Shining Stars

By imparting early sensory motor developmental therapy and academic training, Adarsh has many success stories to its credit. In the last 9 years,52 of its students left Adarsh to pursue their studies in mainstream schools, with their disability factor considerably reduced and confidence and social interaction ability levels built up.

Of the 52, 2 left at the end of the last academic year (10-11) alone. A very welcome feature in the growth pattern is the increased enrolment every year of young children below 5 years, Today, out of its over 210 children, around 35 constitute such an "Early Intervention Group".

Success stories of some of the children who left to pursue their studies in mainstream schools are :

  • Akhil Babu
  • Durga
  • Senkumar

"Disability cannot defeat inspired Minds"

A challenge, mental or physical, does not necessarily mean that the affected person is without any ability. In fact, a large number of people who are affected in some of their faculties display an extraordinary degree of ability in other areas. Helen Keller was an outstanding example of this phenomenon. The Bulgarian artist, Zlatju Bojadjiev, whose centenary was observed in 2003, is another example. When he lost the use of his right hand in a paralytic stroke he started using his left hand and became as adept at doing so as he was with his right hand. Predictably, the artist's motto was " Disability cannot defeat inspired Minds". The Honorable Indian President, Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, who happened to visit an exhibition of his paintings, was deeply impressed by this artist and his determination.

Adarsh has been able to help one such "inspired mind", to develop his skills in painting. Anjan Satheesh, a boy of 15 who left Adarsh to pursue his schooling in Palace High School, Tripunithura, has severe impairment in hearing, vision, speech and in his limbs. He successfully completed his Standard 10th examination in 2006. All this has, however, not limited his artistic talents Currently, after completing a course in animation at Toons Academy, Trivandrum, he is training children attending the computer lab at Adarsh. Some of his paintings in watercolor as well as on canvas are shown in the e-greetings gallery

Training in Arts and Crafts to develop and nurture talent

In 2004 a separate unit for vocational training was set up, imparting training to children and their mothers/caregivers in arts and crafts like music, candle-making, soap-making, embroidery, painting on fabrics, glass etc. The children are also encouraged to explore and develop their latent skills like art, crafts, music, dance etc. The idea of involving mothers in getting trained in crafts is to enable them to pick up a particular skill, which they feel their children could also pick up in due course. In spite of some degree of improvement that may come about in the majority of children as a result of therapy, academic training etc, there would be some children who cannot pursue a normal academic career and at least for their sake, some kind of vocational training is required. Such a skill alone will enable them to lead a life of independence and dignity in their adulthood.

Akhil Babu, a case of Spastic Cerebral palsy of diplegic variety was born at Lissie hospital on 29/10/1992. Birth history of the child was normal delivery as a preterm baby of 7th month. Birth weight of the baby was 1.25 Kgms. Early birth cry was present. Early suck reflex was delayed. There was history of birth asphyxia. The neonate was in ICU for two weeks

In the neonatal period all the developmental milestones of the baby were delayed. Rolling from back to belly and vice versa, head control, crawling, creeping, and sitting etc. were delayed. Physiotherapy was started from 4th month onwards and is still continuing at home. At first they went to Lekshmi Hospital and then Govt. Hospital for Physiotherapy. With that, the child showed signs of improvement as he started to sit and crawl independently. There was no bladder and bowel control in his early neonatal stages. Gradually he got toilet control. From the beginning itself he had problems with learning. He is having problem with fine and gross motor functions of hands. Specifically his right upper limb is weaker than the left. So he is using his left hand more. He is using spectacles for short sight. He has no problem with hearing. His speech and language functions are intact.

As a part of rehabilitation, Akhil was first admitted to Home of Faith, a special school for children with challenges. There he was in 1st Std. and completed one year. Then he joined Adarsh at the age of 9 years. Physically and academically Akhil improved a lot with special care at Adarsh. From Adarsh Akhil was sent to Manipal for surgery. After the surgery Akhil started to walk with the support of a stick. Then he was transferred to Mangai School, Maradu in 4th Std ,after 3 years in Adarsh. He has problems with learning, his IQ rating being average. Academically he is not as good as most others in his class. But he has adjusted very well with the school atmosphere. He likes music, sports (cricket, badminton) and cinema. He sings fairly well. He is very much interested in carpentry. He goes to school and comes back by Auto rickshaw. In school he uses a stick for walking. But in the rainy season it is very difficulty for him to walk with a stick, particularly when the floor becomes slippery. Teachers and peers are said to be very o-operative with Akhil

He passd the 10th standard examination in 2010

Overall, Inclusive education for Akhil Babu is good and useful for the boy. But for the training and therapy he received during stay in Adarsh, during the transition to a mainstream school, he would not have been able to adjust to such a school.

Durga Mohan, born on 10/05/1994 as the second child in the Mohan family. She was born pre-term at 7 months and the delivery was by Caesarean Section. Early suck reflex was delayed and the baby was in ICU for 20 days immediately after delivery. There was a history of Birth Asphyxia also.

In the neonatal period, the developmental milestones of the baby were delayed, specifically, social smile, rolling, head control, creeping and crawling. All the above functions were achieved gradually. Durga achived independent “W” sitting position in her early stages and she gradually began to stand with support. Fine and gross motor functions of hand were less compared to other motor functions. Even now she is having problems with her hand functions. In the early stages, drooling was present though now it is very much controlled. Speech is still slurred

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Durga, identified as suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Diplegic variety with involvement of the upper limbs also, joined Adarsh at the age of 3. The major part of her developments occurred at Adarsh where during her stay, she was given physiotherapy which strengthened her weak muscles. She left Adarsh at the age of 6. By then, she was able to stand and walk with support. To get maximum relief from spasticity, Durga had also undergone surgery. After the operation, she started to walk with very little support and with much ease.

Today, Durga joined in the 3rd standard at Little Flower L.P. school, Thripunithura, Ernakulam. Teachers and peers were quite supportive of Durga. She was provided with special furniture in the school. A helper was appointed to take care of her needs such as toileting, feeding, helping with academics etc. Possessing above average IQ, she performed very well in academics, generally standing among the top 2 or 3 in her class. Unlike for other children, the school conducts only oral examinations for Durga. She is fond of music and happily participates in a variety of events in school festivals like fancy dress, Oppana etc.As that school had classes only upto class 5, she has rejoined Adarsh and is now in class 10 under the NIOS scheme and has recently (early 2010) passed in 4 subjects.

In our normal system of education, there are limitations in the progress a child can achieve in a mainstream school, as the stress is more on academics rather than on the social and vocational skills that such a child might possess. A system of Open Schooling may,perhaps, be more suited to her needs and capability.

Senkumar Sony, a 10-year-old male child was born on 07/07/1995 at Aswathy Medical Center, Thrippunithura. The delivery was normal. The birth weight of the baby was 2600gms. Birth cry and early suck reflex were present and normal. There were no risk factors at antenatal period except that the mother was too young for delivery. There was no history of epilepsy

During developmental period, at 6 month paediatric assistance was sought at Lekshmi Hospital, Ernakulam for problems like delays in the normal development i.e. Rolling, head control.. Physiotherapy and Ayurvedic treatment was provided for Senkumar for 2-3 years. Senkumar showed good progress in his development as he could crawl/creep, sit and stand with support at the age of 3. He has no problem with speech. Audio-Visually he is normal. There was no toilet control in his earlier days of development but now he has. He had severe behavior problems in the early periods like tantrums, destructive behavior, which have been controlled a lot by now

Senkumar joined adarsh at 3 yrs and stayed there till 7 yrs. During these periods Senkumar got exciting changes in his motor control and behavior. His hand functions improved markedly during his training at adarsh. His IQ is" dull normal". So academically he is not up to the requirement of a normal mainstream school.. At the age of 6, Senkumar had undergone surgery at KMC, Manipal for his legs.After that he started to walk independently. He left adarsh at 8 yrs and was admitted to GLP School, Nadakkavu, in 1st STD.

There is no need of special chair for him in the class. He is able to sit with normal children but he cannot grasp all that a normal can do from the class. However,as mentioned earlier, Senkumar is a mild mentally retarded child He is not happy with the school atmosphere and in his school there are not adequate resources for a child of his disability. He does not like studying. Instead of that he likes music and sings well. He likes cinema and Mohanlal is his favorite actor.

Here the primary fact that is revealed is that a child like Senkumar who has learning problems is not a suitable candiadate for Inclusive education in a school where special resources for such children are lacking. Normally a child like Senkumar needs special training for his learning problems. These factors have led the parents to decide to bring him back to Adarsh in June 2006. At Adarsh, he is in the academic session under the NIOS scheme and can hope to appear at the 10th std public exam at some stage.