The Athma special school was established on 2009 for the welfare of special children with disabilities to improve their daily life skill activities.
We have children with various disabilities such as Mental Retardation (MR), Autism, Down syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD), Speech & hearing difficulty and Specific Learning Disability (SLD). We divided the school into Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary and therapeutic sessions. We have coalition with Nambikkai occupational training & rehabilitation centre.
Athma Special School has a dedicated & qualified staff team which consists of special educators, occupational therapist, speech therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, assistant teachers, housekeepers, drivers and securities. Besides these students from various colleges, volunteers are strengthening our school.
OUR SPECIAL FEATURES
Early intervention consists in the provision of services to differently abled children and their families for the purpose of lessening the effects of the condition. Early intervention can be remedial (or) preventive in nature – remediation of existing developmental problems or preventing their occurrence. Early intervention can result in parents having improved attitudes about - themselves and their child, improving the knowledge & skills for teaching their child.
A regular working day involves group services, physiotherapy, vision training, individual services, speech and communication and group play.
The EI program is a Family based rehabilitation that includes –A regular visit to the dietician, for a proper diet program,
A reading program, Toilet training for the children, Workshops for the parents on the children’s techniques, proper feeding, trunk control, and breathing exercises.
Home based services
The parents of profound disabled children will feel burden to
visit the institution regularly. Here the rehabilitationist play a major role
to visit their house and plan out the programmers for the disabled and
train their parents to follow up services in home environment. We make
periodical home visits of our enrolled students to assess their family and
social situations, assess their support systems, make sure about the child
regular training at home; we also address the psychological problems
within the family.
Self-care training is the essential intervention in rehabilitation. Self-care skills are those we use in everyday life, also referred as Activities of Daily Living (ADL). These skills include feeding ourselves, using the toilet, dressing and undressing, washing (including hand washing), grooming (including teeth and hair brushing), and taking care of belongings. Self-care training refers primarily to training in personal care tasks. Children with special needs need additional support to learn self-care skills.
Occupational Therapists are concerned with analyzing your child’s ability to perform in everyday contexts. Occupational Therapists provide a skilled service that identifies, through evaluation, the key components that impact the child’s abilities.
Fine Motor Skills: Skills related to the small muscles of the body. Particularly those of the hands.
Oral Motor and Feeding Skills: These skills refer to a baby or child’s ability to drink and or eat appropriately according to their age (i.e. bottle – feeding , finger-feeding, utensil-use, progression to table foods etc).
Sensory Integration: The baby or child’s ability to use all of the senses (vision, smell, taste, touch, movement, body position in space) to learn.
Cognition and Problem Solving: Cognitive ability is required to learn skills in all performance areas including, self-care, play and appropriate ways.
Psychosocial skills: These skills refer to the baby or child’s to interact with others to space with new or difficult situations and to manage his or her behaviors in socially appropriate ways
Visual Perception: The process responsible for the reception and cognition of visual stimuli
Visual Motor Skills: These skills are the integration of visual perception and fine / gross motor skills.
Pre writing skills
Legibility and copying
Self-Help Skills: These skills refer the child’s ability to feed, dress, groom and bathe him / herself.
Physiotherapy is a clinical health science and profession that aims to rehabilitate and improve people with movement disorders by using evidence based natural methods such as exercise, motivation and adaptive equipments and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life.
Special education is that component of education which employs special instructional methodology, Instructional materials, learning – teaching aids and equipments to meet educational needs of children with specific disabilities. Techniques for remedial instruction may include providing more practice (or) more explanation, repeating information and devoting more time working on the skills.
Speech therapy is the creative (or) rehabilitative treatment of physical and for cognitive deficits/disorders resulting in difficult with verbal communication. This includes both speech and language depending on the nature and severity of the disorder. Common treatments may range from physical strengthening exercises, instructive (or) respective strengthening exercises, and drilling to the use of audio – visual aids.
Dance therapy concerns with very practical and concrete matters like physical co–ordination and the development of balance, rhythm and concentration. Dance therapists assess the person’s movement to determine their strengths and weakness.
Drama therapy is a way of helping people with communication difficulties move beyond the obstacles in their way and learn to reach out to others as well as to accept others reaching out of them. The skills needed to perform are the same to communicate in the real world eye contact, listening, concentration, trust and showing emotion and all other social skills.
Aqua therapy is one of the best environments for a child with special needs to improve physical functioning, especially if the child is not ambulatory. Although traditional physical therapy can be immensely effective in teaching children with Cerebral Palsy how to move, water has the added benefit of hydrating, oxygenating, and revitalizing the body’s musculoskeletal system. Range of movement increases and repetition, stretching and balancing is more sustainable. More than 50 percent of body weight is water. Gravity and body weight affects the way the body moves.
Aquatic therapy presents a near complete reversal of these. Water reduces a human’s body weight by 90 percent, allowing children and adults to ambulate freely in a way that does not place undue stress on the musculoskeletal system from forces such as gravity and body weight. Aquatic therapy helps children to improve muscle tone, core strength, enhance circulation, improve cardiovascular functioning, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle spasticity.
Aquatic therapy presents a near complete reversal of these. Water reduces a human’s body weight by 90 percent, allowing children and adults to ambulate freely in a way that does not place unduestress on the musculoskeletal system from forces such as gravity and body weight. Aquatic therapy helps children to improve muscle tone, core strength, enhance circulation, improve cardiovascular functioning, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle spasticity. Aquatic therapy takes advantage of all the properties of water so children can strengthen muscles, learn new movement patterns, and become more independent in and out of the water.
Yoga training programme offer a unique learning environment for children and their parents, special education teachers, Yoga teachers, and health care professionals. Learning specific breathing techniques that facilitate relaxation, and build attention skills required for focused learning.
Yoga helps a child’s body to get out of the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response, and to feel more relaxed and less anxious. When the body is no longer in the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response, blood returns to the core and the body can do its work of breathing and digestion. Specific yoga poses stimulate the gastro-intestinal tract for better digestion and elimination. Yoga also facilitates deeper inhaling and exhaling, which calm the nervous system. It builds core strength, which supports deeper respiration and, in the long run, will create a much healthier body.
Clinical psychologists working with young children often use play therapy to help their clients resolve issues that may be too young or too traumatized to articulate verbally. The psychologist is able to draw conclusions about events in the child’s life that may be troubling him and preventing him from living normally. Based on the mood and capacity, individual therapy and need based therapies are given.
Social skills training – Outdoor activities
Social skills training & outdoor activities increase the special children’s ability to respond to a given environment in a manner that produces, maintains, and enhances positive interpersonal (between people) effects. It will also enhance the children’s overall social functioning. To make children attached with the surrounding and to become a useful member in the community every month we are taking them to various places for social learning.
This unit is an extension of occupation therapy and has more dedicated infrastructure, equipments, and skilled staff to indulge in making and building things. It is required to meet the challenges in society by placing them in skill- based job in an adaptive setting. Sheltered workshop where older children are imparted training in different vocations and skill enhancement, to enable them to be self- supporting members of society.
Augmentative and Alternate communication
Many of our students have speech and communication difficulties – but have a lot to communicate. For children who have trouble communicating verbally, this daily reality can create immense challenges. 50% of children with Autism have extreme difficulty learning to speak. With the ever-increasing development of tablets, mobile devices and inexpensive technologies, however, these children now have greater access to assistive technologies, namely Augmentative and Alternative Communication [AAC] application. With the introduction of tablets / touch- devices with specially designed communication “apps” built like, the ability to speak is far more accessible and incurs minimal recurring costs – zero maintenance, tiny energy consumption. Of course, the cost of deploying 10-100s of free-apps developed all over the world is costly.
The Speech and Communication Department carries out assessments and trains students to use alternative and augmentative modes of communication. The focus is on initiating communication and sustaining it.
Assistive Technology [AT] Library
An Assistive Technology [AT] Library offers families and therapists the opportunity to preview or trial assistive technology devices for children and young adults. Thus, families of children with special needs can go to an AT library, have a look and trial the different AT devices the library had to offer. They can subsequently borrow a device / app for a period of few weeks.
This way they can preview a host of AT devices and based on the child’s compatibility with it, buy it for the child.
This section will be equipped to cater to around 500 individuals every year. Will work closely with AAC solution providers, both private companies and institutions – to improve and upgrade and the communication devices.
Annual day events
Athma Special School organizes several functions inside the campus and which gives the opportunity to the students and staff to work in a team. It gives all the children in school to exhibit their talents and in different ways. The function marked the culmination of various cultural activities that gave students a platform to showcase their talent.
Celebrating festivals in Athma special school have become an integral part of joyful learning, and thought provoking processes. Children are exposed to the essence of the festivals through celebrations, cultural events, and sharing the joy of giving & spreading joy amongst them and children will know how different religious people celebrate the celebrations. The festivals are not only connected to our social and environmental context but to ones inner world too. Religious festivals from across religions, national festivals and festivals related to our environment are celebrated with great enthusiasm, fervor and pride.
The school also motivates children to participate in sports events regularly. Sports and games help children to have good physical and mental strength and stability. Children of Athma special school took part in sports and games around the district and won many medals and certificate. That really helped them to show their potential and confidence.
Picnics and tours
Athma special school organizes Picnic and a Tour every quarterly to make children’s day special and lively. Arranging a picnic or a tour to historical places, museums, dam, and temple helps children to enjoy and it keeps children with the environment. Children are more enthusiastic and delighted when they are hearing about picnic along with their parents and staff.
Parental guidance & counseling programme
It is important to meet the special parents with professionals to share out their views & opinions and educate them, explain the practical aspects & prognosis. Reducing their over excitement about immediate care, explaining about the limitations of therapist, scientific advancements & limitations of each conditions, reduce their expressed emotion; address their grief, stigma, depression, anxiety, financial aspects, genetic counseling for future pregnancy.