CHENNAI: When Parvathy realised that her young son Prabhakaran had Down Syndrome she took up the responsibility to teach him all the basics required to cope with the condition. He went on to win the Role Model award from the President of India in 2010 and now works in Titan.
“Most parents in the country, Chennai to be specific, feel that it’s extremely difficult to bring their special children in the mainstream. This very thought stops the child’s growth. They don’t even look at the options available to help their children,” said Parvathy Vishwanath, psychologist and director of AIKYA, school for children with learning and developmental disability.
With the theme ‘Disability Day with Sustainable Development : The Promise of Technology’, many special schools in the city like AIKYA and Sankalp have moved with time and taken the help of apps and technology to help children with learning disabilities. “There are various apps like Avaz available to help children with ADHD, dyslexia and other intellectual disorders learn better and retain longer,” said a teacher from Sankalp.
According to the recent study conducted by the Help Child Centre for Learning Difficulty 16-20 per cent children in the city are intellectually disabled.
Apps like Avaz, Lazzoo, Colour bands, are few among the hundred apps designed for children with learning disabilities. Experts also say that teaching MS Office applications like Word and Excel can help them gain mainstream employment.
“I taught typing in excel to a 14-year-old boy with Down Syndrome and within a month he mastered it. It’s important to teach the basics of typing if you want their entry in the mainstream today,” said R Komalavalli a teacher for special children.
“Learning disability can be cured if we accept, bring the children to early intervention centres and train them properly. The hope is just to improve with time and help include the excluded,” said Parvathy. “I think if we move ahead with time we will be able to bring a lot of change,” she added.