"AN INNOVATIVE EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM"
March 18 2017 04:57 AM.
“Early intervention (EI) programs for children under the age of 6 with a developmental delay are vital to improving long-term function, including performance in primary school” WHO 2011 – This is the world-wide statement by WHO in 2011.
“Disability is a major barrier to access to education in India, more than 2.9 million children living with a disability”. This is about the condition in India as reported by the UIS and UNICEF in 2015.
EI therapy remains inaccessible for most children in rural South India due to high cost, lack of services in the area, and transportation. This is our experience in South India.
Today, over 6 million children in India live with a disability. Early intervention therapy is the most proven method for reducing disabilities and improving long term outcome for these children.
With this background, Amar Seva Sangam set up an Early Intervention Centre in February 2013 meant for children in the age group of 0 – 6 years with developmental delays with an intention to “Catch them young to rehabilitate fast”. The idea behind EIC is to intervene as early as possible and minimize disability so that the child can reach the highest potential. This has very good response from the parents of such children and the local population and our Centre proved to be a boon to these children in order to identify the disability early and to provide the necessary therapy in time. In the Centre, the children are brought to school by our own bus. They are provided free nutritious lunch, biscuits and milk. The parents are also provided lunch since they come from far off places and generally are from very poor families. The children are given toilet training and self-feeding training. The parents are trained alongside to continue the practice at home. All services to the children are totally free. Till 2015, we had handled 40 Special children, out of which 8 have been successfully mainstreamed.
In the year 2015, in order to scale up this program to cover more and more children we had launched a bold idea which is to use this simple device - “a tablet PC” to train parents to provide early intervention therapy in their own homes. First, our rehabilitation experts, with the help of our computer programming centre will design simple and user-friendly tablet based apps which focus on topics such as gross and fine motor development, speech and language skills, and feeding techniques. The Community Rehabilitation Workers will be armed with tablets containing these apps which they will use to train parents in rural communities. Parents will be taught about their child's development and trained to provide early intervention therapy. Tablets are also used to relay important information back to physio/speech and occupational therapists at our centre, who will watch videos of these children and make recommendations for treatment. Video conferencing using existing satellite internet networks will enhance treatment by providing caregivers with immediate feedback from therapists. Now, young mothers in remote areas will not only be trained to give their children therapy in their own homes but will also benefit from the expertise of trained professionals who would otherwise have been unavailable to them. In our district alone, already 351 children have enrolled and are accessing therapy. We have noted improvement in Developmental Scores of Children with 81% in gross motor, 62% occupational, 86% cognitive and 71% of children showed improvement in speech functions.
We have started this initiative in right earnest and are aware that we have miles to go in this direction. As there are very few pioneering institutions in this field in India, our journey is all the more challenging. However, our efforts have yielded positive results. In the year 2016, we won the Mobile4Good Award from Vodafone in appreciation of our innovative attempt to help the rural society in the Health Sector. This has opened up the floodgates of opportunities for others and we have recently been approached by the Government of Tamil Nadu to scale up this program in two blocks in Madurai and Namakkal districts.
Our initiatives are quite ambitious and demand huge financial support from philanthropic minded individuals, corporate companies, trusts and others.
Amar Seva Sangam is participating in TCS Bangalore 10K Run on 21st May 17 to raise funds for this noble cause so that more and more children with developmental delays can be identified, enrolled, assessed and proper therapies carried out, so that they show good progress at the earliest in their lives.
You can sponsor from any of the following Donation options to EI children.
1. Sponsor 1 child for early intervention for 1 month - Rs. 3000
2. Sponsor 2 children for Early Intervention for 1 month - Rs. 6000
3. Sponsor 3 children for Early Intervention for 1 month - Rs. 9000
4. Sponsor 1 child for Early Intervention for 6 months - Rs. 18000
5. Sponsor 10 children for Early Intervention for 1 month - Rs. 30000
6. Sponsor 1 child for Early Intervention for 1 year - Rs. 36000
The Secreatary of Amar Seva Sangam along with 20 physically challenged people are participating in the Bangalore TCS World 10K Run on 21st May 2017 to raise funds for EI Children.
|Online donation option:
Amar Seva Sangam
10-2-169, Sulochana Garden
Ayikudy – 627 852
Mobile: 08883790610 / 09994064881
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com