Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Chennai Care Foundation (CCF), a group made up of three social workers and a few socially committed persons, inaugurated a special school for children with mild, moderate and severe development disabilities here on Wednesday.

The school named Disha, is an offshoot of CCF’s Child Development Programme and is located in Alwarpet. It will provide a space for children with disabilities and their parents to receive special attention and advice on the former’s educational and development needs.

“So far, we have acted as a linking service directing parents with children who require special attention to specialist doctors and institutions. With the opening of this school, we are now going to become a service provider,” said K. Prabhakar, trustee and adviser, CCF.

The school has an in-house special educator, a physiotherapist, and a social worker. Special educator of Disha Susan Raphael said that a child brought to the school would first be assessed: “This includes not just checking on the child’s condition, but also on the parents’ situation and background. The parents will also be counselled. What we are trying to stress on is early intervention. If the child’s problems are detected early there is a possibility of the condition being treated, and in many cases the child can live a normal life,” she said.

Dr. Prabhakar said, “This year we will have 20 children in our school, five of whom are severely challenged.”