As part of our community outreach programme we conduct health camps and puppet shows on disability. Over the years we have realized that puppet theatre is the most effective since it allows the audience to interact directly with the puppets who are manipulated by puppeteers from Rajasthan. The scripts we give to the puppeteers focus on the crucial need for early identification of disability and in particular intellectual disability. Many issues are addressed but we try to motivate families to seek services as early as possible and not on "miracle cures " or karma which prevents seeking of supportive services. .
In December 2011 , we were approached by a women who said she saw our puppet show and was curious to know whether what we said about early intervention was true. When she saw the small rehabilitation clinic that we run she was surprised that so many women actually do come every single day with their disabled offspring and that many of the mothers actually saw improvement in their children. We allowed her to stay on and talk to the other mothers and ask as many questions as she wanted.This is crucial to our service since it is only through mothers who are convinced that what we offer will help the child that we can progress.
The next day she brought her daughter Nancy ,who was one and a half years old. The pediatrician assessed her as a child with Cerebral palsey and severe intellectual disability and prone to epileptic fits. She was still unable to sit up and her cognitive skills as well as physical development were severely limited. The intervention strategies were begun immediately. Medication for her epileptics fits were provided and more importantly the mother was shown what to do at home when Nancy suffered a seizure .Nancy has now begun to reach out for objects and even has shown remarkable improvement .The mother is happy and she is now an advocate for our services.
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