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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

25 years of service

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ability EXPO organised by AIKYA


NGOs asked to serve in rural pockets
NT Bureau
Chennai, Jan 24:
Minister for Social Welfare Poongothai presenting a certificate
to a differently able child at Valluvar Kottam yesterday.
        Minister for Social Welfare Poongothai has urged non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to extend their support and serve in rural areas.         After visiting the stalls put up by the differently abled at 'Abilities Expo-2007', organised by Aikya, a NGO, and Lions Club International at Valluvar Kottam here, the Minister said, 'currently, 70 per cent of voluntary organisations are city based.         Rural people are unaware about the special educational system for the differently abled'. She added that voluntary organisations should educate them and the government would also take steps to do the same.         Earlier, Minister distributed awards to the differently abled children who
performed at Abilities Expo-2007.
        'The aim of the two-day event is to educate parents about behaviour therapy, employment opportunities, laws on physical disability', said director of Aikya Parvathy Viswanath.         She spoke on the importance of early intervention of disabilities and how to treat the children. Speech therapist Sowmya discussed about the importance of communication and speech. In a question and answer session, psychologist Thenmozhi spoke about autism and the behavioural management of the same.         Differently abled children from voluntary organisations like Daya, Karunaii trust, Aikya participated in the cultural programmes.


Media on Sagamam

Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, Nov 03, 2004

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At Sangamam, a gathering of the differently-abled
By Our Staff Reporter
CHENNAI, NOV. 2. It was a memorable day for the 11,000 differently-abled persons brought together to celebrate `Sangamam', an event for special people conducted here today.
True to its name, (Sangamam means union), the differently-abled from over 130 organisations in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur made for a mass assembly at the Nehru stadium. The event was organised by the International Association of Lions Clubs (district 324 A5) with the aim of achieving a Guinness Record.
The event started with a march past by the physically and mentally challenged, who were led by a musical band made up of particularly sprightly group of children. A half-hour training session on yoga then followed.
Efforts lauded
The Kanchi Acharya, Jayendra Saraswati, who was at hand, said those with physical and mental deficiencies had additional abilities to compensate for their disability. Praying for their welfare, he hailed the efforts of the Lions Clubs in organising the event. He called for more such ventures to support the differently-abled and to create awareness about their skills.
E. Shanmuga Sundaram, Joint Director, Office of the State Commissioner of the Disabled, said voluntary bodies needed to join hands with the Government to ensure jobs for the physically challenged. The Prince of Arcot, Mohammed Abdul Ali, was also present.
Inaugurated by Chigurupathi Varaprasad, the international director of Lions Clubs multiple district 324, the event had prayers from all faiths for the welfare of the differently abled.
About 7,000 children participated in a painting contest that was part of the celebrations. W.I. Davaram, the Vice President of Sports Development Authority, later distributed notebooks and other aids to the children. Parvathy Viswanath, zone 3 chairperson of Lions Clubs, said the event showcased the abilities of the disabled, who only needed an opportunity to prove themselves.
Sivananda Ashram

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

a volunteer speaks

              AIKYA : The centre to integrate the different

My mom has been associated with special needs children for over 12 years now. Having spent quality time with them, i knew it would be difficult to handle them all by myself. As i walked from Ramarishna mission towards AIKYA it unnerved me. I wondered "how should i react?", "how should i behave?", how do i interact with them?", "How do i reach out to them?". With all these questions swirling in my head i pushed open the creaky old black gate of the school and entered. Lost in my doubts i was caught by surprise when a bunch of 7 kids greeted me "hello Akka!". I stood there for a moment unable to comprehend my next move so i simply smiled and waved out to them ( In my head i silently did a face palm).

Before I start giving you details about the daily routine of this school i'll take this opportunity to tell you a little about AIKYA and the students there. AIKYA is a non profit organisation managed by Ms Parvathy Viswanath which promotes the interest and welfare of children with autism, ADHD, down syndrome and specific learning disability. Yes, there's a lot of fight involved in training these kids as they display short attention span, impaired social interaction, hyperactive and stereotype behaviour but No, it doesn't pain us or we don't sympathise with them because they aren't to be pitied upon. Believe me when i say this that what one does as a volunteer or a teacher is nothing compared to the impact these kids have on your life. In fact it gives us great joy to see that whatever hardwork we put in has made a small difference. "The outcome is always greater than the Expectation."

As a volunteer i work there for 2 hours and help teach them math and english. We also have life skill sessions like money counting, trip to grocery stores , sports , dance , story telling, cutting vegetables, making tea , greeting cards and so on. Just two weeks old i have mainly observed them and have realised that they are more than willing to learn. They have no inhibitions and are as naughty as normal kids ( even more at times). For instance, they promise to do their homework but don't and when asked they give an apologetic innocent smile that melts your heart right out. They are very meticulous and keep a careful tab on their pencils, erasers, lunch boxes etc. They are particular and return the chairs ,tables, ball, notebooks to their rightful place. They take permission to use the washroom or drink water even though that's just their way to escape the grunt work. Children with autism have trouble communicating. They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel. This makes it very hard for them to express themselves either with words or through gestures, facial expressions, and touch. One of the major symptoms of autism is repeated hand movements like hand flapping and rocking , unusual attachments to people , attachment to objects and resistance to change in their routine but they also have unusually developed skills in other areas such as drawing, creating music, solving math problems, or memorizing facts ( like countries, capitals, states, citites, GK etc). While being accomodating, one has to be strict and firm so that it helps them learn.

Its challenging but great fun. They'll make you smile even on your worst days.

They are angels!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

About ADHD

Similar to hyperkinetic disorder, neurodevelopmental type in which there are significant problems of attention and/or hyperactivity and acting impulsively that are not appropriate for a person's age. These symptoms must begin by age six to twelve and be present for more than six months for a diagnosis to be made. In school-aged individuals the lack of focus may result in poor school performance.

Despite being the most commonly studied and diagnosed disorder in children and adolescents, the cause in the majority of cases is unknown. It affects about 6 to 7 percent of children. Rates are similar between countries and depend mostly on how it is diagnosed. ADHD is approximately three times more frequent in boys than in girls. About 30 to 50 percent of people diagnosed in childhood continue to have symptoms into adulthood and between 2 and 5 percent of adults have the condition.
The condition can be difficult to tell. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, similar to hyperkinetic disorder, neuron-developmental type in which there are significant l apart from other disorders as well as that of high normal activity. ADHD management usually involves some combination of counseling, lifestyle changes, and medications. Medications are only recommended as a first-line treatment in children who have severe symptoms and may be considered for those with moderate symptoms who either refuse or fail to improve with counseling. Long-term effects of medications are not clear and they are not recommended in preschool aged children. Adolescents and adults tend to develop coping skills, which make up for some or all of their impairments.


"Celebration of 25 years of service " on Sunday, March 30th from 10 AM at Ragha Sudha Hall, Mylapore, behind Nagesawara Rao Park, Chennai - 4 . Do join us without fail.

Jobs for Differently abled

Check this out :

World Autism Day

April is the AUTISM Awareness Month and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness day.

Light it up blue celebrates Autism Awareness. Join us on this day and throughout the month and support our effort and show your solidarity.

Best Social Worker award on 9th March 2014

News letter February 214

World Down Syndrome day

March  21 st  is celebrated as World Down syndrome Day

Know about Down Syndrome:

  • Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
  • There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases, translocation accounts for about 4% and mosaicism accounts for about 1%.   
  • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
  • There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
  • Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
  • The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
  • People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.
  • A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.
  • Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
  • People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
  • All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.
  • Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.