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A special sector of our society Enabling the Disabled through

26 November 2013 04:48 am - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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It is not a shortcoming to be born as a person with restricted abilities. ‘The Enable the Disabled,’ organisation which recently performed the ‘Dirijaya Prathiba’ concert has organised a special interactive workshop titled ‘Dare to Dream- Make a difference for our Children with Special Needs’ for parents, care-givers, teachers, and therapists of children with special needs on 08th & 09th December in Colombo under the guidance of the moderator, Madam Margaret R. Nathen who is coming from Singapore to conduct the workshop.

Margaret R. Nathen’s centre in Singapore educates parents and care givers that we can do more for children with special needs. With the correct and appropriate assessment she introduces and implements programmes for each child according to their specific needs, and with a variety of teaching/therapy styles and methods she shows how we can bring about significant and positive developments in all children with special needs and give them a new lease of life, of quality and dignity. She runs the only school in Singapore that guarantees a positive and significant difference in children in the first month of enrolment and she shows us how to look at children as children first, before their disability.

Disabilities can be categorised into two broad definitions. Either as physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, Angelman, hearing impaired, visually handicapped and the other retardation & autistic spectrum disorder.

This workshop conducted by Margaret R. Nathen plans to provide an in-depth understanding of special needs, in particular to autistic spectrum disorder and psychiatric disability, what parents need to know about their child with special needs, about what is early intervention and the benefits of early intervention, and about the teaching approaches to use individualised education programme with 1:1 or small groups.

The workshop also plans to discuss about the various available therapies such as: Gross & Fine Motor, Sensory Modulation, Integration, Speech & Language Development and Cognitive Development, Picture Exchange Communication which is the first steps to speech and language development and about whether medical intervention is necessary and how to make your simple but effective resources from shoe boxes/clothes peg etc.

The specialty of this programme is that this would provide an opportunity to listen first hand on how to understand and act with children with social needs. Madam Nathen is expected to explain the therapies and arid methods that can be followed; while she will also have one to one discussions with participants on their individual challenges with the kids and how to face them.

The Project Chairperson of the ‘Enable the Disabled,’ Jazaya Hassendeen speaking to Daily Mirror said this workshop can be considered as the second step of what they tried to do with the concert: ‘Dirijaya Prathiba.’

“Through ‘Dirijaya Prathiba’ we tried to bring out the talents of these children. So now, we want to go a step further and bring out a good quality of life for these children with special needs: we want to help and educate the parents, teachers and caregivers who are  interested in enhancing the lives of these children with special needs,” Ms Hassendeen said.

Speaking further about what inspired her to bring Margaret R. Nathen to Sri Lanka, Jazaya Hassendeen said, “When I visited her school I noticed how in a very limited space Miss Nathen has developed a very user-friendly environment for children with special needs and the results of this school were very visible. So we wanted to bring this early intervention programme and to see whether it is possible for us to open an institution for children with special needs in Sri Lanka. But to do that, all of us have to join hands and build-up a solid base to take the first step (which we believe this workshop could be). So whoever wants to join us in this worthy cause, can contact us through jazayahassendeen7@gmail.com or charmain@esllanka.com  and get involved in this project.”

‘Dare to Dream- Make a difference for our Children with Special Needs,’ is a two day programme starting on 8th December at the Kadirgamar Hall from 9.30 a.m to 1.00 p.m. The second day will be held on 9th December at Eden Café (No. 25, Milagiriya Avenue, Colombo 4) from 4.00 pm to 7.00 p.m. Interested persons can participate in these workshops by either e-mailing or calling the organisers and getting themselves registered.

The cost for this programme is Rs.3000/- per person and Rs.5000/- for couples.



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