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Awareness programme for parents

Mon, 2015-03-30 12:32

Children with special needs often face problems in communication and language development and parents are ignorant of the fact that speech could be developed through everyday activities at home because they have more opportunities and time to interact with the child. Therefore, an awareness programme was conducted at our Centre for the parents on 30/3/2015. An experienced Speech Language pathologist Mrs. Anuja officiated to guide the parents to understand the child’s difficulties and improve their child’s communication and language development. The programme paved way for the parents to initiate intervention for their children from home.

Fifth International Free Software Conference, Kerala

Sat, 2014-12-20 12:31

International free software conferences are being held to highlight Kerala’s achievements in the domain of Free software, as well as to bring together the community to discuss priorities and action items. The fifth International Free software conference of Kerala, Swatantra 2014 was held from 18 to 20 December 2014 at Thiruvananthapuram. The theme of the conference was “Free software for a Free World.” Insight was represented in the conference under the topic “Computing for the Differently abled.”

Disability day programme at Insight

Sat, 2014-12-06 12:28

Insight organized a programe for the students and parents of Insight on the occasion of International Day of persons with disability on the 6th of December, 2014. The highlight of the programme was an interactive session by Mr.Brahma Nayakam Mahadhavan a Social Activist / Special Educator / Independent Education Management Professional. He is also a recipient of the prestigious National Youth Award in the year 2000. He motivated the parents to bring out the innate potential of their children. In another session in the afternoon, Dr. Manju, a parent and a Paediatrician enlightened the participants on various disciplines of parenting. The programme came to an end with a skit by our students which had the participation of all our students.

Insight’s stall at International symposium

Thu, 2014-12-04 12:26

International symposium on ‘Assistive technology for Rehabilitation and Disability Management’ was organized by Centre for Disability studies, Poojapura to commemorate International Day of persons with disabilities from 2nd to 4th of December, 2014 at Mascot Hotel. Insight got the opportunity to put up a stall on the occasion and demonstrate the activities of Insight to people of other Centres of Kerala and from other countries. The stall was visited and appreciated by the participants of the symposium.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Thu, 2014-10-30 13:07

Ability to communicate is the key to social participation. Speech impairment can be source of behavioral issues and social exclusion among autistic children. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a form of communication that enhances or replaces speech. It helps those with serious speech impairments, like non-verbal autistic children develop language skills, decrease frustration and finally and most importantly, increase socialisation and participation.

In mid 2014, Insight introduced AAC tool based on mobile devices, to Sherin Mary Zacharia,, the 12-year-old autistic child from Kochi. Improvement in her quality of life is a testimony to the positive changes that AAC can bring in the life a cognitively-challenged person. Affected by Pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS), a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum, Sherin hardly speaks three sentences a day. She started writing at an early age of four and later was introduced to communication boards with minimal options like food, water, toilet etc. Then she started picking up writing in limited way. In case of emergency she writes with her fingers on her mothers hand. But all these provided only limited scope to express herself.

Nowadays with a tablet and AAC software, she communicates more easily and frequently through the device and successfully communicates what is in her mind. “It helps her reply to a large set of questions, using a limited set of words; a very happy Sherin now tries to communicate a lot now ,” testifies her mother, Sangeetha. Ability to communicate better, improved her engagement with world around her and there by making her life pleasant and richer. In fact she speaks more now.

Insight has been exploring possibility of equipping non-verbal autistic children with, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). As the name indicates, AAC is a form of communication that enhances or replaces speech. It helps those with serious speech impairments develop language skills, decrease frustration and finally and most importantly, increase socialisation and participation. It not merely helps them reply to the questions posed to them, but even equip them to initiate a communication, thus increasing participation in social activities.

AAC aid can be accessed using computer or mobile phone, thus making its use more convenient even during travels. Symbols are integral part of an AAC device and they represent objects, actions and concepts which in turn help user convey his message. AAC symbols can be graphic, auditory or textural according to the needs and ability of the user. Depending on the user’s needs and learning symbols can be increased or decreased.

If you are interested in knowing more about AAC software let us know

Workshops for Special Educators

Sat, 2014-09-06 12:57

During the month of September 2014, two workshops for the teachers in the field of special education was conducted. The first programme was conducted at Rotary Institute for Children in Need Of Special Care, Vazhuthacaud, Trivandrum. 12 teachers were introduced to the new pedagogy of teaching children with special needs.

The second programme which was conducted at Mridula Sparsham, Tripunithura showed new dimensions in teaching special children with the free software. 8 teachers and one parent participated in the programme.

The two programmes have facilitated to prove that technology can be used more effectively to teach children with special needs.

Sensory Room Setup at Insight.

Fri, 2014-03-28 10:56

A Sensory room is launched under Insight project of SPACE in Trivandrum. The room is setup with financial support from SBI Life. Room contain sensory equipments to stimulate visual, audio, and tactile senses.

Sensory rooms are special area with sensory stimulating equipment. The room is used for various sensory integration therapies. Room will contain electronic and non-electronic devices and toys that can provide various stimulations to children. This include, visual, auditory, tactile, motion and olfactory sensations. Sensory Integration Therapies are essential for children with Autism and
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Facility is free for the public. Children in need are provide 30 to 45 minute sessions. For those who would like to make use of the facility can call +91 471 2318997.

ADHD Awareness Programme

Wed, 2013-11-06 14:57

October being ADHD awareness month, an awareness programme was organised on the 28th of this month. Dr. Anil Kumar and Dr. Dinesh of Child Psychiatry of Trivandrum Medical College graced the occasion by their presence. Dr. Anil Kumar, the Guest speaker, apprised the parents about ADHD, its features, different forms of manifestations, its management, medication etc through video. Nearly 20 parents got the rare opportunity to listen to such a dedicated and experienced speaker.

Posters on ADHD were printed to spread awareness about ADHD and its characteristics. It was a purple week for the Centre from 13th to 19th to partake in the ADHD awareness programme.

SPACE at Child Psychiatry Update

Mon, 2013-10-07 14:54

Child Psychiatry update is a regular programme conducted every month by the Psychiatry Department of Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. Doctors, Medical students, other para medical professionals and students and parents of children treated in their department are updated on the latest news and developments in this field through this programme.

On September 30th, 2013, SPACE was given the opportunity to put across their effort in training the differently abled children through Information and communication technology. The comprehensive and novel programme done at SPACE for the overall development of a differently abled child in the areas such as academic performance, cognitive skills, speech, sensory stimulation, motor and cognitive skills through therapeutic exercises and behaviour modification was presented during the programme and it was followed by a demonstration of therapeutic games using technology as a part of occupational therapy. These therapeutic games are helpful in the development of gross motor skills and cognitive skills through playful and interactive way.
Feedback and suggestions from the distinguished members present there were welcomed and a discussion on the new activities that is being carried out at SPACE  was also dicussed.  This was followed by the launching of  evaluation tool for autism both in English and Malayalam.

Onam Celebration, 2013

Thu, 2013-09-26 14:53

Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala was celebrated with great fun and frolic by the differently abled children at SPACE on the 13th  of September. The students got the opportunity to socialize with everyone by rocking one another in the swing.  The celebration was made special by the onakkaligal played by the students.

The games included musical chair, Aadu- puli kali and passing the parcel. The highlight of the day was the onappattu sung by all the students. The parents were also involved in the celebration by  participating in the games. Gifts were given to all students on the occasion to make them special by the Executive Director of SPACE  Mr. Arun.

Training Programme at MRIDULA SPARSHAM, Thrippunnithura

Mon, 2013-09-09 14:51

A training programme was conducted on the 9th of September for the teachers of Mridula Sparsham, a Centre for children with special needs. Four teachers were given training on the educational activities in the free software GCompris, childsplay, Pysycache, Tux math, Tux typing and KLettres. They were also briefed about the activities that could be done online from sites such as, jacob’s lesson, and sheppard software. Custom live CDs of SPACE were given to the centre to help them assist their students in their educational activities.

Snehakkoodu-a Summer Camp for special children

Fri, 2013-05-24 14:49

A summer camp ‘Snehakkoodu’ was organised at Insight centre to nurture creative, intellectual and social skills in special children. 25 students participated in the camp which was held from 22 to 26 April 2013. Activities and games were held to encourage interaction, communication, concentration, besides giving children exposure to various new experiences with the help of technology. An interaction among parents was also held guided by Mr. Brahmanayakam Mahadevan, Patron of Focus Forth India. On the final day the students exhibited their creative talents through a skit titled ‘snehakkoodu’.

Insight observes World Autism Awareness Day

Fri, 2013-05-24 14:41

Insight centre for special children observed Autism Awareness Day on 2 April 2013. It became part of the Light it Up Blue campaign when all the students, parents and teachers arrived at the centre dressed in blue.

Specially made posters were put up at the centre to draw attention to various facts relating to autism. The centre will observe Autism Awareness Month in April and will organise a camp for special children during the month.

Training for the visually impaired in Kannur and Kozhikode

Fri, 2013-05-24 14:40

A month long training programme for the visually challenged got underway in Kannur and Kozhikode districts in April 2013. As part of its efforts to reach out to the visually disabled in the north of Kerala, SPACE networked with Kerala Federation of the Blind (KFB) to organise the programme. In Kannur, the training was held at the KFB unit from 15 April 2013 and at Vocational Training Centre of KFB at Kundayithode in Kozhikode from 17 April 2013. 22 visually challenged students attended the programme.

Psychiatry Department students visit Insight

Wed, 2013-02-27 14:38

20 PG students led by Dr. Nazeer, Social Scientist, Psychiatry Department of Medical College Thiruvananthapuram visited Insight centre at Murinjapalam as a part of their commmunity work on 31 January 2013. Mr. Arun M, Executive Director of SPACE briefed them about the  objectives of Insight and also about the free software used in the centre. Mrs Nila, explained the activities carried out at the centre. The visitors learned first hand how individualised educational plans are carried out for each child at the centre and the methods and approaches of the teachers.

The engineers at SPACE also demonstrated various technologies being developed internally to improve the children’s gross motor skills, attention span and eye hand co-ordination.

Dr Nazeer and his students commended SPACE and Insight centre for actively pursuing various technologies for the benefit of special children. They also extended their support for referral services and intervention programmes for the students at the centre.