Resources for children with special needs – Part II
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|   Oct 10, 2014
Resources for children with special needs – Part II

In Part II we enlist a few resources for parents of children with intellectual disabilities; autism; and other developmental disabilities. There are hundreds of non-governmental organizations and schools in Mumbai dedicated to a range of special needs for children. This list includes a few well known organisations that can serve as an immediate go-to for information and assistance.  

Intellectual disabilities:

The Dilkhush Special School in Juhu started in 1971 with 15 students and now has an allocation of 100 students. The school for intellectually handicapped children caters to their all round development. Run by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the school has a teachers training centre, a sheltered workshop and a crèche.  The school programs handled by special educators focus on functional academics – reading, writing and math with their application to daily life; self care skills; pre-vocational skills like art and craft, cooking and needlework; extracurricular activities like yoga, music, sports and drama; and social skills. The involvement of the family is always sought out towards helping the child in the best possible manner. At the sheltered workshop, intellectually challenged adults develop their talents. Ex-students from the special school are offered the opportunity to explore their talents and get remuneration for their work too. Currently many of the products created in house such as the wood work, needlework, arts and crafts are in high demand. For further details call 022-26151304 or e-mail: aciregionindia@gmail.com

S.P.J. Sadhana School - Empowering persons with Special Needs - is a resource centre for training people with special needs and updating teachers in effective methodologies.  For the formative years they offer non-residential therapeutic, educational and vocational development to mentally challenged children with multiple disabilities. Trained special teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, sensory integration therapists, psychologists and counsellors work towards reinforcing training at various levels. They also offer pre-vocational courses before the five year polytechnic course that serves as the final step to being integrated into society. Call 022-23517913/ 022-23510853 or e-mail: egaitonde@spjsadhana.org for more information.   

The Research Society has been empowering persons with special needs since 1944 and offers varied approaches. The organisation has a team that screens children that come to them. This team includes a paediatrician, clinical psychologist, occupational therapist, special educator, speech therapist, audiologist, social worker, cytogeneticist and biochemist who work with the child before admission.  Based on their report, the age and IQ of the child, an individualised program for therapy and education is worked out. Following this, the child may be placed in one of the following sections: Jai Vakeel School for Children in Need of Special Care; the Individual Education Programme; The Learning Readiness Group; the National Open School Section (NIOS) or the Sairam Autism Center. Children aged 6 years to 18 years who are ready to be placed in a classroom are admitted to Jai Vakeel School to learn functional academics and subjects based on their individualised curriculum. For more information call 022-24701231 or e-mail: admin@theresearchcosiety.org.

Canossa High School in Mahim is a Catholic school for girls that is established and administered by the Canossian Daughters of Charity. As a part of their school they offer the Canossa Special High School for differently abled boys and girls. For details about admission and courses call 022-24457684 / 022-24454214.

Autism and other developmental disabilities:

Forum for Autism (FFA) is a public trust and society based in Colaba. It is a parent body to empathize with each other, understand concerns and anxiety and fight the common cause. The forum serves as a platform where parents can learn about autism from various sources in addition to the professional who has diagnosed the child. The group works as a support for parents towards educating them and in turn thus helping the child who may then have access to education and therapy that is appropriate. The FFA works to improve facilities for diagnosis, education, training and rehabilitation of persons with Autism and Related Developmental Disorders (AARDD). The FFA runs a library stocked with over 500 books authored by therapists and professionals in the area of autism, related disorders, slow learning and mental retardation. Additionally they also have an educational and technical toy library and provide parent counselling as well. They offer access to a database of therapists in the realm of speech therapy, auditory retraining, sensory integration, special schools, vocational guidance, special dieticians and more. Workshops to educate on the latest developments in the field also form an integral part of the services. For further details call 022-32949595 or e-mail: forumforautism@gmail.com

Umang is an NGO that works for autistic, slow learners and multiple handicapped children. They offer interdisciplinary care to children with disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Learning Disability, Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Behavioural Disorder to name a few. In addition to reaching out to differently abled children in municipal schools they offer a complete range of clinical services from paediatric assessment to therapies. They also provide free training and therapies for under privileged children. The aim at Umang is to integrate autistic children and slow learners into normal schools and help them adapt to their surroundings. The facilities offered at Umang include psycho-educational assessment; psychological counselling and guidance; occupational therapy assessment and sensory integration; remedial education; cognitive therapy; speech therapy; social skills training; pre-vocational training; and parent support and pre-NIOS training. For further details call 022-28600624 or e-mail: info@umang-trust.org.

Ummeed is a non profit organisation that focuses on helping children with developmental disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Learning Disability, Autism and Attention Deficit Disorder or those at a high risk for disabilities to reach their maximum potential and be included in society. Ummeed has almost 50 professionals that work across four primary areas, namely, a centre in Parel that offers clinical services and interdisciplinary programs; outreach programs in low income schools and communities; advocacy; and research. Umeed provides care for all irrespective of their ability to pay. For an initial inquiry call 022-65528310, 022-65564054, 022-23002006 or e-mail: info@ummeed.org.

To read more on Resouces For Children with Special Needs, please click here.

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