Have you ever visited any ‘special’ school? By special school, I mean the school for children with special needs. You might have not, if your child is not suffering from autism. I wish nobody does. I would urge you to please visit such a school some day. If you are a real human, you would leave out, transformed. You would wish if you could do anything to make their life better by any means you can. Mind it, these special schools are not after your money, however your donation is most welcome.
Autism is not a disease. It is a disorder of neural development that affects the communication, thinking ability, response time of individuals. It is a disorder that, ironically, could stay whole life. Children with autism are referred to as ‘children with special needs’. And yes, they are very special. Therefore, they need special schools. They don’t fit in the regular education institutes and among the normal students. There are many schools running in India offering education and training to these special needs children. A few autism schools in Mumbai rank among the best in the country.
These schools are located in various cities and have been making the lives of autistic children better. These schools have special teachers for special students. These teachers are trained at interacting with autistic kids and also had to have a lot of patience. Autistic kids take time to learn something, be it text or an activity. Therefore, these schools teach them using various activities so that they have fun in learning.
To be able to get included in the mainstream society these special needs children clear the SSC and HSC examinations through National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). NIOS allows them the flexibility to study and appear for the exam at their comfort. After that, they may graduate from some open university of distance learning courses.
Autism doesn’t affect the children only. It affects their parents as well, and may be more. Parents are always scared for their children. They keep their kids at home so that they don’t harm themselves. They are also scared if the kids may be molested. These schools have counseled the parents that their kids are going to be in safe hands and would leave the school as an educated and skilled individual. They would be able to take up some profession and earn a living.
These schools also offer the autism parent training programs that help parents to communicate with their kids in a better manner. They organize seminars, workshops and family activities and picnics where they ask parents to play and engage with their children. These activities strengthen the bond between parents and kids and gradually make parents confident enough that their children are getting better and living a good life.
Autism doesn’t mean that the children could not do anything. It just means that we need to take special care of these kids and help their parents as well. Support for autistic individuals is a must in our country. You need to look at them as equals and not as a burden.