Center for child development


How to Find the Best Child Care for Special-Needs Children

Every parent wants to send their children to the best child care there is. When it comes to searching for a child care for your child having special needs, it is an entire different beast that you have to encounter. It is important that you find a child care provider who understands what it is to have children with special needs, how to care for them, what type of activities are to be adopted for them and the like. Above all, the provider must be willing to listen to you and work with you to help in the growth of your child.

In your efforts to find the best child care provider for your child with special needs, understanding the following factors can help you in making the best decision.

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Select a Special-Needs Day Care

In order to make the best choice, consider if you need a regular child care or a special child care for your child with special needs. Consider all your requirements as well as your child’s while selecting a day care. Since day care is the place where your child is going to spend most of her/his time, selecting one that can meet most of your requirements, as well as your child’s, is very crucial. The growth process of your child is going to be molded and driven by the environment at the day care and the staffs there.

Get help from trusted sources

In order to provide the help needed by parents having kids with special needs, there are a myriad of trusted NGOs and organizations that one can find. Most of the times, there will be such sources that you can find associated with the centers where you go for your child’s therapy.

It is advised that you get the help from such trusted and established sources as there may be other dangers associated with sending your child to a place where there is no approval or adequately trained staff or support systems.

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Check for the facilities of the day care

One of the most important and foremost things to consider while selecting a child care for special-needs children is to evaluate the facilities provided by the child care. Care must be given to understand the systems of operation, hygiene and availability of enough space for the child to conduct. Since physical activities can also be a part of many therapies, check if there is enough space for the children to move around and play.

Qualified staff

Another important aspect that parents must take care, while trying to select a child care for special-needs children, is to check if there is adequate staff that can help your child the best way possible. Ensure that the staffs have all the required qualification and approval from the concerned governmental departments to operate in whatever capacity they operate at the facility.

It is also important to understand if there is any nursing staff at the child care to provide the necessary treatment and care if any such situations arise.

The support offered by the child care to you

Most of the times, the child with special needs must continue the therapy even after returning from the therapy centre. As the child spends most of his/her time in the child care, it is important that the teachers at the centre must also be willing to help you. They must be willing to understand the conditions of your child, understand the therapies that your child is undergoing and help the child go through the same during his/her time at the child care.

Though most of the child cares provide such facilities and are willing to work closely with the parents to help the child develop naturally, it is always imperative that the parents ensure and confirm about the same.

One of the best things to consider, apart from the above mentioned aspects, is to ask important questions yourself about various facilities offered by the child care. If analyzing the child care facility is able to help you answer most of these questions in a more positive light, then you can consider the child care for your child. However, it is always advised that you consider multiple child care facilities to select the best among them.

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A case study of a student with learning disabilities

The student and the concerns

Anuja came to us after being referred to us by her learning consultant. She had already attended three schools before but had issues with reading and writing. She was blessed with great memory but her limited writing and reading abilities restricted from using the same to the extent possible.

As it was observed with children having learning disabilities, her problems lay not just with academics but also in social and behavioral patterns as well.

The observations

Our prime objective was to instill a sense of trust and friendship with us, at the beginning of our approach, before we began to start intervene at the academic issues of the child.

Our teachers, through effective methods and perseverant efforts, established ways to reach out to her and ward of the fear that was in her. The fear, we found, was because of the constant moving of her from one school to another that had different people, atmosphere and teachers.

Our interventions and approach

We started by giving her smaller assignments that were designed to meet attainable short-term goals. We concluded that it is through her strength that we can reach to her to help her address the issues with reading and writing.

We devised methods to assess her development by using her string memory such as;

Oral testing

Dramatic role- playing

Project-based assessments

Debates

We tried to focus on her strengths to instill high levels of self-esteem and confidence so that we can drive her confidently to venture into the weak areas such as reading and writing.

We put her in smaller groups that were given several reading and writing tasks and care was given to ensure that Anuja was not overwhelmed with the assignments given.

The result

Anuja was able to improve her writing and reading skills effectively and create great bonds with the teacher and her peers. She started to become more active socially and improved her behavioral patterns, as well.

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Ideas to make reading stories to your children with special need more interesting

When parents read books aloud with children, it not only helps the children have more vocabulary and get prepared for kindergarten; it also helps them understand a wide range of morals, values and the perks of being good. However, when it comes to reading together with the children with special needs, it is not as simple as it sounds; the type of the story, the way it’s being told, the feel of the pages and its illustrations, all can make really big difference.

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In order to ensure that the children with special needs enjoy the positive and rewarding experience of reading books along with the adults and learn from the same, here are a few tips;

Select the books carefully:

Even thought there are several children’s books available in the market, always pay more care to the books that you select to read with your child or children with special needs. Not all books are appropriate for all children; you need to consider the type of the book, the illustrations, the story being told, the size of the book and even the font while selecting a book to read with your child with special needs.

Choose the books with stories having simple themes:

While searching for books for children with special needs, ensure that the books have simple themes with predictable or repetitive texts having stories on families and/or friends, relationships, social or self-help skills, or books that feature counting, the alphabet or even animals, for that matter.

Be aware of the attention span of the child:

Depending upon the ages of children, their attention spans can definitely vary. And, this can get even more difficult with children having special needs. In such situations, try to break down the sentences into smaller parts with more explanations to keep the attention of the children.

Make use of props to help the child focus:

One of the best ideas to help the children with special needs to engage in the story is to use props. If you are reading a story of a bunny, give the child a toy of a bunny to help the child better concentrate. Having something tactile, to hold onto, makes the child more confident and attentive.

Use objects glued onto the pages:

Another easy way to attract the attention of the child is to use various objects glued onto the page as ‘page-turners’. Gluing Popsicle sticks or soft Pompoms onto the pages at different levels can attract the attention of the child and help them grab and turn the pages easily. It will also help the child pay attention to wait to turn the page again next time. This can prove to be a great advantage for children to improve their fine-motor skills.

Choose stories having repetition or rhymes:

It is always conducive for children having language and speech delays to select books having stories that have a lot of rhymes or repetitions. Search for books that have images of animals and actions that talk; cats saying ‘meow, meow’ or the sound of the water as ‘splish, splash’. This can help the children make the sound as reading to help them grasp more words and understand the same.

Read with varying the pitch and tone of your reading:

Whenever you are reading stories to children, varying the tone and pitch of your reading makes it interesting for them—especially those who have hearing impairments. If you can make gestures and body movements as you read on, it can help the children pay attention to you and whatever is being read to them.

Ask questions to help the child concentrate:

Asking questions to the children while reading books out to them can make them more alert and attentive. Ask simple questions that they can answer and reward and appreciate them when the questions are answered. If they find it difficult to answer, help the find the answers and recite the answers with them. This can help the children be more attentive and create sense of success when they answer the questions.

Paying attention to these factors while reading with your child with special needs can make reading an enjoyable and worthwhile experience to your child, all the while helping them develop several of their speech and linguistic skills.

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Special Education

A few ideas for teachers of children with special needs for better child care

Being a teacher to children is not just an exceptional profession but also a massive responsibility that needs to be discharged with great care and love. This can never be truer than this, when you are tasked with helping a bunch of children with special needs, where a wide range of issues can only swell the difficulty associated with helping such children.

While this is definitely a tougher task than anyone would like it to be, providing enough and more care and attention in carrying out the job can greatly cope with such issues pretty convincingly.

Here are a few tips that you can imbibe into your daily adventures with the children with special needs;

Focusing on the child’s strengths not on weaknesses

As the teachers, too, are human, it is natural that they can fall into being victim of negativity. It is important that these negative attitude and thoughts are not transferred to children who are easily impressionable, at this young age. Instead, care must taken to help the child focus more on the things that she/he can do warding off the weaknesses the child might have.

Every teacher must take enough care to ensure the growth of the child based on the strengths of the child to create high levels of self-esteem that can later be used to work on and improve upon the weaknesses.

Focusing on weakness even from the beginning can send a wrong signal to the child that can be dangerous and only can cause more trouble than good.

Importance of instilling social skills along with cognitive skills

One of the major challenges the children with special needs face is the social expulsion. And, this is an entirely different beast from social attention. There may be instances where the children with social need get sidelined by the peers during interactions or playtimes. This usually happens when it is a class of younger children and it can create situations where the children with special needs do not have adequate social interactions. This can lead the children to grow socially underdeveloped.

As the real world is a place where social interactions are an inevitable requirement, helping the children learn the art of social interaction and creating enough chances to grow socially are really important. It is important that, as a teacher, when any events or school trips happens, you must take such opportunities to bring children with special needs to it.

You must be able to help them interact with other children; educate them about being polite; and being mindful of the body language of others. Encouragement must be given to the children with special need to interact with the other children when they feel comfortable.

Never underestimate the children with special needs:

One of the major and strongest hurdles that children with special need faces is the restriction they create based on the attitude and behavior of others around them. Such negativity and discouraging satiations can condition the children to limit themselves from embracing their own abilities.

As a teacher, it is your responsibility to help them believe in their abilities and strengths. Most of the times, the majority of the limitations the children condition upon themselves are non-existent. You must be able to give them routine tasks that the children can overcome slowly and create a sense of success in them.

Never try to limit them to any confines just because they have been diagnosed with some; if you are willing to help them prove themselves, the chances of you being surprised are higher.

Instill them with successful stories of famous people with special needs:

It is very natural that children with special needs can easily become discouraged as they may be constantly ridiculed and discouraged by their peers around them. In such situations, it is essential that the teacher intervenes and help them get encouraged by telling them stories of famous people who have battled such discouraging conditions and come up successfully.

Such stories can instill in them the courage and drive to become successful in their lives.

Paying attention to these factors and tethering them to your daily interactions with the children can help you as a teacher to help them grow better.

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Our Team

Dr. George Joseph P

Dr. George Joseph P

Consultant Pediatrician
Mr. Boney Kannoth

Mr. Boney Kannoth

Associate Visiting Counsellor
Ms. Mayuri Chaudhari

Ms. Mayuri Chaudhari

Physiotherapist
Ms. Minna Mathew

Ms. Minna Mathew

Clinical Psychologist
Ms. Meghana

Ms. Meghana

Rehabilitation Psychologist.
Ms. Jobitha.K.J

Ms. Jobitha.K.J

Occupational Therapist
Ms. Jeena Mary

Ms. Jeena Mary

Occupational Therapist
Ms. Varsha Renjan C

Ms. Varsha Renjan C

Occupational Therapist

What People Say

Prayatna clinic is class apart in terms of the child oriented therapies accorded over here. Each therapist takes personal care of the needs of the children and offer palliative cure that starts showing results within few days. I have not come across such clinics across India. The infrastructural support and resource base particularly the brain gym etc. are world class. Children also enjoy learning therapies over here due to the motivating atmosphere. Rehabilitation process is faster. Prayatna is really doing a stellar job.

Vineesh S

I have never had such a pleasant therapeutic experience as I have enjoyed in Praytana clinic. The ambience does not have that medical feeling to it. Therapists are always willing to walk the extra mile to make the process easier. The simple manner in which the therapies are offered is really hard to believe without experiencing at a personal level. They also prescribe therapies to be practised at home so that idleness does not interfere with the effect. Keep up the good job.

Mahesh

It was not long since I started seeing a positive change sweeping the life of my only child who required sensory integration therapy. At first, I was hesitating to go to Praytana and thought it to be like any other clinic with lofty claims but with no substance. But, a rude but pleasant shock awaited me as I could see the therapies work wonder for my child. He was no longer the same old kid seeking vents to express his pent-up emotions. Hats off to Prayatna.

Arunima Software Engineer

My son has been suffering from autistic syndrome and was not able to interact intuitively with his peers. The rehabilitative care offered at Prayatna was life-changing experience for me. Changes in the behavioural patterns of my son started becoming evident. His actions are now more agile and he no longer starts feeling uneasy in the company of others. Prayatna has pulled off the trick for my son. I would candidly recommend the clinic to all parents who want their children to take control of their lives.

Stephan Georage Sales Executive

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