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Best Rajasthan Occupational Therapists Award received on 27th October, 2012.
Organise camp, papplate distribute for awareness on world disabled day

CURRICULAM TO SUIT INDIVIDUALS, NOT INDIVIDUALS TO SUIT CURRICULAM HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAM

SNM  educates and rehabilitates about 20 mentally challenged, multiple disabled and autistic children with the help trained professionals. Admissions are not restricted by economic factors and as a result, thirty percent of the school's students, who belongs the weaker sections of society, are beneficiaries of freeships.

In house professional expertise is available in the form of speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and special educators. It also has a panel of highly competent doctors- physician, pediatrician, neurosurgeon and eye specialist. SNM  is fortunate to have on its Governing Council professionals from different fields who are extremely adapt at taking quick decisive action as the need arises.

SNM  is a quality oriented professional organization, which is committed to providing an individualized education plan for each child. It offers a challenging program that looks at the individual as a whole. Thus, each IEP (Individual Education Plan) includes various areas of development including language, communication, motor development and inter-personal social skills. The common point in all programs is an emphasis on the child's strengths, the child's interest and making education as functional and age-appropriate as possible.

School has been divided into groups on the basis of the students' functional levels and chronological age. Each group has a classroom setting where personalised attention is offered according to their various needs. Grouping of these children is a skilled job in which each child is simultaneously programmed for and taught in a one-to-one situation and in a group. This optimum training module requires a maximum of five children to one teacher.

A comprehensive curriculum has been developed for each branch. The following areas are covered broadly

Pre-academic stimulation:
Activities in this curricular area include play, music and crafts. It encourages the child to participate in things that bring out his hidden feelings and talent. It also creates a suitable and informal atmosphere for learning.

Functional Academics:
This curricular area has functional reading, writing, practical math, money and time concept, as activities.

Environmental Education :
The curriculum here explores the world around us especially the Nature, and physical sciences. SNM  is a member of the ECO Club of Govt. of Delhi. Extracurricular activities are planned to create awareness of preserving the environment. Topics such as - save the earth, save water, save electricity, do not use plastic bags etc are discussed regularly.

Activities Of Daily Living :
Activities in this curricular area i
nclude eating, dressing and maintaining hygiene. The child learns the basic etiquettes and mannerism to interact with the society with more confidence.

Physical Development:
Stimulation for physical growth and development is provided through yoga and sports. Sports include indoor and out door games.

Mobility skills development :
It involves field trips, films, supportive classroom activities etc. which encourage the child to actually interact with the society and participate in events which have scope for such interaction.

Computer Application:
Computers can assist learning in every area of special needs child, not just in the “3Rs” and at every level of ability.  They can provide an environment in which the following may emerge.

Computers offer opportunities for playfulness, creativity and exploration in a safe environment and can produce perfect, socially valued objects.  All of this can be achieved with non-specialised   software, even by those who do not speak and do not appear to recognise writing.  Pictures and icons are standard in computer-person interactions-and they always look the same and do the same thing when activated! Person-to-person interaction is much helped by this: each can see the other’s aims; turn are clearly defined; complicated skills are not required.  We can enjoy what the individuals is doing as much as they do! We can share their interest, they can share ours!

Computer use in an essential element of social inclusion: some individuals on the autistic spectrum may be exceptionally competent with information technology and some grow up to earn a good living in this area. Non Specialised as well as specialised software which promotes spoken communication, enhances auditory processing or addresses other specific needs are used.  For those with poor motor control specialised  hardware are made available, for example touch screen, joysticks, trackballs and switches instead of mouse or keyboard.  For those who find the standard keyboard too complex a keyboard with large keys are used. 

Sex Education :
Books and counseling is used to provide the child much needed sex education. His/her queries are answered and he/she is encouraged to leave inhibitions to be an aware person. Adolescents are trained to handle their sexuality.

Vocational Skills :
Vocational Training prepares the students to settle into the society as efficient and able citizens. They are given training such as cooking, needlework, weaving, laminating, cyclostyling, block printing, fabric painting etc.
Additionally, students help the staff with tasks such as maintenance, office work and meal preparation. The principal goal of this is to develop a sense of responsibility, deference to authority, understanding instructions, and a basic work ethic. Underlying all skill development is the goal of developing a sense of self worth and dignity as a member of the community.

Therapeutic Interventions:
Seventy five percent of the students at SNM  require speech therapy and occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Each child's speech, language and motor problems are scientifically evaluated. Special care is taken to ensure that teachers and parents are fully involved in the ongoing program.
Occupational therapy is administered by a occupational therapist and an assistant through manual and equipment aided techniques.

Speech Therapy:
Language delay and deviant language development are often the features which lead to diagnosis and assessment of mental multiple disability and autism. Therapists use a developmental approach to evaluate children’s overall levels and patterns of functioning. The aim of intervention is to understand the nature and extent of children's difficulties and to facilitate better communication wherever possible. Ways of stimulating language and communication are therefore needed. The School offers a unique speech and language therapy with the aid of Dr. Speech Computer Program. Specifically charted speech exercises are conducted by full time speech therapists and special educators.
Where the use of spoken language provokes difficulties instead of understanding then language needs to be supported with visible forms of communication e.g. objects, pictures or symbols. In this context augmentative communication practices and programmes, which support the act of communication are used. Other approaces used are PECS, Makaton , Communication Boards.

Art Therapy:
Art is a form of expression and a way of communicating. At SNM  we try to achieve the primary aim of art therapy, that is, to provide a ‘safe’ non- judgmental environment in which to create and have aesthetic experiences. The very act of art making demands some active involvement, risk taking and unique self-expression. Thoughts, perceptions and emotions of the special individual, who at times may be nonverbal, are expressed through the creative act itself and in any follow up discussion. Because it is non- judgmental or non- critical there are no rights or wrongs. The acquisition of skills can be very motivating. As individual acquire more skills, they are better able to undergo a wider range of aesthetic experiences. There is a subtle interplay between aesthetic awareness and skills acquisitions. Art can provide a path for motivation, communications as well as an emotional outlet.
Art is also be used as a therapeutic activity to help cognitive development and physical coordination.

Dance and Movement Therapy:
SNM  has introduced Dance therapy in its three branches. Dance Instructors Performing Arts assisted by the special educators of SNM  teach dance to the students. Children are guided through experimental movement activities to become aware of their bodies and develop deeper understanding of themselves. While engaging in body preparatory exercises, movement activities and games they have been stimulated to think, memorize, feel and express ideas through their bodies. The movements help improve their body coordination, attention span and imitation skills. The dance sessions have led to a feel good factor in the students and they are loosing their inhibitions. The students also get opportunities to perform their dances in front of varied audiences thus giving a boost to their self confidence and self esteem.Mobility skills development :

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES

Recreational outings
Varied and interesting trips are organised for students to familiarize them with the environment they live in. These trips are aimed at providing opportunities for the children to assimilate real life situations and to make their academic education functionally meaningful within their environment. Trips are therefore organised and paced in line with each group's academic, physical and vocational level.
Field visits include functional training at shops, post-offices, banks, bus stops, traffic squares, railway stations, restaurants, etc. Children at SNM  also enjoy visits to children’s parks, zoological gardens, amusement parks, circuses and museums.

 

Best Buddies Programme
People with intellectual disabilities and autism are often excluded from society because of their differences. SNM  is determined to end social isolation for people special needs by establishing meaningful and lasting one to one friendships with their non-disabled peer. These friendships help increase self- esteem, confidence and the self worth of people with and without intellectual disabilities. What is most wonderful about the program is that it provides them with a ‘friend’, a buddy. This buddy accepts them as they are, wherever they may be in their social skill development. They initiate conversation and show a genuine interest in these kids.

Keeping all this in mind SNM  Special Schools started this program with students of jaipur Public Schools. The students from school and other Schools visit SNM  Special School regularly. They participate in various activities such as drama, dancing, cooking or academies. Students from these schools are participate in our events like World disabled day, World occupational therapy, World physiotherapy, World cerebral palsy day, Valentine's Day, World Autism Awareness Day, Winter Carnival, our fund raising events.

This sort of program gives disabled children something that can’t be bought a -friend. It provides children with disabilities more and better social contacts. Interaction with peers with disabilities has positive impacts also on those who do not have disabilities. They are learning to be more tolerant and sensitive to differences as they spend time with their special buddies. By training children with intellectual disability in the skills necessary to succeed in the community and workplace the non-disabled students have the key to change society’s mind and heart. This programme meets the immediate needs for social inclusion and affects long term change in people’s attitude towards individuals with intellectual and multiple disabilities and autism.

Sheltered workshops
In today’s world each one is looking for better job prospects and making their life more meaningful in their terms. It is an irony that our special students find themselves at cross roads not knowing what to do or how to engage themselves after the basic schooling and vocational training. Many of our students have come of age and now need to become economically independent. Even after vocational training, the special needs persons are unable to obtain jobs in industry and commercial establishments in wider society.
The result is loss of hope and confidence, which sweeps their life when they have no option but to sit at home, actually resulting in unlearning what they actually have learnt over the years. Thus started the need for sheltered workshops. The training program along with employment is a step towards working for their economic rehabilitation. The philosophy behind the sheltered workshops is to train students in a vocation, which will help them in becoming financially independent and productive members of society and to teach the students work place ethics.

Theatre arts in education
Theatre Arts in education has been introduced after school hours. The aim of the program is to enhance personality development of the students. There are 2 session for a student in a week and timings are from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The activities includes: Role play, Dance (Western), Drama, Instrumental music , Harmonium, Tabla.
This programme aims to provide the following benefits-

  1. Keep the individual entertained and occupied
  2. Develop self confidence
  3. Develop social skills
  4. Enhances emotional development
  5. Refine imitation skills
  6. Increase flexibility of body and smoothen body movements Learn rhythmic movement
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