner in this country and have all the necessary documents to open a convertible account with a bank. Please let me know if I can remit funds from this account to my family members overseas and also get foreign currency at the time of travel?

First of all please note that your convertible account has to be funded with foreign currency. Yes, you can remit funds to your family members overseas and also get Travellers Cheques or cash fcy at the time of travel. However, please note as per Central Bank regulations for TC or fcy cash you will be required to submit your passport with valid visa for the country you are travelling to and your ticket with confirmed booking.

Q2. I am a Bangladeshi national living in Dhaka. I have an RFCD (Resident Foreign Currency Account) maintained with a foreign bank here. My daughter who lives overseas wants to transfer some money from her account to my RFCD account? Can she?

As per Central bank guidelines you cannot receive funds from an overseas account into your RFCD account. The only deposit that can be made into this account is when you return from an overseas trip. You can then deposit a maximum of USD 5000 (undeclared) in either Travellers Cheques or Foreign currency . The deposit has to be made within one month of your return from a foreign trip. Please note the bank will require to see your passport to verify your date of return.

Q3. What is the actual criterea of a Savings Account. Why do banks impose restrictions on withdrawals?

A savings bank account is primarily for people who wish to save a part of their current income to meet their future needs and also to earn a reasonable income from those savings. Some banks impose certain restrictions on these accounts to encourage savings. The withdrawal restrictions may differ from bank to bank.

Interpreter of maladies

Dear Dr Nighat Ara
I would like to know about Autism. What are the signs? How do you recognise these signs? What exactly is early intervention? How should I deal with it? This is a general query. Thank you

Ans: Autism is part of a larger group of disorders called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is a neurological developmental disorder and is characterized by marked abnormal development in social interaction and communication. Symptoms of Autism vary widely, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the age of onset and the presence of other disabilities like mental retardation or severe language impairment.

Recognizable signs of this problem are-
Lack of eye to eye gaze, facial expression etc. (e.g. if a child shows little attachment to parents), failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level (fails to share enjoyment, no emotional reciprocity etc.), delay in or lack of the development of spoken language and abnormal or deviant use of language.

In individuals with adequate speech, there is marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others. Lack of varied spontaneous, “make believe” play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level (e.g. gets preoccupied with parts of a toy instead of playing with it), preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest (e.g. calendar, price list etc) that is abnormal either in intensity or focus (e.g. lining things up).

Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, non-functional routines or rituals (e.g. any change in the environment or routine initiates a temper tantrum), stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting or complex whole body movement).

Diagnosis has to be made by an expert in this field (child psychiatrist) and other diagnostic tools are also helpful in confirming it (e.g. EEG, CT scan, MRI, Blood test, genetic study etc.).

Usually this diagnosis is made between age 3-5years though it can be made as early as age 1year or even younger depending on the availability of expertise and other associated facilities.

Possible indicators for early diagnosis are-
Does not babble, point or make meaningful gestures by 1year of age, does not speak one word by 16months or does not combine two words by two years, does not respond to name, does not smile. Loses language and social skill, at times seems to be hearing impaired.

Early Intervention means an early diagnosis and intervention in order to maximise the gain of treatment. Autistic children's learning curve is different from other typical preschoolers. Early years are crucial for developing language and social behaviour in autistic children. They require more intensive (teacher-student ratio is 1:1) and repeated instruction and practice to develop those skills. An Early Intervention Program (EIP) serves children between the ages of two to six years in a full-day school program. The EIP treatment team usually comprises of- Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Social Worker and Program Coordinator. Specially trained teacher (program coordinator) and parents play vital role in this intervention process. The main targets of this intervention is skill development in various areas like- verbal and motor (muscle activity) imitation to improve social behaviour, providing immediate reward in a supportive predictable environment to facilitate learning (appropriate toy play, language use etc.) process etc. A functional approach to eliminate problem behaviours and slowly generalizing all newly acquired skills to a more complex natural environment is the ultimate goal.

Male children are more affected by Autism. Some Autistic children are highly functioning and capable of acquiring normal independent status in adult life with gainful employment. Prevalence (2 to 6 per 1000 children) seems to be rising and even in developed countries it is estimated that only 50 percent children are diagnosed before kindergarten. There are a few specialised centres in Dhaka and Chittagong where they offer support for this special need children and their parents. Depending on the role you are playing, I would imagine you would deal with this problem as effectively as you can to fight this battle despite all kind of resource constraints. Constantly improving knowledge in this evolving subject will equip one better to deal with this challenging job as a parent, teacher or professional. Practical learning experience with different treatment models and being courageous enough to apply some innovative methods to fill up the gap in an individual case is usually the main key to a successful program.

By the way

If leather shoes get wet, especially during the rains, drain off the water and stuff them with newspaper. This will speed up the drying process and the shoes will retain their original shape.

Under a different sky

By Iffat Nawaz

Your Palm

At first I thought he had an ear dysfunction. I felt really bad for him. We have been working together for a year now and all of a sudden to see him using a hearing aid just made me sad. Poor thing, how old could he be? He'd be in his mid 30s at most and with a whole life ahead of him. He just got married a few months ago, and already his hearing is going.

Then one day I saw him talking away to himself, giggling giddily! I was devastated thinking he must be going mad. I felt so sorry for him that I wanted to give him a hug. I assumed he was going to loose his job soon. I mean, who would keep a half deaf mental patient around to handle company accounts?

But then I saw more of those hearing aids. They were everywhere! Wherever I looked people had this blue device stuck to their ears, and slowly it sunk in. It was not hearing aid for those who can't hear but yet another toy for cell phone junkies- the famous blue tooth! If you don't have it you are obviously not important enough, and if you have it, you must stick it to your ear and walk around with it at all waking hours of the day, no matter how ridiculous you look with a large tooth shaped device stuck to your head! After all it's all about technology and technology is style.

I felt a little left out, for sure, but my style hasn't really caught up to the level of the blue tooth buffs. So I still held onto my pre-historic cell phone and watched the blue toothers while they laughed, grinned, frowned and dictated, standing strongly with two free hands and an occupied ear.

This culture of blue tooth intrigues me. I realize that blue tooth has taken over something Ipods, the hot ear blockers did last year. Ipods are still around of course, and from a churchgoing grandmother, to the cleaning lady to the swanky lawyer, everyone has one. However, if you are truly hooked to technology you no longer need to have the IPod earplugs screwed to your head. Instead, you have your blue tooth, because you cannot afford to miss one call. You cannot afford to spare one arm to hold on to your cell phone. You must be married to it- the sexy blue apparatus whispering into your ears! Forget Ipods! They are so yesterday! And we are too important to listen to music, in a country of workaholics, in a city of priorities, judgments and actions! We only get cleverer- cleverer with technology, cleverer with smaller machines to make life “easier.”

In university sociology classes these days, one of the hottest topics to talk about is how one is what he/she buys and how one relates to other through consumerism. If that's the case with Ipods and Bluetooth, does it mean that the owners are relating to others by proving their worth, taking status to a whole new level- this status of modern technology that also promotes ignoring the rest of the world? With the trendy ear phones and ear plugs the world starts revolving around you and you are the king or queen and no one around you exists. That's modern technology for you- making the world smaller, as small as the space you take up in this earth.

I wont say I am not tempted to buy an Ipod. They are nice, pretty little things with so much to offer. However, being the self consumed human being that I am, I am afraid that I might just turn into a total self serving ignorant monster once I block the world away with those Ipod ear phones. I can see myself doing that, and that scares me.

Everything in this generation is about making the world fit into your palm- the large spaces, the water, the sky, the ground- all squished into your small palm, or whispered, fed, sang to you, while you rest with your eyes closed.


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