‘Positive attitude, with personal attention, works wonders’
Overcome the trauma, recognise the strengths in their children and lead a near normal life -- this is the mantra taught to the parents.
The impact is such that some of the parents have even left lucrative jobs to spend more time with their child and offer their service to others having children needing support as they are backward in learning.
Vivek, the institute, first of its kind, which made a beginning four years ago with four differently abled children as day scholars, has today 70 in the age group of four to 15.
Six of the children have been integrated with society – two have passed 10 class under national open school mode.
Four children are studying in leading convent schools in the city.
At a time when corporate schools are flourishing with money-making mission, Vivek imparts special education to address the deficits in the individual child based on principles of child psychology.
Focus on cognitive training and occupational skills by stimulating interest among them have apparently made the difference in their lives.
The brain behind the project, C. Radhakanth, a child psychiatrist, believes that children with intellectual disability and autism need highly specialised care to make them lead a near-normal life by training them on social and communication skills. This also helps in their rehabilitation.
Intellectual disability occurs in three to four per every 1,000 population due to maternal infections, poor obstetrics care and chromosomal abnormality.
Autism cases are said to be one in 500 in India. Autism is widely prevalent and is also known as pervasive development delay or disorder (PDD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is attributed to combination of environmental and genetic problems. While milestones development is uniformly delayed in children with intellectual disability, autism-affected are poor in language skills.
Run by Chaitanya Educational Trust near Dr. V.S. Krishna Government College, Vivek’s success centres around its decision to provide formal and informal education on a no profit basis in a relaxed and playful attitude with personal attention to the children. “We are to teach them without any disturbance as any irritating action and hyper-arousal will provoke abnormal behaviour in them,” points out Dr. Radhakanth. There is life to everything and what we need is positive attitude to integrate them to the mainstream as far as possible, he says.
An expert in neuro-psychiatry, his dream is to set up a rehabilitation-sheltered workshop for children above 15 – where soft skills and works under a safe environment can be taught.
The differently-abled children, he says, can be trained in arts and crafts, data entry work, photography, stationery, retail sales (under supervision of parents), clothing, block printing and potteries.