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Making them feel special by offering a normal life PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 December 2017 17:28

NEW DELHI: They are referred to by many names, "special" being just one of them — but the biggest challenge for the society is to provide a "normal" life to these differently-abled children so that they aren't relegated to the background. Experts insist on creating a healthy, happy and creative environment for children and young adults with special needs.

As Roma Sahni, founder of the School for Intellectual Ability for Special Education Needs (SIASEN), says it is essential to identify such children at an early age — as young as nine months — so that they are trained and guided in an attempt at social inclusion and, eventually, gaining employment. On Sunday, to mark the International Day for Disabled Persons, SIASEN organized a fashion show and dance event where the "special" kids mingled with their more fortunate counterparts — this was followed by a three-minute music video put together by the children themselves on social inclusiveness.

According to Satinder Walia, a child psychologist working with the children, the focus is on stimulation, when certain aspects of a child are identified by the school at an early age. "When a child doesn't walk even when he is 12 months old, we identify the 'delayed milestones' and begin with motor skills, language stimulation and other therapies," she says. There are weekly meetings with parents on the children's future programmes.

The challenge is to ensure acceptability for such children. As such, the three-minute music video, produced by Sahni and her sister, Mitisha, focused on educating other children about avoid bullying and cooperating with each other. Nirvan Kumar, a 21-year-old special student, excitedly told TOI about getting the chance to dance to his heart's content. "I love dancing to Bollywood songs," he said.

Source: The Times of India Daily Dec 4, 2017 Edition

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