Shanay Autism Resource Centre

 

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Shanay is conceived out of the felt needs of persons with autism, their parents and families, and the need for dissemination of information for enhancing rehabilitation practices. There are many children with autism and developmental disabilities who will benefit from the services provided by Shanay. It will be built on the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) plot allotted to SOPAN for setting up an education and training facility for autism.

The Centre will offer the following facilities -

Respite Care Unit (RCU): This unit is planned to provide short term care for around 10 persons with autism. The decision to offer the short term care services to relatively small number of users is deliberate. We firmly believe in social inclusion and the right of every person with autism to live within the family system. If a long term permanent residential facility is created, very often it is misused by family members to leave the person with autism there and deprive him/her the right to be mainstreamed and accepted in the community. However, we also understand that parents have responsibilities other than caring for their disabled child, and some of these responsibilities may take them away from the child for a few days/ weeks. The parents need a facility where their child can remain safe and be given quality care in their absence. At ARC we propose to provide such a facility to parents who need respite from caregiving. The RCU will run the following activities:

• Self-care and social skills

• Vocational training and skill building

• Leisure and recreation

• Visits and outings

School and Vocational Training (SVT) Unit: Our initial survey reveals that there is no school for children with autism and associated disabilities in Sector 7 of New Panvel. The SVT will provide a special school facility. It would also offer diagnostic, assessment and early intervention service supported by allied therapies for at least 100 children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The vocational training unit will serve adolescents and young adults with autism, and conduct skill building programs. The facility will be open also to persons enrolled for respite care for the time they are in RCU. The SVT will employ staff with qualifications recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India. With time, the SVT may serve as a resource for inclusive schools in and around New Panvel. The planned activities for SVT are:

• Screening, diagnosis and assessment

• Early detection and intervention

• Special education

• Therapeutics

• Adaptive physical education and games

• Music, and movement

• Guidance and counseling

Research & Resource Development (RRD) Unit: The RRD unit will serve as a facility for research and in-service and pre-service programs for teachers. Additionally, it will also provide training to parents and family members of children with autism. It will be a primary medium for sharing knowledge and skills pertaining to autism specific teaching and management strategies. It will conduct a range of training programs:

• Short term in service training program for teachers

• Seminars/workshops for rehabilitation experts

• Parent training programs

• Capacity building programs for inclusive education

Bhoomi Pujan at the site
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