When the lockdown was introduced, Sulekha Raja was involved how her daughter would react. Mother of a 16-year-old on the autism spectrum, she puzzled how she would cope with out the comforting routine of faculty and sessions together with her lecturers and therapists. However, as soon as The Centre for Autism and different Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education (CADRRE) in Thiruvananthapuram got here up with online sessions, Sulekha was relieved to see her daughter settling in with online educational classes and sessions together with her therapists.
“For autistic children, any change in routine can be extremely disturbing. However, when the lockdown was enforced, we had to postpone and cancel all our plans for the month of April, which is observed as autism awareness month the world over. In addition, we had to tell the students to stay at home. We had planned a flash mob with our students, staff members and parents on April 2, which is ‘Autism Awareness Day’. All that was cancelled. Instead, we decided to come up with a seven-day awareness campaign. Online flash cards that spoke about different aspects of autism were created, one for each day. When we saw the interest generated by the cards, we decided to make it a month-long campaign. Now, we plan to make 50 cards and then bring out a book with the content used in the cards. It will be of help to parents of autistic children, special educators and counsellors,” says G Vijayaraghavan, honorary director of CADRRE.
Designed by Nandita NK, artwork college member on the establishment, the content material of the playing cards is chosen and framed by these accountable for numerous actions corresponding to speech remedy, occupational remedy, music, craft and so forth. “It is teamwork and every day, one such card has a brief on a particular feature of autism. It is to make the public aware about autism and the challenges and strengths of those on the spectrum,” she says.
The crew at CADRRE hopes that it additionally helps society at giant to work for an inclusive society. Meanwhile, until CADRRE closes for the annual summer time trip, the educators and the therapists have interaction with the scholars by way of online sessions that guarantee all of the areas lined at school are taken care of during the lockdown interval too.
Occupational therapist Annie Charles explains: “We advise parents to have a schedule for the students, if possible with visuals. A structured routine is important for individuals on the spectrum. They (the children) find it difficult to understand why they can’t step out. To keep them active and engaged, we have regular online sessions. We send the parents detailed lesson plans, teaching resources and online worksheets to do at home and the parents have to get the child to do these. Recently, we had a webinar, a science lesson, for junior students on horticulture. We felt that the students would benefit immensely by growing a garden or micro greens.”
She provides that in most houses, instructing sources corresponding to movies, flash playing cards, video games and many others, that are there in a lot at school, won’t be out there. So the school members and therapists take care to plan their sessions round issues that is likely to be simply accessed by dad and mom. “For instance, in order to develop their fine motor skills, I might suggest that the parents use beads or small pebbles to work with the children,” says Annie.
Boon for dad and mom
These online lessons come as a boon for dad and mom, says Sulekha. She says the online actions cowl lecturers, free play, video games for social interplay, communication, psychology, speech remedy, artwork, craft and so forth. “Every month, we get an individualised education plan for each child because the needs of each person on the spectrum are different. We had just got one for April when the lockdown began. Although I was worried, now my daughter has got used to the sessions though she misses the drive to and from school,” says Sulekha, who can be a particular educator and mentor for CADRRE’s college students between the ages of 5 and eight.
Sulekha turned to social tales shared by these working with individuals on the spectrum to elucidate to her daughter why she couldn’t exit due to a virus that causes illnesses.
At the top of a lesson, dad and mom are requested to ship the school members and therapists movies of their youngsters’s work. This is to judge their progress during the sessions at house.
“In fact, for certain children, the lockdown has come as a blessing in disguise as they were able to spend time with their parents and their progress has been remarkable. The parents have been so dedicated about their parent-mediated interventions and extremely patient in ensuring that their children complete the work we set for them,” says speech and language pathologist Swathy A.