Caring to make a difference in their lives

Praveen Paul Joseph
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Education: The differently abled students handling their play materials at a Day Care Centre of the SSA in Tuticorin on Monday. — Photo: N. Rajesh
Education: The differently abled students handling their play materials at a Day Care Centre of the SSA in Tuticorin on Monday. — Photo: N. Rajesh

The Day Care Centres set up by Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) in Tuticorin district for the differently abled students to instil self confidence in them and improve their knowledge, are making great progress. The students from six to 14 years of age have been identified to be provided with care. Such centres are providing parental care with every effort to keep their spirits high.

Under the Inclusive Education for the Differently Abled (IED) programme of the SSA, the learners were given play materials including walker, cycling machine, rowing machine, muscle exercise machine, cerebral palsy chairs and other equipments for bringing about suitable changes in their minds at the centres. Learning skills through play way method were being demonstrated with intense dedication by the faculty members to channelise the students' talents in a constructive way to reach the target, A. Kannammal, District Coordinator of the Centre, told ‘The Hindu' here on Monday.

Students with multiple disabilities, total blindness, mentally retarded, orthopedically handicapped and autism were trained here. A team of special educators, care takers and coordinators were working to motivate the differently abled students. A total of 239 students were learning subjects in a play way method. Thirteen Day Care Centres were functioning across the district.

To make positive differences in their day to day life, severity of disabilities had to be mitigated. Besides, physical exercises were being taught to improve the situation. During 2009-10, 17 differently abled students were mainstreamed after being imparted with need-based training at seven DCCs and they had been admitted to regular schools, she said.

To increase body movements, postural corrections, gait training and the like were being provided by physiotherapists on a regular basis. To enhance hand and eye coordination and improve grasp of things, cube-setting method of play was introduced, P. Judie, physiotherapist said. Need-based training on reading and writing skills would be given with real objects. Matching, identifying and naming of the objects were the key modules of learning.

For students identified with profound disabilities, day-to-day activities such as grooming, brushing, eating, dressing, putting buttons, passing urine and defecation would be taught on the topic ‘Activities of Daily Living',” A.X. Vinnarasi, a special educator said. After assessing the mentally retarded children, training on braille and speech therapy would also be given. In the previous month, surgical corrections were made on eight students, who had been identified with cerebral palsy.

Eight more students would also undergo similar surgical treatments, P.E. Roseline Dorothy, a special educator said.




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