Vadivel drawing on MS Paint
Dear Friend and Partner
The Institute for Mentally Handicapped Children (IMHC) currently houses 80 boys with special needs who have been abandoned by their families or lost and brought to the Institute. Working with the boys in a State run Home is a daily challenge coupled with an incredible sense of accomplishment for the big and small victories that my team and I enjoy.
Thank you so much for supporting our work at the Institute and believing in the work we do for these wonderful children.
Some of the main highlights are:
- Health & Hygiene – The boys who are severely and profoundly challenged are given a bath by the assistant carers every morning as they are not capable of doing so independently. The assistant carers have also given special attention to a few boys with dermatological issues such as scabies. New clothes have been regularly received as donations to ensure clean clothes for all the boys.
- Therapy & Activities – During the Christmas season the boys learnt to make stars, greeting cards and even a Christmas tree as part of vocational therapy. The boys who are profoundly challenged are kept engaged in the play school with motor and sensory activities throughout the day. Computer classes have been going on along with English classes for the older boys who are learning the alphabet.
- Physiotherapy – The Physiotherapist has been working with 10 boys with cerebral palsy and other equilibrium problems. All the physiotherapy equipment bought are being used on a daily basis for new motor therapies for the boys. Its been great to see the boys getting closer to achieving independency in motor movement after the intensive therapy of last few months.
- Volunteering at the Institute – Every Sunday about 40 volunteers visit the Institute and engage the boys in different activities. The Special Needs Curriculum that they follow has been designed to engage and rehabilitate children with different levels of mental retardation. The volunteers also spend time cleaning and gardening at the Institute and help provide a better environment for all the boys.
- Christmas celebrations at the Institute – The volunteers gathered one Sunday afternoon with cake, Santa hats and Christmas carols to spread some Christmas cheer at the Institute. They even called in Santa Claus for a special carol singing performance!
Story of the month:
Vadivel was found at the railway station a few months ago. He was brought to the Home after being diagnosed as having mild mental retardation. After interacting with the boy for a few days, the staff discovered that he used to go to a local language school in Tamil Nadu and had learnt Beginner’s English and Mathematics. He is very bright and the staff were very keen on him continuing his learning. Since he showed an interest in computers, they decided to teach him to use a computer as well as to type. Over the past few months, Vadivel has progressed from learning to click on icons and using MS Paint to create beautiful drawings to typing paragraphs on MS Word.
There are times when he gets depressed and chooses to sit alone and not interact with anyone. On these days, the staff take him for walks to find out what is bothering him and keep him engaged in other activities until he shows an interest in coming back to computer training.
Over the past month, he is noticeably more relaxed and enthusiastic about participating in various activities. He greets staff and volunteers with a smile on his face and he’s learning to type at faster speeds every day!
Plans for the coming months
- Hiring a special needs teacher to design and teach a structured curriculum
- Hiring assistant carers to clean the premises of the Institute
- Vocational Therapy classes to teach bag-making to the boys who are mildly challenged.
Work at the Institute is always a challenge that results in great joy. It’s not only about teaching and engaging 80 special needs boys, but on most days, it’s about the change taking place in the lives of staff, volunteers and visitors who invest in the boys and leave with an experience and learning they will never forget.