Early Intervention (Based on Early Start Denver Model - ESDM)
Early Intervention is a highly structured small group or one to one program where the child participates in play, circle time and snack time. Throughout the program our multidisciplinary team (Early Childhood Educator, Psychologist, Speech Therapist and Occupational Therapist) will work with your child to develop their motor skills, build functional communication and language and teach play and social skills. Our program encourages self-regulation and aims to advance your child’s daily living skills. The skills gained through our centre-based program will help to facilitate a successful and smooth transition to school.
The Early Start Denver Model is the only comprehensive early intervention model that has been validated in a randomized clinical trial for use with children with autism as young as 18 months of age. It has been found to be effective for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across a wide range of learning styles and abilities. Children with more significant learning challenges were found to benefit from the program as much as children without such learning challenges. A randomized clinical trial published in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who received ESDM therapy for 20 hours a week (15 hours by trained therapists, 5 hours by parents) over a 2-year span showed greater improvement in cognitive and language abilities and adaptive behavior and fewer autism symptoms than did children referred for interventions commonly available in their communities.
Our Speech-language therapy program is designed to coordinate the mechanics of speech with the meaning and social use of language. Our program begins with an individual evaluation by a speech-language pathologist to assess an individual’s verbal aptitudes and challenges. From this evaluation, the pathologist sets goals that may include mastering spoken language and/or learning nonverbal communication skills such as signs or gestures. In each case, the goal is to help the person communicate in more useful and functional ways. The speech language pathologist can provide therapy one-on-one, in a small group or in a classroom setting. Therapists who work with children have additional specialized training.These are some of the skills that Speech Therapy addresses:
Therapy begins with our occupational therapist evaluating the person's developmental level as well as related learning styles, social abilities, and environmental needs. Based on this evaluation, the therapist determines goals and selects strategies and tactics for enhancing key skills. For instance, goals may include independent dressing, feeding, grooming and use of the toilet, along with improved social, fine motor and visual perceptual skills. Typically, occupational therapy involves half-hour to one-hour sessions with a frequency determined by the child’s needs.
These are some of the skills that occupational therapy addresses:
Sensory Integration Program
Many children with special needs have challenges in processing sensory information such as movement, touch, smell, sight and sound. Sensory integration (SI) therapy identifies such disruptions and uses a variety of techniques that improve how the brain interprets and integrates this information. Occupational therapy often includes sensory integration. Other times it is delivered as a stand-alone therapy.
Occupational/Movement therapists provide sensory integration therapy. They begin with an individual evaluation to determine a person’s sensitivities. From this information, the therapist plans an individualized program that matches sensory stimulation with physical movement to improve how the brain processes and organizes incoming information. As such, the therapy often includes equipment such as swings, trampolines and slides.
Sensory integration therapy can allow a child senses to become more “available” for learning and social interactions. Family members and teachers often find that sensory integration techniques can help calm an affected child, reinforce positive behavior and help with transitions between activities.
Behavioural training teaches children how to communicate appropriately. This type of training can reduce behaviour problems and improve adaptation skills.
Both behavioural training and behavioural management use positive reinforcement to improve behaviour. They also use social skills training to improve communication. A specific behavior program can be chosen according to the child's needs.
Cognitive therapy is the opposite of behavior therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses primarily on the thoughts and emotions that lead to certain behaviors, while behavioral therapy deals with changing and eliminating those unwanted behaviors. However, some therapists practice a type of psychotherapy that focuses on both thoughts and behavior. This type of treatment is called cognitive-behavior therapy.
Cognitive therapy helps improve a child’s moods, anxiety and behavior by examining confused or distorted patterns of thinking. Cognitive therapy therapists teach children that thoughts cause feelings and moods which can influence behavior. During Cognitive therapy, a child learns to identify harmful thought patterns. The therapist then helps the child replace this thinking with thoughts that result in more appropriate feelings and behaviors.
Auditory Integration Therapy
Integrated listening system (ILS) uses filtered music to mature pathways in the brain. These pathways are needed to recognise different sounds while reading and processing spoken language quickly and efficiently. ILS is used to help children who are easily overwhelmed hypersensitive, anxious and those who have difficulty in regulating emotions.
Group Therapy / Social Skills Program
Group Therapy is done for remediation of social skill deficits in children with special needs. It involves the use of imitation based activities and group play to build social interaction and communication skills in autistic children.
Movement Therapy (Extra Lesson ®)
Extra Lesson ® is an assessment and intervention program for children, and adolescents with learning and behavioural difficulties. All Extra Lesson practitioners are professionally trained and accredited by The Extra Lesson Institute, Australia and work with a holistic approach combining movement, speech, rhythm and painting.
The Extra Lesson program is based on the premise that learning difficulties are often due to disruptions in the developmental stages of the first seven years of life. This can result in poor spatial orientation and body awareness, sensory processing challenges, retained early movement patterns and co-ordination difficulties. Research supports the connection between learning difficulties and early childhood development and shows that regular movement and physical activity can help develop neural pathways in the brain.
As a parent or teacher you will often see a child who is disengaged, distracted, underachieving, exhausted or frustrated by the learning process. By working on underlying barriers to learning, Extra Lesson can offer your child a second chance to learn without this struggle. Extra Lesson is a drug-free, non-invasive alternative for dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, fine and gross motor problems, and reading, maths and spelling difficulties. Many Extra Lesson practitioners are also trained to identify auditory processing difficulties and make appropriate referrals. A typical Extra Lesson program involves a thorough assessment followed by weekly individual lessons tailored to each child’s needs. These lessons include fine and gross motor exercises, movement combined with rhythmic language or song as well as painting and drawing.
Art activities, ranging from drawing to acting, require different levels of complex thinking and problem solving. Art allows children to show thoughts and feelings in a creative way, often through nonverbal communication. Children with autism or other learning disabilities can express emotions through art that they may not otherwise be able to state.
Music therapy uses music to address physical, emotional cognitive and spiritual needs of individuals. Music therapy helps to improve socio-behaviour skills like problematic classroom behaviour, emotion recognition, improving eye contact and increasing initiation of interaction by children with autism.
Research has found positive relationship between musical vocal skills and non-musical speech production. This is because music bypasses speech and language barriers in individuals with autism.
Drama Therapy inculcates the habit of observation and triggers the mirror neurons in children on the spectrum. This results in betterment of imagination and comprehension of situations, in them. Thus drama therapy develops social and communication skills and life skills too. It works well with both verbal as well as non – verbal children. Functional concepts of learning can also be reinforced with drama therapy. It is a comprehensive style of teaching which uses visual, auditory and kinaesthetic style of learning through Drama.
There is growing evidence that nutrition may partly play role in managing symptoms of Autism and various other special needs in children. Many children with Special Needs tend to demonstrate increased digestive issues, food sensitivities and an imbalance in gut flora due to weakened digestive system which then causes improper digestion of food and malabsorption of essential nutrients.Eliminating certain foods from the diet (most notably Gluten and Casein) is a dietary approach in managing the symptoms of autism.
For a child with special needs, a healthy, balanced diet can make a world of difference in their ability to learn, how they manage their emotions and how they process information." Because children with special needs may have restricted diets as well as difficulty sitting through mealtimes, they may not be getting all the nutrients they need, particularly calcium and protein. That is why, it is important to formulate an individualized diet plan for each child with special needs.
Individual / personal or group counselling addresses issues of day to day living. These issues could vary from simple problems such as high stress levels to serious problems like depression. Counsellors at Ananya specially focus on extending their support to the parents of children with special needs.
Homoeopathy is a holistic science that considers and treats the entire person and not merely the external symptoms. Homoeopathic medicines do not act merely on one particular organ of an individual but have a much deeper and central action on the psychoneuroendocrinological as well as growth gradient and hence facilitate the process of development.
Homoepathy plays a distinct role by:
Homeopathy is known to not have side effects and the physical and mental development of the children is in no way adversely affected.
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