Special School for the Mentally Handicapped
The spirit behind this is strong belief that the deaf are not dumb.They become dumb because of our negligence. If proper intervention is provided at the right time they can become normal individuals like any one of us. Today there are 25 children are in the hostel studying in classes from pre primary to III standard .Two classes are equipped with group hearing aid system and speech therapy is given to each child individually. They will not be dumb any more if speech therapy and Hearing Aid is given at right time..
WE TO CAN LISTEN NOT THROUGH OUR EARS BUT THROUGH OUR HEARTS.
According to WHO a hearing impaired person is someone who is not able to hear sound at threshold level of 81 decibals (ISO) or greater or inability to understand even shouted voice. Hearing Impairment causes problems in communication. Hearing Impaired child needs to spend considerable time on learning speech and language. The main problem in the education of Hearing Impaired child arises from the childs inability to communicate effectively. This can overcome partly by hearing aids.
The oral –Aural (lipreading and listening) used in our school as mode of communication and we use some improvised signs and gestures for communication with the Hearing Impaired children.
In an effort to care for the mentally challenged children of the communities. Spandana opened a Special School in 1996, with 2 students.
The teachers have all been trained but the extraordinary thing about Spandana is the atmosphere of love which surrounds it and the extraordinary support it gets from its vibrant Parent/Teachers Association.
The special school for the welfare of mentally challenged children provides boarding and lodging facility in the hostel attached to the school, maintaining the children with care.
The present strength of the school is 35 and previously the students of our school used to reach the school by three wheelers and by hired vehicles. Now we have arranged a mini-bus for their transport which made them easier to reach the school in time and to return to their homes happily and in good sprits.
Tthe staff of our institution usually proceed to the tribal and backward areas for the purpose of identification of mentally handicapped children and to assist them to cope with the daily routine in a purposeful way. The parents of these children cannot come to the institution for any counseling, which is essential, or for admission as they are far away from our institution and this is due to ignorance, lack of knowledge and sufficient information and due to their financial difficulties.
We are providing behaviour modification of the mentally handicapped through the services of physiotherapy, speech therapy, music therapy, yoga therapy and special education techniques by a team of interdisciplinary teachers, whom we approached by paying visits, who are employed in other noted institutions.
Our institution “Spandana” is on of the institutions, which is running a hostel for the mentally handicapped children all through the year in this part of the country. The advertisements in newspapers and T.V. channels have mentioned again and again that our institution has a hostel which is providing free boarding and lodging.
The parents actually feel that their children could not be managed, controlled or counseled by them in their respective hours. Hence, they wish to keep their children in our hostel itself, for it is being maintained in an efficient and proper manner and services as a safe place for them to live and to more about in a congenial way.
“Spandana” has been providing special education to the mentally handicapped children through the efforts of our well trained staff, who are wall qualified in special education.
Training is provided to the children in vocational training like candle making, chalk-making, doll-making, paper-cup making, preparation of Vaseline and gardening etc.
A notable feature of our institution is “ours is the only organization in these parts of the country where we admit children in the school and/or hostel who are fully dependent on others because of their under-developed capacities and have always to be attended even for basic needs”. We provide for such needy children a life-long shelter and rehabilitation with parental care and attention. We have children of such category. We feel happy and content with the lot.
If generous sponsors are forthcoming, we wish to extend the same facility to some more children. We have been making contant efforts in this direction also and we welcome such a gesture from humanitarian individuals, locally and from abroad.
Our institution is also interested in adolescent problems which need more attention. The period of adolescence is roughly between the ages of 13 and 20 years. Some times the adolescent problems lead persons to a kind of risk. The paramount risk is a tendency towards committing suicides. It runs maximum during the period of adolescence among mentally handicapped persons, when sharply rejected by the society, because it is the stage when failure is taken very seriously in the case of mentally retarded persons. Some of them are even prone to mental illness with no relief whatsoever.
We have some plans to go in for sheltered workshops, where note books preparation and dairy-farming can be taken up to produce easily marketable items.
We have train our students in daily living skills, who are unable to do their daily chores, like eating, dressing, grooming, and also toileting etc. The main purpose of this training programme is to infuse confidence in them, to make them feel that, they are quite efficient and can attend to their daily needs with more confidence then ever as the ordinary children of their age group and move in the society with some satisfaction facing challenges.
If such mentally handicapped children are given such attention by our experienced staff in such activities as mentioned above, the self confidence of the students will grow more and pave the way for the development of human resources aspect.