Children
 India
Project #8172

Early Intervention for Disabled Infants

by Samadhan
Sneha giving pose to camera
Sneha giving pose to camera

 Sneha is a cute little child with Down syndrome who joined our Early Intervention Unit at Dakshinpuri Centre in the month of January 2015.  Her date of birth is 08th September 2009.   She was referred to the centre through our survey worker who informed her parents about the services at SAMADHAN.  Before joining SAMADHAN, she was going to a play school near her house.  She had unclear & delayed speech with poor motor skills. She mostly used nonverbal communication to express her needs. Although the routine of going to school was good for her, the parents knew that she was not improving and decided to take our survey worker`s advice and came to SAMADHAN. She was progressing in her activities with the interventions of the teacher and therapists. 

Sneha has shown tremendous improvement in the one year she has been with us and her motor skills and speech have improved. She can now speak one to two words like mummy, daddy etc. She can now also imitate voices of different animals which she enjoys doing. She can identify all colours and can count numbers 1 to 10. She also uses crayons for drawing and actively participates in group activities with the other children in the class. Sneha is also eager to go for her therapy sessions and is happy working with the various therapists who work with her such as the Speech Therapist and Occupational Therapist. She loves dancing. (Small video clip attached). Future plans for Sneha are to concentrate on “Speech” (framing full sentences) which hence her speech therapy sessions will have to be increased.

A big "Thank You" to all of you for contributing towards the new lease of life to these children. We would love to know about your thoughts on our early intervention programme.

SNEHA WITH JAPANESE VOLUNTEERS
SNEHA WITH JAPANESE VOLUNTEERS
Sneha with the Speech Therapist
Sneha with the Speech Therapist
With her classmates
With her classmates

Links:

Dr. S.K. Bhatia presentation on Early Intervention
Dr. S.K. Bhatia presentation on Early Intervention

“Sharing our successful model of service delivery - reaching out, teaching and mentoring”  

The International NGO – World Vision (India) contacted us to conduct an orientation and training program for their volunteers. The objective was to create awareness and sensitization on early identification and intervention for children with disability and in particular intellectual Disability. World Vision is reputed for its worldwide services for people in low income communities but had ventured into working for the disabled in New Delhii. Since Samadhan has a well-established model of service delivery developed over the years and experience in dealing with the disability-poverty nexus in our target community of Dakshinpuri in South Delhi, it was an opportunity for us to interact with World Vision trainees and share our successful experiences as well as  mistakes so that these could be avoided .

The Training workshop was conducted from 24th August 2015 to 28th August 2015 and the participants were community workers who were already working with low socio economic communities located in various parts of Delhi but with no concept of disability at all. A total of 23 workers participated in the program. The majority of trainees were 12th std passed and knowledge of English was rudimentary which was the same situation we confronted when we began services in Dakshinpuri 30 off years ago.

So, the focus of the training was a basic orientation on what is intellectual disability and present day perceptions to what it should be. The training program was conducted on a separate theme for each day. Professionals were on hand to answer questions and listen to queries and ideas from the participants.       Lectures were made easy to understand through videos and graphics

  1. Introduction and causes of disability, early intervention & identification (prenatal, post natal and peri -natal)
  2. Survey and its importance. Identification of affected families, Importance of training parents in home management.
  3. Question and Answer sessions & discussions. Opportunities to interact with the mothers
  4. Hands on work experience at our Early Intervention Unit,  Dakshinpuri Centre
  5. Assessment and prevention of Intellectual disability

The  fun part was a role play conducted by Ms. Sarojini our own survey worker at SAMADHAN with about fifteen years of experience on how she conducts a survey and her strategy for visiting families, the relational skills needed and dealing very often with a negative and sometimes a  hostile reception.

Another aspect of the training which was much enjoyed and definitely useful was the  hands on experience of working with the children directly, which allowed intercessions with the therapists as well as the mothers themselves. It was both useful and enjoyable for both trainees and the children.

The program was facilitated by Dr. S.k. Bhatia, Consultant Pediatrician at SAMADHAN   and   Dr. Nagarathna, (Pediatrician) .Specialist in Early Intervention with active support from the hedas of our education and therapy service units.

A pre and Post questionnaires submitted by the trainees’ shows that they have understood the concept of early identification and intervention and have gained mush through the short 5 day session.  World Vision has expressed their need to conduct more training for their staff. All the participants were appreciative but to quote just one, it was the observation that though they had attended many such training sessions the opportunity to interact directly with the mothers, the teachers and the children and ask questions and learn directly from the mothers themselves the grief they overcame and the joy of the child achieving a milestone towards greater functionality was the most valuable lesson. This was echoed by the World Vision officer in charge as well.

What advice can we get from our donors on how to share the services we have developed. Surely there are ways to expand this to a larger target group of trainees” This is something we look forward to doing.

TRAINEES
TRAINEES
LEARNING BY WATCHING
LEARNING BY WATCHING
SNEHA (2 YRS) - A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE
SNEHA (2 YRS) - A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE
MOTHER SHARES HER EXPERIENCE
MOTHER SHARES HER EXPERIENCE
Workshop in Progress
Workshop in Progress

SAMADHAN is organizing a series of workshops on Creative Movement Therapy as a capacity building measure for its staff in the Dakshinpuri centre,  which is a low socio economic area where we have established our very first service centre. Once-a-month session for staff and twice weekly sessions for children are being planned.

However we  have already started with our  first session conducted in May 2015.  The participants were the administrative, project staff and special educators along with professionals took part. Abhay and Jivana , who are students of  creative movement were part of these  sessions as part of their internship and it was  supervised by Sumathi Morgan, certified Creative Movement Facilitator and former Executive Director of SAMADHAN. Sumathi, presently continues as  Consultant to Samadhan

The intent of organizing the workshop was to introduce a foundation for identifying   and using different forms of creativity for learning, and to expand teaching skills, offer lesson plan ideas and discuss movement practices. The session also provided an opportunity for the participants to fully involve in creative activities/movements that are especially designed for children.

The workshop included several individual, group and partnership activities that help the participants to make effective use of their body movements in their field of work. Fun-filled movement activities including music, props, body awareness exercises, warm ups, guided imagery, story-telling and creative movement activities interspersed with verbal dialogue and sharing left the participants requesting more such workshops. The integration of movement with other disciplines will be included in the workshops and may incorporate the  use of hands-on props (stretch bags, elastics, fabric, etc) and introduce a wide variety of music genres.

This new approach to fun filled and creative approach to teaching/learning was much appreciated by all participants.  Not many privileged agencies use creative movement therapy and so this was first even for SAMADHAN.

The success of this initiative is apparent from comments by some of the participants. Most of them felt the session helped them to relate with each other better than before. Anju, a Physiotherapist - said she felt relaxed after the session and wants to  incorporate some of the activities in her physiotherapy sessions. Activities with props helped them to overcome their inhibitions and gave them confidence to perform the task. It was fun and they look forward to regular sessions.  More creative activities can now be incorporated in special education to enhance the social and cognitive skills of children with special needs.

Joining a Common Platform
Joining a Common Platform

In India participation of children with disabilities (CwD) in formal education environments, so far, is very limited.  Most CwD have difficulty in accessing even basic education.  In this context, the role that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play in breaking up traditional access barriers and promoting equal opportunities is increasingly being recognized. The technology revolution has created new learning channels and formats that can enable CwD to access education with ease and effectiveness.  Harnessing this power of ICTs to build a strong system of inclusive education in India may ensure that all students, irrespective of their impairment, be in schools and learning.

This can be achieved only when organizations working for CwD are aware about the availability and usage of new technologies and tools.  At the same time developers also need to be in touch with these organizations for successful implementation and perfection of the tools.

The need for a common, meaningful platform to bring together the various stakeholders and enable information exchange on the issue prompted SAMADHAN and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to organize a two-day national workshop on “Using ICT for Inclusive Education in India” on February 23–24, 2015, at India International Centre, New Delhi.  United Nations International Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) partnered this workshop, which was a follow-up to the UNICEF mandate for conducting a desk analysis on the use of ICT for inclusive education in India.

The workshop brought together stakeholders from concerned government departments, institutions, NGOs, researchers and academicians, IT engineers, special educators, parents, trainee teachers, and volunteers. It provided the participants, totaling over 80, the opportunity to share information and insights about the various ICT applications and aids for children with cognitive and physical disabilities as well as to share experiences of using innovative teaching-learning methodologies.

Among the speakers, there were persons with special needs who have been using ICT for their benefits.  They shared their experinces and empasized the need of using ICT.

The discussions drew on the rich and varied experience of the different stakeholders and presented an opportunity for exploring the diverse range of available ICT tools and solutions.  The presentations are available at https://sites.google.com/site/ictforie/.

The workshop, thus, evolved an improved understanding of the various issues, challenges, and opportunities for using ICTs for inclusive education.  The biggest achievement of the workshop lay in drawing out the information about available ICTs and practices from different scattered pockets and bringing it together on a common platform to enable learning, ideation, and adoption.

It also brought into sharp focus the need for supportive policy framework; use of universal design in educational materials and environments; research and development (R&D) on new ICT solutions and practices; and training and capacity building of special educators, among others. 

Opening Session
Opening Session
Mr. Abraham & Mr. Mitra Shared their Experinces
Mr. Abraham & Mr. Mitra Shared their Experinces
Spreading Knowledge
Spreading Knowledge

Guide to Parents: Cerebral Palsy(CP) Concept and Fundamental Principles in positioning and handling

SAMADHAN periodically conducts workshops for parents on topics related to various intellectual and physical disabilities. A workshop was conducted by SAMADHAN on 31st October 2014to create awareness among parents to understand what is meant by Cerebral palsy, its types and which part of brain gets damaged. The workshop was held to provide details on some of the most frequent positioning and handling used as interventions when working with children Cerebral palsy.

The workshop was facilitated by G. Hema Gowri, Special Education Consultant of SAMADHAN and Dr. Anju, Physiotherapist with SAMADHAN. The session was divided into three parts.

a)            Defining Cerebral palsy, causes, its types and role of brain

b)            Fundamental principles in positioning and handling and its use

c)            Use of adaptive aids and the consequences in using wrong positioning and handling

The workshop started with brief explanation of Cerebral palsy definition, causes and its types. More inputs were given on the affected brain parts in different types of CP. How the affected parts of brain affects child’s muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance; it can also impact a child’s fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and oral motor functioning. It was emphasized that the damage to the brain is permanent but it is non progressive in nature.

Dr Anju explained with examples the:

  1. Fundamental principles in positioning and handling with demonstration
  2. Precautions to avoid deformities in Children with cerebral palsy
  3. The use of positioning and handling and problems in wrong positioning and handling.
  4. Helping the child with their ADLs using Adaptive aids
  5. Problem-solving skills for everyday difficulties that occur

 

Post evaluation of the workshop shows that the Parents clearly understood that Cerebral Palsy is not contagious. It is neither a sickness nor a disease.  The damage to the brain does not get worse, but the effect on the body can result in progressive deformities. Although the damage to the brain cannot be cured, therapy and medical intervention can assist clients to maximise potential and enhance the quality of life.

 

Link for resources:    http://www.cbm.org/article/downloads/54741/Cerebral_Palsy_Toolkit_-_Part_2__Manual__English_.pdf

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Organization Information

Samadhan

Location: New Delhi, Delhi - India
Website: http:/​/​www.samadhanindia.org
Project Leader:
pramila balasundaram
New Delhi, New Delhi India