The National Workshop organized by MNC was the 15th in the series and MNC has all along been conducting its National Workshops on Early Intervention in Intellectual and Associated Disabilities with focus both on medical and early intervention trainings aspects. The theme of the Workshop this year was “Early Intervention for Children with Intellectual Disability and Associated Conditions Across Multiple Aspects of Development.”
The Importance Early Intervention for Disabilities which encompasses early detection. Identification and programming has been well established over the past 6 decades, more so since the 60’s of the 20th century. Several studies have been undertaken on the efficacy of early identification and providing services at the earliest as also on the feasibility of involving parents in the training of their children. Madhuram Narayanan Centre for Exceptional Children (MNC) has been providing early intervention services to children with intellectual disabilities and multiple disabilities over the past 30 years, with zero rejection and with total parental involvement and continues to be committed to the cause. In the deliberations planned for the sessions at the Conference, MNC presented a sharing of experiences by experts who, with their immense repertoire of expertise in the area of multiple aspects of development, provided a hands on experience for all the delegates, and, in particular, to all service providers .
The topics taken for presentation during the conference were:
Session 1 : IEP in Group teaching – Prof. P Jeyachandran and MNC Team – ‘The Emergence of the Individual’s Latent Potential in Learning through display of learnt and lateral skills in performances across the Domains of Development’. This was an interactive sharing session presented by MNC on the efficacy of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in facilitating the emergence of the individual‘s latent potential in learning, across domains of development. The IEP provides the needed experience for the child to develop the adaptive behaviors not only in each domain, but also across all other domains and to display the latent talents to emerge as performances, all observable and measurable. Also an experience in equal measure is the experience which is gained by the team of service providers, special educators, parent, and therapist in being witnesses to each child’s unique way of managing disability and responding to activities of daily living. This was all brought out in the presentation.
Session 2 : Role of Yoga in Early Intervention – Sri S Sridharan - A student of Sri T K V Desikachar and now a Senior Mentor and teacher at Krishnamachari Yoga Mandiram - ‘Learning Preparedness and Activity Performance’. Prof Sridharan, Trustee and Yoga Therapist at KYM presented on the role of Yoga in Early Intervention for learning preparedness and performance of activities, with emphasis on overcoming attention deficits and managing hyperactivity.
Session 3: Sambhavam – MNC Team – ‘Generalization of Learning in Early Intervention Programmes, through Experiential Community Activities’. Over the past five years MNC has been organizing experiential outdoor activities, co planned by the staff and parents of MNC which gave a fillip to the generalization of the learnt skills by the child in both familiar and un familiar settings, in both predicted and unpredicted situations, and in forming new social relationships, and maintaining the existing ones, using community facilities, being aware of and use of safety requirements in public places and to become recognized as a mainstream citizen alongside other non disabled members of the community. This is presented through the session, “Sambhavam”, an “”Event”, a” Nigazhvu” in Tamizh.
Session 4: Physical Education – Mr. Paul Devasagayam – ‘An Essential Value Addition to Early Intervention programmes in the development of motor and social communication skills in children with intellectual and multiple disabilities’. And so MNC tabled a session on Physical Education presented by Mr Paul Devasagayam , a passionately committed person in the field of services to disability to reach out to every child through the medium of physical education and in building motor, social and communication skills through team interactions with outdoor sports activities.
Session 5:– Movement and Dance - Ms. Jyotsana Narayanan - An alumna of Kalakshetra, and Bharatanatyam exponent, has been a student of Sri TKV Desikachar for over three decades, studying with him principles of yoga philosophy and practice – ‘Movement an Expressive Communication System in Early Intervention Programmes.’ Ms Jyotsna Narayanan, a direct disciple of Sri Desikachar at KYM, a highly acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer from the Kalakshetra School and who has had practical experience in blending the two disciplines in developing an effective communication system for persons with intellectual disabilities is generously shared her rich expertise in the field durimg the conference. This indeed reinforced the trust one has, as a teacher and as a parent on the potential in the child awaiting stimulation and by which one can look forward to impossibilities fading away to becoming possibilities.