Introduction

Children from the age of 6 months up to 12 years are encouraged to be brought to the school for therapy and training. There is an Early Intervention Unit for children below the age of 5 years, which caters to the needs of children with delay in Developmental milestones and suitable goal oriented training training is imparted. In the matter of rehabilitation, "The earlier the intervention, the better". There are 7 trained therapists, holding a degree/diploma in physiotherapy attending to the needs of these children. In the case of very young children, the major part of the time they spend in the school, namely 3 hrs from 10AM - 1PM, is devoted to Developmental Physiotherapy. In addition, toilet training, identification of colours, exercises to improve respiratory, tactile, speech and visual ability, etc. are also undertaken. The nature of physiotherapy as well as training is determined after careful assessment of the nature and degree of challenge of a child, by a fully qualified and experienced team of therapists. The older children spend 5hrs in the school. In their case, about 2-3 hrs are spent on academic training. The school works for 5 days in the week. There are 32 teachers, 17 with special training to teach children with challenges. In the section for Autism, there is a Consultant Psychiatrist as well as Clinical Psychologist to assess and recommend therapy & counseling sessions for the children as well their mothers. For the Autism section, the standard TEAACH program, which is a recognized form of teaching for autistic children the world over, is being followed at Adarsh also. In addition to the normal curriculum, AAC and PECS are used for children with communication difficulties. An Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist work in tandem with these Special Educators and their services are utilized for children who have such specific needs, particularly activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, toileting etc. To give the children a feeling that they are like anyone else, the school atmosphere conforms to that of a normal school. Children have been given uniforms, school diary and a timetable. The school day starts with a prayer and assembly. They have regular picnics and events like quiz programs, sports competitions, visits to cinemas, special celebrations for functions like Onam, Christmas, Ramadaan, Teachers and Children's day etc.

From the academic year 2006-2007 onwards, Adarsh has started training for children, under the National Open School system, from classes 2nd Standard. Now the centre trains children up to 12TH Std. This will be greatly helpful for those children who cannot study in a mainstream school, because of a very high level of disability and lack of infrastructure for disabled children in the schools

Rehabilitation, at Adarsh has taken a more comprehensive meaning. To reach the phenomenal advances of medical science to children with disabilities, Adarsh is actively approaching doctors of various disciplines and taking the children to them for medical and surgical aid. An orthopedic surgeon specialized in Cerebral Palsy based at Bangalore has performed surgery on 20 children of Adarsh, whose progress is on expected lines. Facilities for Eye, Dentistry and ENT consultations have been made available on a continuous basis for the children and also surgeries have been performed for those in need of such facilities.A special feature of Adarsh, which is seldom found in other special schools is that almost 90-95% of the children have their mothers/caretakers in the school throughout its working hours. This, perhaps, arises from the greater degree of attention that children in Kerala receive from their parents, again perhaps due to a higher level of education among women. Adarsh encourages mothers or other close female relatives attending and remaining in the school with their wards, which helps in several ways.

The guardian imbibes the training given in the school and is able to give the same amount of attention after school hours and during long spells of absence of the child from school, due to any reason. The degree of attention that the child receives in the school certainly is much higher than it would receive from a paid employee like an Ayah or nurse. A feeling of camaraderie develops among the mothers and considerably reduces their degree of depression and leads to more cooperation among themselves and a better understanding of problems of such children by exchange of ideas through continuous interaction. In fact, in the last few years a number of mothers have been able to acquire considerable on-job training leading to their being absorbed in the faculty, after training in a suitable institution.