We know that raising a child with special needs can be an incredible challenge to a family particularly, the parents.Parents have an important role to play in reinforcing the work that school does to the children. They must be trained appropriately but there is only one training centre is available in Tiruchirappalli which cannot afford to train many number of parents. To solve this lacking Athmalayam has started a training centre for parents. Because they are the primary care takers, models for the children, disciplinarians, and agents of socialization and change for their children. It is accepted that parents can be trained as effective teachers of their children that means that parents must learn how to encourage the optimal growth of their children. In our training centre, parents are included as co therapist and encouraged to participate and glean all the therapies and practices, which are provided to the children. As a follow up of the school’s activities, each parent is taught to identify the potential problems in the child and given a plan to manage them. Through this system, parents learn to understand the need to adapt the environment, teaching materials and the school curriculum as per their child’s individual needs.
We also have assistive library that contains a large reference library of books and videos covering a variety of topics related to children with special needs and special education programs. Many are useful for in-services with parent and/or teachers; others provide resources for staff on topics such as how to handle various behaviors associated with specific disabilities.
Training sessions are scattered into several sessions with variety of therapeutic activities that enable the parents to adhere the sessions of training. It also provides a platform for parents to share their experiences with one another. These parents volunteer their services at school and it is more effective when they are able to train their own children.
We also planned to offer diploma courses for the parents of special children in the future.