Special Children (Ananya Learning Center) [July 2014, Wow Magazine]

Special ChildrenHeadline: Teaching children who have learning disabilities

Introduction: A society that is slowly evolving to understand learning disabilities like autism, Madhavi

Adimulam has already created a pathway for the children who are categorised in the autism spectrum range.

Article: When Madhavi Adimulam returned from the US in 2007, she did not find a school for her eight-
year-old son Varun who is in the autism spectrum. Along with Mohanan Chenichery, a corporate trainer and her experience as a volunteer at special school in the UK, she formed Autism Society of Andhra Pradesh and Ananya Center for Special Children in 2008.

For the uninitiated, autism is a lifelong developmental disability in children that affects the way they communicate and relate to people around them. Children and adults with autism have difficulty relating to others in a meaningful way. However with early intervention, children in the autism range have a better chance of receiving appropriate help and support.

Autism Society of Andhra Pradesh (ASAP) is a nonprofit organisation which helps families and children on the Autism spectrum. It provides charitable services to people who cannot afford special education for their children.

Ananya Center for special children understands the needs of children in the autism range and other learning disabilities and provide education to those children who are denied admission in the mainstream schools and tried to locate a fulltime or a part time admission into main stream schools.

Their activities include: Awareness sessions about various commonly occurring special needs in children;

Parent training programs for parents of children with special needs including inviting specialists from the US and UK to train parents and professionals; Communicating with non-verbal children among others.

With vocational training and training in life skills, classical music, the children and teenagers are directed towards earning a livelihood.

Madhavi Adimulam says “Sometimes special children cannot pursue mainstream academics. They have their strengths in certain areas like singing, cooking, math etc. Parents need to focus on their strengths and work on the strengths and try and develop a career based on their strengths. One size fits all approach does not work for special children. ”

The future plans of ASAP are to build a group home for young adults, above 18 years of age, with special needs.

One can help them maintain their website/blog; sponsor a kitchen/terrace garden/training program or a child’s fee. Contact: info@asap.org.in or asap.org.in