A Guide to Dental Care for Children with Autism

Artwork by CreativeSaathi associate Kabir Vernal

Blog submitted by Samantha Litten,
Outreach Coordinator, Byte, Santa Monica, CA, USA, on World Oral hygiene day, 20th March.

Byte connects you to a network of dentists and orthodontists across the United States. Each treatment plan is reviewed and approved by the state-licensed doctor to help ensure you’re a great candidate for clear aligners before you start your journey with them. Visit them here-

Children with autism are likely to suffer many more oral health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease and dental injury, then children without autism. Many autistic kids have sensory sensitivities that make it difficult to maintain an effective oral hygiene routine. These issues may also make visits to the dentist challenging.

Parents and caregivers can do several things to make oral hygiene and dental visits easier for their autistic kids. Implementing behavioral techniques, using autism-friendly dental products, and seeking out dental professionals with specialized knowledge can all help your child with autism maintain good oral health.

Children with Autism Face Increased Oral Health Risks and can face a handful of issues related to their oral health. Among them:

1. They may have difficulty tolerating the sensory inputs involved in brushing and flossing, leading them to skip these necessary tasks.
2. They may engage in behaviors that endanger the teeth and gums, such as head banging and gum picking. 
3. There is some evidence that children with autism also prefer to eat soft, sweet foods.  These types of foods often promote tooth decay. Parents may also give children with autism candies and other sweet foods as rewards for good behavior.
Because of these challenges, these kids are at greater risk of developing many different oral health conditions, including:

●Tooth decay
●Gum disease
●Teeth grinding, especially at night (known as bruxism)
●Traumatic dental injuries
●Orthodontic problems
●The combination of negative habits with the increased likelihood of gum and teeth issues as a result make bi-annual trips to the dentist more of a priority for these children.

General Oral Health Tips
Daily oral hygiene tasks might be more difficult for children with autism, but they are essential for protecting their teeth and gums. Experts at Byte have developed some useful strategies to help children with autism maintain good oral health.

Lead by ExampleLet Them Gradually Take ControlEstablish a RoutineReward Success

1. Show your child how to brush and floss properly with a live demonstration. First, brush and floss your own teeth in front of them, showing them exactly what each step looks like. Then, perform those same action on them, letting them watch what you’re doing in the mirror.

2. Recommended Oral Hygiene Products
Plenty of oral hygiene products on the market can help children with autism address the set of unique struggles they face. Some of these include:

3. Special toothbrushes. Regular toothbrushes may too harsh for kids with autism. Choose a brush with extra soft or silicone bristles for a gentle experience. 

4. Non-foaming or differently flavored toothpaste. Many children with autism find unflavored and non-foaming toothpastes more tolerable than typical mint or cinnamon flavors. Others enjoy child-friendly flavors like fruit punch and bubblegum. 

5. Flavored floss. Many children with autism strongly object to using mint-flavored floss. Have them try out a few different flavors of floss to see if any of them are more acceptable to your child. If none of them work, a water flosser might be better suited to your child’s needs.

6. Timers. Children with autism often want to get brushing over with as soon as possible, so they may struggle to brush for the entire two-minute period that dentists recommend. Offer them some sort of timer to help with this: this could be a small hourglass, a kitchen timer, a stopwatch, or even a built-in timer on their toothbrush.

Visiting the Dentist

Visiting the dentist can be stressful for children with autism. Here are a few ways to make this process easier for both you and your child.

1.Explain What Will Happen in Advance
2.Practice Desensitization
3.Go to the Same Dentist Each Time
4.Bring Comfort Objects
5.Use Reinforcement Rewards
6.Dentists with Special Training

Luckily, there are so many more things parents and caregivers can do to help with day to day oral hygiene and dentist visits. Byte has created a dental health guide for children with autism. Do visit the website and check all the options now:

Author- Samantha Litten
Outreach Coordinator
1556 20th Street, Suite A

Santa Monica, CA 90404

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Kabir Vernal who has drawn a toothfairy which is a featured image for this blog.

BloggerSaathi schoolsaathi

Mainstream, Inclusive or Integrated education what’s best for your child?

Education is a fundamental right of every child, including those with special needs. Education plays a critical role in shaping the lives of children, enabling them to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for success in life. Schools are the primary institutions where children receive formal education, and as such, it is essential to ensure that they provide a safe and conducive learning environment that meets the diverse needs of learners.

In this blog, I will briefly explore the three types of schools – mainstream schools, inclusive schools, and integrated schools – and examine their differences. I will also discuss the best inclusive schools in Noida and the parameters to keep in mind while selecting schools for special needs.

Mainstream schools

Mainstream schools are traditional schools that cater to the needs of typically developing students. These schools focus on providing academic instruction to students and often follow a standardized curriculum. Mainstream schools may offer extracurricular activities such as sports, music, and drama, but the prime focus is mainly on academic achievement.

Mainstream schools typically have a standardized approach to teaching and learning and may not always provide individualized attention to students who require additional support. Mainstream schools often have limited or no resources to support students with special needs, which can make it challenging for these students to access the curriculum fully. They lack a dedicated special needs department and educators who can meet the demands and support of special needs. As a result, students with special needs may struggle to keep up with their peers, leading to low self-esteem and a lack of motivation to learn.

Some mainstream schools do provide admission to a special needs child but they put a demand of hiring a shadow teacher to the parents to support their special needs child in the school premises. So dealing with all the challenges remains the headache of special parents. Hence, if you decide to put your child in Mainstream schools, then do find a dedicated shadow teacher in place who meets your terms and conditions and is willing to play the role of your child’s shadow nicely.

Inclusive schools

Inclusive schools are designed to meet the needs of all students, including those with special needs. Inclusive schools aim to provide a supportive and nurturing learning environment that promotes the academic and social development of all students. Inclusive schools employ a variety of teaching strategies to accommodate the diverse learning styles and abilities of students.

Inclusive schools emphasize collaboration and teamwork among students, teachers, and parents. They promote a culture of respect, tolerance, and acceptance, which helps to build a sense of community among students. Inclusive schools may offer additional resources and support through special educators, shadow staff, enough resource rooms, and learnings materials, different methods such as assistive technology, specialized instruction, setting up individualized goals and following IEP, providing counseling services, to help students with special needs thrive.

Integrated schools

Integrated schools are similar to inclusive schools in that they aim to provide a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students. However, integrated schools take this a step further by integrating students with special needs into mainstream classrooms. In integrated schools, students with special needs receive the same academic instruction as their peers but may receive additional support to help them access the curriculum fully.

Integrated schools aim to break down the barriers that exist between students with special needs and typically developing students. By promoting inclusion and collaboration, integrated schools aim to create a sense of community among students, which helps to build empathy, respect, and acceptance among all students.

So, mainstream schools, inclusive schools, and integrated schools differ in the ways they approach education and meet the needs of their students. Mainstream schools are designed to cater to typically developing students and focus primarily on academic achievement. Inclusive schools aim to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for all students, including those with special needs. Integrated schools take this a step further by integrating students with special needs into mainstream classrooms. By understanding the differences between these types of schools, parents and educators can make informed decisions about which type of school is best suited for their child’s needs

Source of image-

More on Inclusive Education

Inclusive education is a system that aims to provide equal opportunities for children with and without disabilities to learn together in the same classroom. It promotes a sense of belonging, tolerance, and understanding among students, while allowing children with special needs to receive the support they require. Inclusive schools are institutions that cater to the educational needs of children with special needs, in a manner that is sensitive, caring, and empathetic.

In Noida, there are several inclusive schools that are renowned for their academic excellence, as well as their focus on holistic development. Noida, being a rapidly developing city, has numerous schools, and choosing the right one for your child can be a daunting task here for the special parents.

Choosing a school for a special needs child is a challenging and overwhelming process for parents. It’s really important to keep in mind the unique needs of your child and what type of learning environment will best suit them.

Now lets find out what are the various Parameters to Consider while Selecting an Inclusive School ? Here are some important factors that you need to keep in mind while you are preparing your child and yourself to take that leap and putting them in a school. Please not that these factors will vary from child to child, parent to parent and their environment.

1. Consider the Age Factor and Independence Skill Level

When preparing for seeking an admission in a school for a special needs child, parents must consider their child’s age and independence skill level. For younger children, it’s essential to focus on gaining basic skills and milestones perfectly. The school should have a nurturing and supportive environment that can provide individualized attention to each child’s unique needs. As the child grows older, parents should look for a school that can help them develop independence and vocational skills so they can learn to take care of themselves and lead a more fulfilling life.

2. Parents Need to be Proactive

Putting a special needs child in school requires parents to be proactive and 100 percent involved. Teachers in school have to look after all the kids in the class, so it’s up to the parents to ensure that their child’s needs are being met. Parents should attend regular meetings and conversations with the school staff to stay updated on their child’s progress and any issues that may arise. They should also take frequent feedback and reports on their child’s performance in school to identify areas that need improvement.

3. Find the Right School with Experienced Teachers

The school should have experienced teachers who are well-trained in working with special needs children. They should be compassionate and patient, able to understand the unique needs of each child and provide individualized attention accordingly. The school should also have a strong support system in place, including specialized therapists, psychologists, and support staff who can provide additional support as and when needed.

4. Look for a School with an Inclusive Environment

Parents should look for a school that promotes an inclusive environment, where special needs children can learn and interact with other children. This helps in building social skills and emotional well-being. Inclusive schools can also help reduce the stigma associated with special needs children, leading to a more accepting and empathetic society. The school should have an inclusive culture that fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance among all students, regardless of their abilities.

5. Proper Inclusive Policy

The school’s inclusion policy should be transparent, being accessible to the parents as a soft or hard copy. It should focus on providing equal opportunities for all children, regardless of their abilities. It should encourage a positive attitude towards diversity and foster an environment where every student feels valued and respected.

6. Infrastructure

The school should have facilities that cater to the needs of all children, including those with special needs. It should have wheelchair accessibility, accessible washrooms, and ramps. The classrooms should be spacious and well-lit, with enough natural light.The school should have a well-maintained resource room and classrooms, equipped with modern facilities that are accessible to children with special needs. This includes ramps, lifts, wide doors, accessible toilets, and classrooms that are spacious and well-lit. Visual cues and information on different places should also be given.

7. Special Education

The school should have a special education program that provides personalized support to children with disabilities. The program should be designed to cater to the specific needs of each child, and the teachers in Special Education department should have specialized training in working with children with special needs.

8. Teaching Staff

The teaching staff should be trained in inclusive education and should have experience working with children with special needs. They should be compassionate and patient, and they should encourage a positive learning environment for all students.

9. Co-curricular Activities

The school should have a wide range of co-curricular activities that cater to the interests of all children, including those with special needs. These activities should be inclusive, and the school should ensure that every child can participate in them.

10. Curriculum

The school’s curriculum should be designed to cater to the needs of children with special needs, with a focus on practical learning, sensory integration, and social skills development.

11. Teacher-student ratio

A low teacher-student ratio ensures that your child receives personalized attention, and that their learning needs are catered to in a manner that is sensitive and empathetic.

12. Staff qualifications in SEN department

The school should have a team of trained and experienced special educators, therapists, and support staff, who can provide individualized support to your child.

13. Distance of school from your home

This is a very crucial factor which needs to be kept in mind while choosing a school as our kids takes time in dressing up and daily routine work, they do have sleep issues and may not wake up early, so whether a distant school which starts at 7:30 or 8 am and for that you need to start at around 6:30 will be a good option for your child?

14. Ensure the School has Adequate Resources

Another critical factor to consider when choosing a school for your special needs child is the availability of necessary resources- like fidget toys, self-regulation materials and enough assisted learning materials. The school should have adequate resources to support the needs of special needs children. This includes assistive technology, special education programs, and therapies. Parents should ensure that the school has a well-equipped and accessible learning environment to promote the child’s learning and development.

Fidgety resources and self-regulation materials such as stress balls, fidget spinners, clay dough, slime and sensory toys, can help children with sensory processing issues regulate their emotions and behavior. Providing these resources in the classroom or in a seperate resource room can help children stay focused, calm, and engaged in learning activities. They can be used as a reinforcement from time to time. By working together with teachers and other professionals in the school, you can help ensure that your child receives the best possible resources during the school hours.

15. Provision of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

One crucial aspect to consider when choosing a school for your special needs child is the provision of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

An IEP is a written document that outlines the specific educational goals and objectives for a child with a disability. It is designed to help teachers, parents, and other professionals work together to create a customized education plan that meets the unique needs of the child. A well-crafted IEP sets clear goals and outlines the necessary support and resources required to help your child achieve them. Setting up goals is a key aspect of creating an environment that supports the education of special needs children. Goals should be specific, measurable, and achievable, with a clear timeline for achieving them. The process of setting and achieving goals helps children build self-confidence and develop important life skills such as problem-solving and decision-making.

16. Provision of visual schedules and structure:

Visual schedules and a structured environment are an essential tool for children with special needs. They provide a clear visual representation of the day’s activities, allowing the child to better understand the sequence of events and transition between activities more smoothly. Visual schedules can help reduce anxiety and improve overall behavior in the classroom. These tools and resources are essential for creating an environment that supports the unique needs of your child and helps them thrive academically and socially. So do check on this factor while initial interactions with the staff and teachers of the school where you’re seeking admission for your child.

So, choosing a school for a special needs child requires careful consideration and planning. Parents need to keep in mind the above factors, and match them to the unique needs of their child. They should also be proactive and involved in their child’s education, attend regular meetings with the school staff, take feedback and reports on their child’s progress, and ensure that the school has experienced teachers, an inclusive environment, and adequate resources.

Some of the best inclusive/integrated schools in Noida which take admissions of special needs kids include:

Genesis Global School
Kothari International school
The Millennium School sec-119
Step by Step
Lotus Valley School
Shiv Nadar school
Jaypee School
Bal Bharti public school
Manav Rachna School
Amongst others.

Some mainstream schools do take admissions of special needs kids if they find them perfect enough to bear the mainstream school environment pressure,  they may ask the parents to provide a shadow teacher for kids support.

Example of such mainstream schools are
Global Indian International school
Delhi Public School
Khaitan School

When selecting an inclusive school, parents of special needs children should take an active role in the decision-making process. They should visit the school, meet with the staff, and ask questions about the school’s policies and practices. They should also speak to other parents of special needs children who have experience with the school, to get a better understanding of its strengths and weaknesses.

Planning of admission-
Now, one of the most important factors in the planning of the admission process to keep in mind is:

1. Timingwhen should parents start planning for their child’s admission, and what should they keep in mind throughout the process?

Timing is key when it comes to special education admissions. In general, parents should start thinking about their child’s educational needs and researching potential schools as early as possible. The exact timing of admission forms and interactions can vary depending on the school or program, but many schools begin accepting applications in the month of October or November for the next academic year.

It’s important for parents to do their research and understand the timeline for admission at the schools they’re considering. This may involve reaching out to school administrators or front desk, visiting the school’s website to gather information. Many schools also hold open houses or information sessions for prospective families, which can be a great opportunity to learn more about the admissions process and ask any questions.

Once parents have identified potential schools, they’ll need to fill the admission forms, navigate the assessment and personal interaction rounds that are typically part of the admissions process. These rounds are designed to evaluate the child’s needs and determine whether the school is a good fit. It’s important for parents to approach these rounds with a positive attitude and be prepared to advocate for their child’s needs.

One key point to keep in mind during assessments and interactions is to be honest and upfront about the child’s abilities and challenges. Schools need accurate information in order to make an informed decision about whether they can meet the child’s needs. Parents may also want to bring any relevant documents or assessments to the meeting, such as medical records or educational evaluations. Provide all the detailed reports, and assessments previously done.

2. Collaborative effort between the parents and the school

Another important consideration is to approach the admissions process as a collaborative effort between the parents and the school. Schools want to work with parents to create an educational plan that meets the child’s needs, and parents should be willing to listen to the school’s recommendations and work together to develop a plan that will help their child thrive.

The length of the admissions process can vary depending on the school and the child’s needs. Some schools may be able to make a decision relatively quickly, while others may require multiple rounds of assessments and interactions. It’s important for parents to be patient and understanding throughout the process, and to remember that finding the right educational setting for their child is a journey that may take some time.

Parents of special needs children should start planning for their child’s educational needs as early as possible, and be prepared to navigate the admissions process with a positive and collaborative mindset. By doing their research, being honest about their child’s needs, and approaching the process as a partnership with the school, parents can help ensure that their child finds a school that meets their unique needs and sets them up for success.

**Please note an important point that it’s easy to select and make choices for different schools when you’re opting an admission for your child in pre- nursery or nursery class. For these two initial preparatory classes in formative years of early education, all the schools take admissions whole-heartedly. However, as soon as child reach in kindergarten and further in grade 1 or grade 2 the admission for special needs kids becomes very difficult. Moreover, most of the inclusive schools they do not take admissions for the kids with special needs after nursery grade. So, make an informed decision by taking opinions, meeting school staff, visiting them and doing a perfect research.

So, concluding this blog, by mentioning that selecting a school for your child can be a challenging task, but with the right information and guidance, you can make an informed decision that will help your child thrive. By keeping in mind the parameters mentioned above and working closely with the school, you can ensure that your child receives the support and education they need to reach their full potential.

Hope you all find this blog useful and make an informed decision while choosing the school for your little one. Thank you !!

Author Shilpi Mayank Awasthi

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Dhairya Kumar Pal


How to remove learning protectors in children

If, despite constant efforts, your child repeats the same mistakes over and over again during his studies, it is not advisable to reprimand the child negligently. He may suffer from discrimination learning problem. Here’s what Disorder has to learn.

What is the reason?

Learning in children can be due to a number of reasons, some of which are as follows:

1. If a parent or close blood relative has this problem, the child may also have learning disabilities.

2. Sometimes problems can arise due to disturbances in the structure of the brain or nervous system like neurological causes.

3. A child may also suffer from a head injury or injury during birth.

Treat symptoms

1. A child with this disorder is recognized only when he begins to read and write.

Children with this problem often fail to recognize and write letters or numbers and read down backwards. For example, such children sometimes write their copy, T or T to 3A B to D, P to Q or P. Parents do not take such mistakes seriously initially. But when the child repeats the same mistake again, it is important to understand that there is a problem with the child’s decision to learn.

3. If such children are known, the spell goes back and forth. Such children sometimes write + instead of +.

4. While reading, the child sometimes skips whole lines or misses some words or letters when writing from a book.

5. It is not necessary that a child is emotionally red-handed with this problem.

6. Such children feel a lack of confidence in people.

7. Such children face various pressures at home and school. So their anger is more. Often such children become stressed, depressed and irritable.

8. If a child makes more mistakes in writing or math, it does not mean that such children always suffer from learning disorders. Many times children can make such mistakes due to poor eyesight, hearing difficulties, negligence of parents and teachers.

Even if the above symptoms appear in the child, you should not assume that the child is suffering from a learning disability without conducting a mental test.

How-to guide

1. Raising such a child requires a lot of patience. Learning should be made by frequent mistakes.

2. Never compare your child with other children. There will be a feeling of inferiority.

3. Keep meeting with your child’s teacher to make them aware of the problem so that they are not subjected to unnecessary scolding or humiliation.

4. Get new information about new teaching techniques and methods of teaching such children through books or internet.

5. Sometimes such children are weak in research but need some creative talent. If your child has a special ability, encourage him to move forward.

If parents and teachers are properly guided while being aware of the child’s intellectual development from the beginning, children with this problem can lead a normal life.

Sradhanjali Dasgupta

Consultant Psychologist, Speaker , Learning Developmental Coach, Teacher and trainer Miss. Sradhanjali Dasgupta has been extensively working in the field of Counselling and education for the past few years in several Clinics, Hospitals, NGOs and educational sectors. She also contributes her writings and blogs in various newspapers, magazines and e- magazines Her training and workshops are both for the corporate as well as for the educational sector and are geared up for learning and development,upgradation and capacity building. She have actively taken part in many debates

Artwork by CreativeSaathi associate
Morpheus Nag

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Morpheus Nag.



Registered Special Educator (A64010)

Speech and Language are two separate entities, even though more often than not, we tend to substitute one for the other. While Speech refers to the physical aspect, production of sounds etc, language involves the cognitive component (the syntax, grammar, ideas etc).

While we tend to associate Speech with Communication, speech alone, will not lead to communication. A lot of children on the Autism Spectrum, for example, may have speech, but they might not be able to communicate even their basic needs, through words that they know/ have in their repository. The primary focus, must be on developing Communication for the child. That can be done through various methods

—Hanen, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), Sign Language, AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) such as the Avaz app, S2C (Spelling 2 Communicate), RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) etc.

In children with Autism, we also tend to see evidence of Speech Apraxia, where there is a disconnect between the physical production of speech and their cognitive capabilities. While they may have an intact grammatical structure of words, they might be unable to reproduce that via speech.

Today, I would like to briefly touch upon GLP (Gestalt Language Processing) and Autism and especially my journey with it, so far. I will write a more detailed piece on its various stages etc, in a later blog.

Language Acquisition is usually seen as a Bottom-Up approach: a child begins to pick up sounds, then moves on to babbling, then single words, phrases, sentences, storytelling etc. By kindergarten/preschool, the child usually reaches this stage. This is also called Analytic Processing.

But there is another approach called the Gestalt Language Processing, wherein the Language Processing is Top Down. The child picks up entire phrases and sentences and then learns to mitigate it by breaking the “script” /whole phrases to add other words/phrases, to finally be able to self-generate language (which might not be grammatically correct initially, but may later evolve to achieve grammatical fluency.

Gestalt Language Processing is often seen as “Delayed Echolalia” and it is seen in both neurotypical children, as well as individuals with Autism.
This approach basically believes that there is a “communication intent”. That everything that is spoken by a child is done with an intent. No utterance /speech is meaningless. Everything is spoken with a certain understanding and is an effort to communicate.
So, is Gestalt Language Processing, a new thing? It is not. The first studies on it, were conducted in the early 1980s, but it was widely believed that children used both Analytic and Gestalt Language Processing (GLP), to process language. One of the reasons, GLP has gained attention recently, according to a blog “The Informed SLP”, is the sudden spate of pieces written by Autistic advocates, against Behaviour Therapy (BT) and their belief that BT puts an emphasis on changing how individuals with Autism, communicate with others. For a long time, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) chose to ignore “scripts” spoken by individuals with Autism, as they considered them to be “meaningless”.
It is for us to figure out what it might be that the child is trying to covey through their “scripts”. Some of them, may be quite obvious to us, some others might not be.

Meaningful Speech- (an entity based in the US) carries out online courses on Natural Language Acquisition for Gestalt Language Processors. They have courses for both Speech Therapists as well as Parents and Special Educators.

I will cite an example of Gestalt Language Processing given in one of their videos. A child, while paying with stickers, during a therapy session kept saying “Oh! The truck has a flat tyre”. On the basis of her previous interactions with the child, the therapist could join the dots and make the connection that what the child meant to say, was that the sticker was “stuck” and she was unable to take it out. The phrase “Oh! The truck has a flat tyre” was from a You Tube video that the child often watched, that showed a truck with a flat tyre, that was “stuck”.
So, while, on the surface, the phrase “Oh! The truck has a flat tyre” may seem “meaningless” and unrelated to the situation at hand, digging a little deeper revealed that the child had used that phrase in a meaningful manner and it was a communication with intent. So, the gestalt (the echolalic phrase), the child used was absolutely perfect, taken in context.

As a parent of an 11 yr old on the Autism Spectrum, who is also quite echolalic, I have realized that learning about Gestalt Language Processing, has been a significant game changer for me, especially in the manner I view his communication, now. Since reading and learning more about it, I have begun to look at all his communication via the lens of GLP and I have realized how much of his valuable communication, I was missing out on, before.

For example, Kabir was taught to express pain through the words “dukhu, dukhu”, “it is hurting”, and point to the throat/ body part that was causing pain. It took us a while to join the dots, but we realized that often when he was scolded, he would say “dukhu dukhu, it is hurting”/”throat is hurting”, when there was no visible distress in his throat. What he meant to say, while using this phrase, was that he was “feeling hurt”, that we scolded him. So he basically learned to generalize that phrase/script and began to use it, to communicate when his feelings were also being hurt ! In another incident, one day Kabir, banged his forehead on the wall. When I asked him why he did that, he said “Slow motion. Accident happened”. There is an episode of Thomas and Friends, where the train meets with an accident, and it says “I cant’t stop! I can’t stop!. Perhaps, what Kabir was trying to say was that, it was an accident, and he could not stop himself from banging his head on the wall.

I, now meticulously maintain a log of all his utterances, and more often than not, he seems to be using the scripts in the correct context. Once we begin to see the potential of echolalic phrases as a means of communication, it changes how we fundamentally view communication.

This was a very brief introduction to Gestalt Language Processing. I will do a more detailed piece on it, later.

For further information and reading, please refer to the following resources: (for courses on GLP)
Northern Speech Services (They have a three Module course on Natural Language Acquisition for Gestalt Language Processors.

It is almost similar to the course available on the website. And they have tons of other courses on Speech and Language)
Book: Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: The Journey from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language by Marge Blanc, M.A., CCC-SLP, 2012 (This book is only available on the Northern Speech Services website).
Author Triveni Goswami Vernal
Triveni Goswami Vernal is an Autism advocate, registered Special Educator (CRR A64010) and an Independent Researcher. Her areas of interest include Autism, Disability Rights, Gender, Art and Northeast studies. She is a mum to an 11 year old on the Autism Spectrum.

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Kabir Vernal. Since the above article talks about Top-Down and Bottom -Up processing, Kabir’s artwork featured in this blog uses the same approachin its creation. Medium used is-
Soft Oil Pastels on Watercolor and Paper-
Postcard Size




Hello Friends.

Continuing with the ‘Financial Planning for Special Needs Families’ Series, in today’s blog I am discussing about Special Needs Private Trust. This blog is an overview about Trusts. I will be discussing various aspects of Trust in upcoming blogs.

Parents of special needs children are all the time haunted by insecurities as to what will happen to their child after they are no more. Accordingly, they want to ensure that their child is able to lead a financially independent and dignified life after they are gone.

Private Trust is an effective financial tool in such cases which takes care that the assets are properly looked after by the Trustees for the benefit of the Beneficiary and a secure future is created for the child.

As per the Indian Trust Act, a Family Private Trust can be set up by Parents, Grandparents or Legal guardians of the child. When a Private Trust is formed, the special needs child is the ‘Beneficiary’ of this trust. The Person who sets up the Trust (usually Parent) is the ‘Settlor’ and identifies ‘Trustees’ who will manage the assets of this Trust for the benefit of child.

While setting up a Trust, it is very important to estimate the lifetime care cost of your special needs child as it will help to understand how much funds or assets should be transferred to the Trust. These funds should be enough to manage the child’s affairs and bear the cost of trust if any.

Sharing some important points to help in understanding the structure of Private Trust.


Section 8 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 defines “Trust” is as an instrument used for safeguarding the interest of the Settlor and safeguarding beneficiaries, majorly minors and those who are unable to protect their interests.


Author/Settlor – person giving the property or creating the trust
Trustee – holds the property for another’s benefit and manage the trust funds as per the trust deed. Minimum 2 trustees are needed and it is recommended to include legal guardian as trustee.
Beneficiary – person for whose benefit trust if created/in whose favour the property is bequeathed
Trust property – Movable and immovable property used for the benefit of Beneficiary
Trust Deed – A legal document validating the setting up of a private trust. A Trust Deed lays down provisions regarding the rules and powers of the trustees, management of funds, dos and don’ts, income distribution to the beneficiary, the winding up of trust, etc.

Special needs trust
– Beneficiary receives 100% of the share of income
– Trust dissolves only on the demise of the beneficiary or when the purpose for which the trust was created is achieved
– Income earned by the trust is utilised for the benefit of the special needs beneficiary, such benefits being spelt out in the trust deed

Laws governing Private Trust
– Indian Trusts Act 1882
– Income Tax Act 1961

Above is the overview about Special Needs Private Trust. Hope you find it useful.You can read more about Trust on which is a financial information desk for special needs families.
Feel free to connect with me on WhatsApp number +91 9910353219 or email

Author Shivani Lohia

Shivani Lohia is a Chartered Accountant by profession and mother to 8 years old child on the autism spectrum. The cause of autism awareness is very close to her heart and she strongly believes in equal education for all & strongly advocates inclusion. She has been homeschooling her son since he was 5 years old.

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Nikhil Thotam