A mega talent competition CARNIVAL 2001 for Children with special needs, in various skill areas was organized in September 2001. About 600 children from more than 25 institutions took part in the competitions.25 mt dash, bursting the balloon with hands, Hat race for children below 8 years50 mt dash, obstacle race, soft ball throw, for children 8 to 12 years of age.100 mt running, obstacle race, blow and burst the balloon for children 12 to 16 years100 mt .running, 50mt sack race & Shot put for all children above 16 years of age.50 mt.dash, 100mt.walk for those above 35 years.Hand ball (boys), Basket ball (girls), Volleyball (mixed), soccer l - 5 a side (boys), andVolleyball for the visually- impaired.These children included those with Downs syndrome, Autism, ADD, Cerebral Palsy, visual-and hearing - impairment and those with orthopedic problems.They showcased their oratorical skills, recitation, singing, dancing, painting, general knowledge and quizzing capabilities – proving that they are good and useful citizens of society.A mega talent competition ABILITY 2002 for Children with special needs, in various skill areas was organized on September 13 and 14, 2002. About 400 children from more than 25 institutions took part in the competitions.Around 200 students - cerebral palsied, autistic, Downs Syndrome, and slow learners- took part in competitions of recitation from Athichudi, Thirukkuraland the like on the 13th. Other events scheduled for that day were singing, dancing, painting and general knowledge tests.A like number, about 200, participated in the next day's events on the 14th. The day was devoted to students with visual and hearing impairment and physical disabilities, and the events held that day included short speeches from the students on pollution and non use of plastics, apart from singing, dancing, and drawing competitions.A sports meet for Special Children, titled Chennai Olympics, was conceived and organized by Parvathy Viswanath, founder-director of AIKYA, and the director of Tamilnadu chapter of Sivus International.Special Olympics was held on January 25, 2003 at YMCA Grounds, Nandanam, Chennai. About 850 special children from 25 Institutions of Chennai participated in the sports meet. The theme of this event was "Sports - Recreation for some, Therapy for others"
AIKYA's 20 years with Special Children
AIKYA’s 20 years with Special Kids ADHD, AUTISM, DOWN’S SYNDROME, CEREBRAL PALSY
The story It all began in 1980. Ms. Parvathy Viswanath’s second son Prabhu was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome. Parvathy Viswanath was not cowed down by fate. She became a psychologist and got trained to be a Special Educator.
AIKYA was born in 1990 With her new skills, Ms. Parvathy helped her son. She was also keen to help other Special Children. So she started AIKYA – Centre to Integrate the Different, in Chennai in 1990.
AIKYA Means Integration in Sanskrit The concept of integration is integral to everything that AIKYA school stands for - integration of special children into mainstream society. Especially in the context of the social stigma that is wrongfully attached to mentally disabled persons.
Mission of AIKYA Provide Special children with an opportunity to access an educational environment that enables them to reach their maximum potential.
Vision of AIKYA AIKYA’s vision is to enhance the quality of life of children with special needs through education and training to enable them to achieve their fullest potential and Integrate them into the mainstream.
AIKYA Target Crowd Children with any developmental delay or learning disability. Autistic children are able to understand what is spoken to them, but they are slow in learning to speak. (AUTISM) Dyslexic children are weak in the 3Rs – reading, writing, and arithmetic. They are branded as lazy as they are not interested in studies. Children with ADHD are restless, don’t complete tasks, interrupt others, over talkative, and aggressive.
Programmes at AIKYA Early Intervention Programmes for Children with delayed development (0-3 Years) Special School, Day Care Centre for children of 3-16 years Pre – vocational training for children above 15 years Training and counseling for parents of children with special needs Short term training courses for parents and volunteers
Grouping of Special Kids Due to the diverse needs of the children, the children are grouped according to their special needs, level of functioning and potential. All children have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). High Functioning Child – focus on Developing Cognitive Skills . Moderately Disabled - referred to Day Activity Centres and Sheltered Workshops. Focus is placed on adaptive living and pre-vocational skills. For the more severely disabled, work on their functional skills is seen as a priority so that children could be as independent as possible.
Early Intervention Programmes (EIP) EIP aims to give infants and young children with special needs( age 0-3 years) a head start to help them in their development. There are 3 levels within EIP - Infant Stimulation, Motor Training and Special Education. Depending on the level of the child, EIP aims to help facilitate the development of gross motor, fine motor, perceptual- cognitive, language, socialization, and self-help skills.
Paper Presentation in Canada Ms. Parvathy presented a paper in Canada about Early Intervention and won the first prize.
Vocational Training At present, many people with Special Needs are idle, work in sheltered workshops or work a few hours every week. Their earnings do not reflect their capabilities. Vocational Training Programme prepares students for learning skills that are necessary to pursue an occupation. Training is imparted in Typing, Computer, Tailoring, Block printing, jewellery making, Manufacture of candles, incense
Speech Therapy Speech Therapist works with people who stutter, have fluency and rhythm problems, inappropriate pitch, or harsh voice and speech quality problems.
Recreation AIKYA organizes, conducts, and administers therapeutic recreation and leisure programs designed to assist in rehabilitation of persons with development disabilities. Music, games like lego, dance, yoga, storytelling, are some of the recreation activities at AIKYA.
Achievements of AIKYASince establishment in 1990, thenumber of beneficiaries of theactivities and special programs ofAIKYA are quite innumerable.Rehabilitation of 700 mentallychallenged children aged 0-3 yrsthrough Early InterventionProgramme (between 1990 – 2003)
Achievements of AIKYAIn addition, every year 30 children learn at AIKYA DayCare Centers at Chennai Dhaya school, Cuddalore Doha
Achievements of AIKYA Trained around 300 parents – through workshops, seminars and training programme - totaling 3600 parents Trained Around 150 students from various Women’s colleges, namely Women’s Christian College, SIET Women’s College, Meston College, Stella Maris College, and a Special School named MITHRA School for the mentally- Handicapped, through field placement IPP training programmes totaling 1800 beneficiaries.
Achievements of AIKYA Around 800 Children through Interschool Competitions Krishna Jayanthi celebrations –1991- 1999 Special Children’s Carnival –2001 Ability 2002 Chennai Olympics 2003 Sangamam 2004 – Limca Book of Records Naveena Suyamvaram Job Fairs for Disabled
Participation in World Cup 2002 Two special children from Tamilnadu were trained in football, and sent as representatives of Tamilnadu to take part in World Cup 2002 Football Championship held in Osaka, Japan, in August 2002.
Special Olympics – Valedictory Function On a special function held on 27th January 2003, at which Mr.Vijay Amritraj, former Indian tennis star, and a prominent official of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), felicitated the "Chennai Olympians".
AIKYA helps in employability Children trained at AIKYA are now employed gainfully at boutiques, showrooms, hotels and food chains, a tool making company. They weave, make party plates, bags. At middle-school level, many are taken into ordinary schools like Lady Andal’s In high school, most return to AIKYA, opting to go through the National Open School certification. AIKYA has started schools in Cuddalore and Virudhachallam which are managed by the parents of the respective towns
Awards for Ms. Parvathy Viswanath Woman of the Year 2000 award from American Biographical Institute Whos Who Professional She was nominated as a board member of the Tamilnadu Welfare Board for the Disabled
Other Activities of AIKYA New Born Screening Self Advocacy workshop Community of Practice for Disabled
What can You do for AIKYA You can be a volunteer at AIKYA. You can be a donor and give money or things. You can organize recreational activities like dance, story telling and more. You can buy AIKYA products and showcase AIKYA products at mega events you are a part of. You can tell about AIKYA to everyone you meet and be our evangelist.
Thank You Children who need love the most will always ask for it in the most unloving ways. (Russell Barkley). So, love your Special Child!