In our fast developing world, the most important component (ingredient) is education. Only through education & scientific invention, discoveries, we have advanced to the state we are in. Every parent aspires their next generation to come up, even if they struggle hard, whatever the cost of education is. But not all parents are that lucky.
Children born with or developmental disability are invisible. Recent survey shows 1.5% of children are suffering with mental retardation, 1% Autism, 9.6% learning disability, 11% with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) of varying degrees of severity. They are either not diagnosed in the early stage or even if identified, not accepted by parents who put them in normal school, impairing their development and progress to be independent in the future.
Even if parents are willing to give special education to them, there are very few schools suited to guide them. This situation is very pathetic in semi urban and rural areas. The cost to educate them is not affordable to middle & lower socio economic population.Many children with severe disability will not have toilet training; some have behavior problems, self injurious behavior, anger and violence leading to danger to self and to others. These children show disinhibited behavior in the society, gatherings, and some children will have seizures (epilepsy) which the parents find embarrassing.
The parents and the siblings of these children are stigmatized and treated as outcasts in the community. Many times the mother is blamed to have brought evil to the family. On the whole the entire family suffers burden, humiliation, stigma and financial constraint. There are numerous causes for disorders - genetic, metabolic, brain injury, and brain infection and for many, the cause is unknown.
For these children, medical help will reduce or control their aggression and epilepsy. In the case of autistic and ADHD children, the medical help and focused training will develop their concentration. But more essential aspects are training in various skills. If training is started at a very early stage, good improvement can be achieved.
With early intervention many have been shifted from special education to main stream inclusive schools.
All these need patience, perseverance, hope, and support from every one and more important recognition.
It is not a disease. It is not contagious...!
These are not a type of mental illness like depression. There is no cure for these children. However, most children with mental retardation can learn to participate in a large number of activities
It just takes them more time and extra effort than other Children....
About 87% of people with mental retardation will only be a little slower than average in learning new information and skills.With the intention of making special children blossom into self-reliant adults who can contribute to the society and make the parents feel proud that they have shaped the future of their child, Athma Education and Research Foundation started this School as its 1st Project. Athmalayam- Centre for Special Education building project was started 26.01.2015 (on Republic Day).
Provide education by establishing schools, colleges & institutions for special education
Establish special education, rehabilitation & training center, give dignity & happiness to individual and family
Provide a learning environment enabling the children to help themselves. Focus on orderliness, self-respect and self- supporting skills in these children.
Make all round effort in main streaming children to participate in a full time regular school through general category and through open schooling.
Parent counseling, inculcating health seeking habits, physiotherapy, special education, vocational skill training.
Other activities of interest, leisure, yoga, games, recreation to these challenged children as an integral part of our holistic program.
Awareness building and advocacy programmes that dispel myths and misconceptions that create attitudinal barriers depriving them of their Rights to a life of dignity.
Training to special educators, students from various institutions and occupational therapy trainees.