- Jai Vakeel School For Children In Need Of Special Care, Mumbai. (Since 1944)
Teacher Student Ratio is 1:10
When a child comes to the Institute a thorough assessment is done by a multidisciplinary team, consisting of a:
- Clinical Psychologist;
- Occupational Therapist
- Special Educator;
- Speech Therapist; and Audiologist
- Social Worker who takes details of family history, financial background etc
- Cytogeneticist & Biochemist.
- 8 Consultation with a specialized consultant if required viz. pediatric neurologist, psychiatrist
Based on this report, age and IQ of the child an individualized program for therapy and education is formulated and then the child can be placed in any of the following 4 sections:
- The Jai Vakeel School
- The Individual education Programme
- The Learning Rediness Groupd
- The National Open School Section (NIOS)
- Sairam Autism Center
1. The Jai Vakeel School
If the child is ready to be placed in a classroom they are admitted to the Jai Vakeel School where they are taught functional academics and other suitable subjects as per their individualized curriculum.
The emphasis is on multi sensorial teaching and as per the need and the focus is on:
- Functional academics e.g. sight vocabulary, functional writing, functional arithmetic etc.
- Speech & Language Development – As per the need of the child/children individual/group speech therapy exercises for drooling is given. They are taught to talk about themselves and given the opportunity to address small groups to gain self-confidence.
- Children of all ages are exposed to sports, dance & drama, singing, art & craft and learning to use the computer. We also have extra curricular activities like excursion trips, educational field trips etc
- They also learn through projects – e.g. nursery class did a project on 'Global Warming',
- After the age of 12 years all children are given prevocational training in generic skills and personality development
Children are tested periodically to update the educational and training programme.
A child remains in the School from 6 to 18 years
2. The Individual education Programme
If the child is not ready for a group activity then a suitable Independent Education Programme (IEP) is drawn up and therapy started. This IEP has to be implemented by therapist, teachers and by parents/family members. Sometimes a child can stay here for 2-3 years before they can be placed in a classroom.
3. The Learning Readiness Group
In this group those children are taken, who can not be placed in the structured educational/training programme due to various reasons viz non-mobile, severe behavioral problems, hyperactive etc This is a very special group where one family member also has to be present at all times and be involved as co educator/trainer. This is because often the parents also have to be taught how to handle their children. Initially the parent, child and teacher are together during therapy. Gradually the child is weaned away from the parent and some other child’s parent takes their place. This is done so that at any given time the child gets individual attention and generalizes learnt behaviors. So it is one to one therapy but administered in a group and also serves as a support group for the parents. We have done a Research Project on this and have found often one to one therapy was more successful if all the children were in close proximity. It encouraged social integration and afforded more security to the child as well as the parent.
Once the child is ready for learning in a classroom environment, he/she is integrated into the Jai Vakeel School.
"Impact of parents' involvement and engagement in a Learning Readiness Programme for children with severe and profound intellectual disability and complex needs in India" has been published in the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2009. This is published by SAGE publication, UK.
4. The National Open School Section (NIOS)
The National Institute of Open Schooling Section (NIOS) that was started in 2002 and is affiliated to New Delhi Board. Children in the mild to borderline category with an IQ between 60 – 90 points are evaluated and if suitable are placed in the NIOS. Sometimes special therapy is given in the form of learning through individual attention (like tuitions). We follow the regular Maharashtra school curriculum and the subjects taught are Language, Math, Science, Practicals and Environment Studies.
Examinations start from the 1st grade and they have exams in grade 3, 5 and 8.
This section allows them to give exams for two subjects in a year.
Working with this group has made us realize that if we can tap into and, maximize their potential; with the right training they can go very far academically and can be easily integrated into mainstream society.
- Sairam Autism Centre (Since 1998)
Teacher Student Ratio – 1:2 or 3
The condition of Autism has existed in our society since a long time. Professionals started understanding this condition in 1980’s. By 1998 Autism had been recognized as one of the major causes of `disability’ but not necessarily Mental Retardation. But often autistic kids do have mental retardation as an associated condition. They also have other very specific, unwanted behaviour traits. For example they do not like to mix with other kids/people, they have peculiar obsessive repetitive behaviours and other sensory problems like tactile hypersensitivity, auditory hypersensitivity and fear of unexpected changes in environment. Hence we felt the need to have a separate section, within the school umbrella, which would cater to the needs of only Children with Autism. With the help of one of our child’s parents we set up the Sairam Autism Centre in 1998. Today we have 36 children in this section.
When a child comes to the Institute a thorough assessment is done by a multidisciplinary team, and a report is prepared. If the child is found to have Autism & Autism related disorders we enroll them in the Sairam Autism Centre where:
- If the child is below 6 years and/or is not ready for a classroom then an Individual Therapy Program is designed. This is a one on one therapy program where the parents also are taught how to handle their children. This typically happens for 1 to 3 months and once the child settles he/she is placed in the Sairam Autism Centre classroom.
- If the child has attended a school for autistic children in the past and is reasonably settled in a class room environment then they are put in our half day school session. We have two - half day sessions, every day. Here based on the children’s capabilities the teacher student ratio is 1:2 or 1:3.
- Once the child is used to attending school for half a day and is settled into the classroom environment they are then gradually shifted to the Jai Vakeel School Section
- High functioning children with Autism are shifted to the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) section where they can give 2 exams every year.
In addition, we also have a ‘Home Bound Program’.
We provide a ‘Home Bound Program’ for autistic children who come from outside Mumbai. The children and their parents can stay on our campus (in the guest room) while the children are being assessed and tested by our multi disciplinary team. Based on the report, an individual therapy and education program is drawn up which they can take back to their home town and implement with the help of their local teachers. While they are here, the parents are taught how to handle their children as well.
The Home Bound Program is typically for 3-4 months after which it is desirable for them to come back to us for a follow up. Based on the re-assessment done, a modified program will then be given to them.