Importance of Visual support for the special needs Children.
Visual schedule and supports help a special need person to improve their skills, in processing information, to understand language and interact meaningfuly with their environment through a better communication with predictiblity.
Author- Monika Misra
Monika Misra Founder of Deific Skill Portal, Lucknow Special Educator at sunrise learning, Noida. Parent counsellor at Kant Brain Center, Lucknow.
Bhuvaneshwari Kartikeyan – Changemakersaathi for December
The Two Worlds
I have been spending my last 2 decades in two different worlds, one, as a default of being born in and the other, a choice I took to spend my time in, which has now grown into my passion….
Since my graduation in a mundane commerce stream [like so many others of my age], I was shown the world of AUTISM by an already enlightened colleague of mine, since then I have not looked back!! Not only has my life changed for the better, but, it has also touched the lives of my immediate family and close acquaintances and made it a beautiful way to live and view it. All along, to me, it was very obvious that the ‘regular’ world and its inmates neither had the time nor the inclination to know the ‘other’ special world.
The 2 worlds had an invisible wall between them, with doors for entry into but no exit from one to the other!!
I could see that the inmates of the special world [including that of the caregivers] were found to be ever cheerful and ever giving what little they had, freely to those of who asked of them and never complaining but all absorbed in their ‘own’ special world, while their ‘regular’ counterparts were pitying and giving an unhearing ear to the owes and pains of the unknown world that they soon preferred to put away from their minds preferring to be absorbed by their own selfish and petty needs and worries…
At one point in my life, I was fortunate enough to be involved in a 3 month UNESCO project with the silent and ever striving NGO- ROSHNI, RKA, Gwalior whose aim was to narrow the divide between the 2 worlds through providing with personal care and training to the world of ‘special’ inmates and also to enrich and empower the ‘regular’ world about the ‘special’ needs and how to handle them within their given powers, capacity and time.
Thus, with a common mission and trained staff along with a receptive group of 20 regular school teachers, ROSHNI and UNESCO with the 20 selected and enthusiastic school teachers put their heads together resulting in an enriching experience that concluded with heightened moral, spiritual and educated values that have transformed and touched every one of the participants in a unique way for the better.
Starting from the view that the ‘regular’ world had no ear or heart for the ‘special’… to the view that the ‘special’ would not fit into the ‘regular’ world …this unique team and its mixed members realized that, once the invisible ‘wall’ was pulled down and a little time and effort put into the situation there was only hope, success, self respect, heightened self esteem and happiness for all involved on both sides of the ‘wall’.
One learnt that both sides had a lot to teach and learn from each other giving a wholesomeness that thus far, did not exist in anyone before this enlightenment occurred along the way. Thus many children viewed as being ill behaved were discovered to have had issues with coping with the various expectations while many teachers wanting to help but not knowing how to were now empowered on how to read the warning signs and how to remedy the issue without obviously doing so, well in time before further damage could be caused to the psychic of the child’s mind, spirit and body, to mention the least if at all any….
I would like to humbly conclude that, missions like these will and should go on for ever, with missionaries who will come and go during the time; goals that will and should change according to need; so will the time taken for the needed change vary with the intensity of the goal; more ‘walls’ will be torn down between differences and more humanity brought out within each mankind during the process of change that takes place each time.
MRS BHUVANESHWARI KARTIKEYAN DSE-ASD
Creative representation for the ChangemakerSaathi story “The Two Worlds” is done by a supertalented CreativeSaathi associate Ansh Batra whose 2 paintings depicts 2 different worlds.
MRS BHUVANESHWARI KARTIKEYAN Profilesummary
Mrs Bhuvaneshwari Karthikeyan has worked as special educator in –
• BLOOMING BUDS SCHOOL Noida(2000-2001): Training children in age 3-4 years for Nursery and L.K.G .School admissions. • ASD Center, Spastics Society of Karnataka Bangalore (2002-2003): As Volunteer worked with ASD children with facilitated communication board on academics. • DSE-ASD Course (2003-04): Individualized Planning / Group Teaching on (a) Sensory integration (b) Behaviour modification (c) Social skills training (d) Communication through PECS and MEKETON Sign • Special Educator in Spastic Society of Karnataka: (a) Class teacher to 9 children from 2004-2007 with mixed Disabilities CP (Verbal / Non-Verbal), LD, MR (+Microcephaly), ADHD (Verbal), Muscular Distrophy (Duncchen)
(b) ADL Training individually to Autistic / Non-Verbal / Blind child of 09 years between 2005 and 2006. (c) Aided a Microcephaly low vision child of 11 years in tactile sense enhancement and pre-vocational skill training. (d) Counseling parents for better understanding between child-mother, social issues support, continuity of class taught concepts at home.
(e) Record Maintenance / IEP / Annual reports per child per year of all programmes implemented / planned / covered. (f) Curriculum dealt with pre-learning skills in language / number skills / Behaviour- social skills / gross fine motor sills / EVS / independent skills / sensorial concept learning / communication through AAC picture symbol charts to age group of 5-13 years. • Worked as special educator in ROSHNI, Ramakrishna Ashrama between 01 July 2007 and 12 April 2008. (a) Educating the Autistic students [verbal and nonverbal] on Pre-Learning Skills in Language (Expressive and Receptive), Number Skills, Behaviour (Social Skills), Environmental Studies Skills, Independent Life Skills, Sensorial Concept Learning, Alternative means of Communication through PECS and Communication Board suiting their specific needs in mainly a one to one set up besides taking them in a group situation at times. The age of children varying from 3 to 15 years. (b) Assessing Educational Needs of Children with ASD, CP, MR and Multiple Disabilities (Age 0-7 years) in the Early Intervention Group. (c) Maintaining monthly, 6 monthly and annual reports of each child (individual and group session). (d) Preparing outline of IEP Format and Annual Report for the 3 groups functioning in the school i.e. Early Intervention group, Primary Group and the Vocational Group covering all the developmental areas required to be addressed for these groups. (e) Involved in Coordinating and Conducting Workshops as a Resource Person on behalf of ROSHNI [being a STATE NODAL AGENCY PARTNER of National Trust] for Mainstream Teachers and Special Parents supported by the Volkart Foundation and the National Trust throughout the year on various topics concerning with Inclusive Education and Special Teaching Techniques. (f) Being part of a UNESCO Project that involved in making an Indian Adapted Version Of The Teachers’ Guide For Inclusive Education. The scope of work involved identifying 16 schools in the mainstream teaching to participate in workshops, training a selected representative of the school to try out the UNESCO’s teachers’ guide on any special child in their class / school and see whether the guide works in the Indian set-up or not and if so, what does and what doesn’t. This involved visiting the 16 schools and observing the special child in his / her classroom setup, check their note books, the layout of the classroom, for any changes and give remedial to the teachers on how to handle the child, record an IEP for the child concerned and support the teacher in changing her teaching methods to make inclusion work, finally rewriting the Teachers’ Guide and coming out with an Indian version of the same. • Worked as Special Educator in Udhavi, Connoor, Nilgiris between Jul 08 and Apr 09. Involved with the assessment and formulation of programmes for children with Autism and Cerebral Palsy between ages of 10 and 12. • Aided in starting a parent run special group called SPARRSH (yet to be registered) of 7 children (aged between 3 and 12 years). Supported them in daily conduct of sessions on language / communication / academics / social / behavior / ADL / motar skills from Jun 09 to Nov 09 on a One-to-One basis as well as group.
->Cosy cots 2009-2010 Dwaraka Special school she focused on academics ADLs training communication and yoga.
->2010- 2011 Asha school, Base Hospital New Delhi 26 ASD MR and CP kids from age 5 to 18 years One to one sessions and group on SI, gross motor, Fine motor, ADLs, expressive and receptive language,pottery, computers, speech,cognitive and perception sessions PT meets,REPORT CARD FORMATING AND ASSESSMENT FORMATS COMPILED, upgrading of services for ASD kids already existing in school but denied to ASD kids due to stereotyping ensured Integrated socializing and play therapy inculcated into the school system ,sports day and its practice sessions
->2011-2013 Spastic Society Karnataka second tenure as prevocational skills, functional literacy and basic living skills training,physio therapy, communication, social skills and practical training in cooking shopping sight word literacy and survival
–>2016-2017 Abhilasha school secunderabad mixed disabilities with basic skills training and academics in group Online free one to one specific home management tips on go and individual forums from2018 still ongoing.
–>In kanpur chakeri under AFFWA as president AFFWA (local) 2021-2022 reopened 4 schools(2 kindergarten schools..one underprivileged school and one special school…) closed during covid and kept them running to full strength from maintenance of buildings and grounds play and education equipment to recruiting of teachers training them with teaching capsules and log book and IEP trainings and record maintenance ,SI,physio therapy,hearing and sign language training Integrated inclusive education.New Education policy and RTI into the 4 schools intake and daily running of classes.
->Trained special kids and teachers in alternative methods of communication vocational training in masala making..Candle making.. paper bags..greeting cards…jewelry making tailoring.
Travelling, learning and therapy– a homeschooling series by Manju K Iyer
We have come from Gurgaon to Mumbai visiting my sister in Vasai after a long gap after lockdown. I made this visit for 45 days. After coming here, I decided that we will explore nearby areas on foot. As I am homeschooling my daughter, staying at a relative’s place and exploring the neighbourhood areas was a part of my plan to build a base for learning because for her walking itself is a big task and also a beautiful co-regulation activity.
We went to many places in the past week like a temple, a pond, a church, a market, an exhibition on different days. Daily walking in the day time gathering some vitamin D from our favourite Suryadev.
Yesterday, I thought let’s try the areas nearby Vasai station to see if there will be something to shop as well as learning for Lavanya. As its far away we took an auto. On the way I saw a Gurdwara, I instantly decided, this is the learning spot for us today. I had never gone to a Gurdwara before this. As we entered the gate Lavanya spotted a poster on the wall which spoke about the proper dress code. So now the challenge was whom to ask if we are still allowed as we did not have a dupatta to cover our heads. Luckily some volunteers were doing seva in a group. I pushed Lavanya to go and ask them help. Before she went they themselves approached and guided us to a lady volunteer who helped us wear cloth on head and guided us on how to pray and shared meaning of whole mantra they say. Lavanya had conversations with her as she caries a curious mind with her which makes her ask lot of questions. In the process Lavanya got lot of oppotunities to talk to total strangers and some socialisation part was covered according to my plan.
While we were returning, one volunteer was washing clothes. So Lavanya had questions to ask him like where will you dry this, are the clothes heavy etc. He answered patiently and fulfilled her curiousity.
We also sat to do some seva with other volunteers there by making small parts of used puja flowers which will be then used as manure for plants. Here I got again an opportunity for doing a coregulation activity where my role was to hand over flowers to her one by one and she had to seperate the petals. Here again she did some discussions and my heart felt content that this is what I always wanted to happen.
This is our experience of our homeschooling with some learning some therapy and socialising with the volunteers and getting blessings of babaji.
Learning can happen anywhere and anytime. Thanks for reading. 🥰🙏
Author Manju K Iyer
Manju K Iyer is a Psychologicist, Counselor, Parent coach, Play Therapist, Homeschooler and Founder of PlayTime ( A coaching program for parents of children with special needs).
Lavanya Iyer is the daughter of the author Manju K Iyer. She is 9 years old and on Autism spectrum. She loves to read, draw, paint, and do traditional dance. She is a CreativeSaathi junior with our team now.
Hi , today’s blog would be a relief to many parents and professionals
Why I say so ?
This is because , we all have faced a situation to find or approached to look for an effective shadow teacher for our child having diverse and additional needs by the school
We might also come across challenges in that journey to find a shadow teacher and if we found one , we are not convinced or confident of their skills
A shadow teacher is not separate profession , it is usually performed by a special educator. Now days , budding psychologists and professionals in the special world are also interested to take up this important role . Sometimes parents are also looking forward to become a shadow teacher for their child to maximise their potential.
Well every nation , country have different set of rules , laws set on job role of special educators , and so this definitely affect the responsibility and need of shadow teachers
In our own country , situations and circumstances are very different about shadow teachers in North India when compared to South India.
Now lets come to the point what a shadow teacher should know when they are working with a child with special needs in a mainstream school scenario
This implies to any profession , be it special educator , psychologists , freshly passed out professionals seeking job opportunity in the special needs world or a parent themselves
If they are not aware of any of the important skills mentioned in this blog , they must try taking trainings , attend professional development programmes to improve and build up these skills
Please remember – shadow teacher is an important responsibility and not just any temporary professional engagement. A child relues on his/her shadow teacher for their performance
So what a shadow teacher should know ?
What is behaviour , what are different types of behaviour , ABC chart , and Strategies to management , regulate and replace challenging behaviours
Role and responsibility towards school , parents and child
Must be aware of learning style of the child i.e tactile , visual , kinaesthetic or auditory or reading
Must be aware of sensory processing and sensory integration
Must be aware about what is an IEP and Behavior Management Plans
Must know the difference between a PT , OT , psychologist , speech pathologist and special educator , prosthetics and paediatricians
Must have good idea about developmental milestones – cognitive , social , emotional , gross motor , fine motor , language
Must have good and optimal knowledge and understanding of Autism , ADHD , LDs and Neuromuscular disorders
Must be well affluent about visual supports , AACs , assistive devices , transitions and life skills, social stories and scripts and Podds
Must be flexible to endure unavoidable circumstances at school or in classroom e.g sudden change in time table for the child
Must have fair idea about differential instructions to an autistic child /adhd child /child with dyslexia or dysgraphia
Must be spontaneous and witty
Must share and give feedback
Should have good oral and written communication skills
Most important should be calm and patient and have a big heart
My blog intends to create awareness in parents about what to look for when they appoint or search a shadow teacher
I hope this is helpful and an eye opener, You can keep this blog handy with you when you look for a shadow teacher for your child from now on
I know it’s not easy to get a shadow teacher for your child. I understand you
But above all keep in your mind , you have to be or you to find an effective shadow teacher for your child and not a good shadow teacher
All the best parents . Keep up good work
Creative Efforts and Former shadow teacher – Heena Sahi
The creative representation for my write up on shadow teachers is done beautifully by our newly incorporated CreativeSaathi associate Dhairya Pal. His artwork depicts the mother-son bond between a mother elephant and a baby elephant. What else do we parents expect from the shadow teachers that they take care of their child in a way that a mother does.