S. PADMAPRIYA, 28 years old female, Tamil speaking, migrated from Chennai to Trichy for her education, living with parents, initially came with complaints of poor social skills, memory disturbances, adamancy, poor academics and increased behavioural problems. She is diagnosed with Down syndrome/ Mental Retardation and behavioural issues.
She is enrolled in 2012 and has been regular to school. Initially, she had difficulty producing words clearly and was found to have excess behavioural issues in terms of listening, obeying, and demanding. She was started on psychiatric medicines simultaneously on intensive occupational therapy, speech therapy, special education and pre-vocational training.
She started showing interest in the vocational and special education programme, and speech therapy worked out well. She began producing words clearly & even able to speak without any difficulty. Her memory skills were improved well. Now she could tell the names of the nation’s leaders and their family members. She took part in a singing competition which was held for special children. Every Saturday, she is going to Nambikkai Occupational Training and Rehabilitation Center for prevocational training.
Significantly her behavioural problems have been decreased, which made her parents feel relaxed.
Her mother, Mrs Saroja, says,
My husband deserted me & only my elderly father & brother supporting…
We were in Chennai when she was born; her birth cry was absent during the time of birth which the doctors considered an abnormality, and they told us that there might be certain problems in the future related to her milestones and IQ. We noticed a delay in development stages with passing days, but we still managed to admit her to a normal school, which did not work out, and the school administration referred her to a special school. Being inhibited from sending her to a special school, we did not send her and held her back at home for around two years. We started noticing many behavioural disturbances, after which we realized the need to send her for re-habilitation in a special school. We chose a special school in Chennai and admitted her, but she was reluctant to go regularly, as she was not fond of their treatment. We witnessed their immature and unprofessional way of treating their students;
hence, we discontinued and searched for a better school. We heard about Athma special school and were impressed by its infrastructure and professional setup during that time. My child is now studying at Athma special school, and she loves the environment.
Her behavioural problems, too, have reduced well. Weekly, once she attends vocational training in Nambikkai, which helps her learn certain skills like candle making. We are now hopeful and happy about her improvement. My husband deserted me, and now I am under the shadow of my elderly father and brother.
Every day haunts me that who will look after her after me? Then children need protection in the future. I hope athmalayam will help me.