HYDERABAD: Special classes, innovative learning, and other methods are usual learning techniques. What about the children with intellectual disabilities who have a low attention span and memory power due to cognitive limitations?
National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (NIEPID) is distributing educational kits which helps such children to practically learn concepts such as arithmetic, using practical training and later use it in their daily life such as counting money etc. According to 2011 census, there are 15,05,264 intellectually disabled persons in the country.
Deputy director at NIEPID Major Ram Kumar said the faculty from NIEPID Hyderabad and other centres have conducted programmes in Mizoram, Arunachal, Manipur. Currently they are at Assam. An assistant professor at NIEPID, Dr Shilpa Manogna said that because of cognitive limitations, intellectually disabled children might not understand what is written in general text books.
“We teach them functional arithmetic, reading and writing, which they will be able to put to use in daily life,” Dr Shilpa said.
The kits contain books scientifically designed for intellectually disabled children, electronic measuring devices, measurement kits, audio visual tools, puzzles. The books are available in regional languages like Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, and Hindi.
The kits — of four kinds — are distributed free of cost. Before the distribution, identification camps are conducted to learn about the level of kit to be distributed to the children.
Services in J&K
Professors from NIEPID Hyderabad would go to Baramulla and Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir in the fourth week of April to screen children for impairments (physical and mental). Children identified with impairments are referred to rehabilitation centres, and technical assistance is provided on government’s schemes and welfare measures.
A NIEPID team has already conducted screening programme in J&K districts in November 2017 and identified 110 children with the disabilities.
Major Ram Kumar said that they held the programme after receiving a request from the Indian Army. After assessing children, they are categorised under four groups of intellectual disability — mild, moderate, severe, and profound.