BENGALURU: Dealing with autistic children requires compassion and dedication. Bengalurean Moona Sumalatha understands this, and hence, decided to start a centre, Charina, located in Sahakaranagar, four years ago. Aimed at helping children and parents, they provide holistic therapies for autistic children, such as yoga, meditation, pet therapy, visual therapy, life skills and sensory integration, for a period of six
to eight months to help them with behavioural and coping issues.
Many have been inspired by Sumalatha’s work, including Masood Ali, the son of legendary Bollywood actor Mehmood Ali, and the older brother of singer Lucky Ali. The actor will be visiting the institute today at 10 am to create more awareness about autism by promoting it on a larger scale in the country.Ali said, “I believe Moona is doing a beautiful job for a noble cause and parents should be really thankful to her.”
The centre currently has 15 autistic children around six years of age and seven trained therapists. “We provide all therapies under the same roof. So children don’t have to travel far for various therapies. Our staff is passionate and connected,” said Sumalatha.
Besides children, she also trains teachers over weekends in order to help them understand the needs of children with autism. “They are called shadow teachers, they sit with a child with special needs and guide him or her,” she explained.
How the centre functions
There are morning and afternoon sessions, explained Sumalatha, adding that, “Morning sessions are four hours of prep school where speech, behavioural, sensory interaction, physio, sports, yoga, meditation, play, visual therapy and pet therapy are provided.” An after-school session is also held, where a one-to-one session is given to each child on speech therapy.