Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Bangalore experience:

We were in Bangalore last one month or so. Frankly speaking, our visit to Bangalore was an eye opener in many ways, helping us to get know the system better in terms of logistics, people, housing………..We decided to relocate to Bengaluru (must get the name right) for Ramam’s sake and I think the visit has convinced us the move is justified. Let me warn you in the beginning, this is a long post.
Bangalore-- schools
As for the schools we visited we first went to Bubbles run by Sarbani Mallick.  This is in Govindraj nagar. (9845557115). It is more of an activity centre where children go after school hours with more emphasis on social and play skills. This academic session, they plan to run a school. They focus on games that promote functional academics. It can be a starting point for early intervention from where the child can move on. The school timings would be 9.30-12.00 .The next were a group of schools on the Sarjapur road; Greenwood high, Inventure academy. It is a huge waste of time and money. Green wood high leaves you high and dry. After speaking and confirming the appointment twice with Mr. Domello the Principal, on reaching the place at the appointed hour, we were told by the admission staff that the management has taken a decision just this friday not to admit autistic kids. Inventure had the same oft repeated pathetic excuses of lacking staff…..  Their   only claim to special education, inclusive education, whatever these tags are is to take on some slow learners and kids with learning difficulties. Amara Soundarya vidyala, (9880393070) in RMV extension, behind ISRO, is a regular school which takes in children with special needs. They are intending to start a special school this year. It is run by Nirmala Amaranath, who is well meaning. They have a preschool, primary school and an international school for the higher classes. The advantage as we saw it was, probably when the child can mainstream, he can move on to the higher classes, in the same set up. They wanted to take Ramam in L.K.G and were willing to reconsider their decision, but it didn’t seem right to us to put a 9 yr old with 4 yr olds. Anyway, that left us in doubt about their ability to handle the problem. Sunshine centre for autism (25251808), in Domlur layout is run by Vanitha Rao. They follow the TEACCH approach. The student teacher ratio is excellent (with time the details are getting a little hazy), something as 1:2 and she is knowledgeable. The school has been running since 1983.Apoorva centre for autism in J.P nagar (08025599014) is run by Nithyalakshmi Apoorva.  The highlights being lots of structure, good teacher student ratio, and hard core academics if the child can learn, with some children preparing for open school. Vocational options are also available for the children not so academically inclined. Soft spoken, Nithyalakshmi got straight to the point and asked me what plans I have for Ramam 5 years down the line. They have somebody coming in for OT, and speech. They offer remedial sessions in the afternoon. ASHA Academy for severe handicaps and autism in Basveswaranagar (08023225279) is run by Jaishree Ramesh. It is a professional set up with as much as 90 children. The infrastructure is good in terms of the building, and class rooms. They are starting the NIOS curriculum this year. They encourage children with special interest as painting, music. They have a separate unit for children for vocational needs. The student –teacher ratio is good.hey also offer speech and OT services.
Apart from this we had been to NIMHANS and COMM-DEALL.
NIMHANS: In NIMHANS the OPD is on from morning 9 (Monday-Friday). It is preferable to reach a little earlier as there is a long queue. I understand people coming from outstations stay put the previous night. If you are going there the first time you need to register yourself, Rs 20. There are two counters. Proceed to counter 2 if you have the referral of a neurophysician/psychiatrist. Then they do a preliminary screening. Then you move to the opposite block where the assessment is done. An elaborate assessment with inputs from all departments can take upto a month. Once the initial assessment is done, the doctor who has  assessed your child takes you to The HOD, Dr. Shoba Srinath who then counsels you. Once the file is ready one can follow it up with reviews every three months. For want of time we could not do a complete assessment. We met Dr .Yamini of the speech and audiology. Both Dr. Shoba Srinath and Dr.Yamini are very knowledgeable and drive home their point with simple lucid real life examples. Dr. Yamini very patiently explained the importance of talking to him constantly.
COMM-DEALL: A very professional set up; they accommodated us despite it being their close to vacation time. We had walked in without an appointment. They did a detailed assessment, called us up and fixed a date for the follow up, gave us a live demo as to how to go about working with him, areas to focus on. We also got an OT assessment done.  It is run by Dr. Pratibha Karant .Located on the Hutchins Road, their telephone  number is 080-25800826.They also have a centre for children up to 5 yrs, the focus is on communication. They also do one to one sessions for older children.
Moving around in Bangalore. There are plenty of call taxi services and autos. All of them run on meters, and hence there is no bargaining. Some auto drivers do really take you for a ride, giving you a Bangalore darshan. The public transport also seems to be fairly ok. Traffic jams are a big problem but this has been helped to some extent, by making it one –way, on most roads.
FOOD: Food is not definitely an issue even with GFCF. We located one or two shops selling GFCF stuff such as cookies, bread mix etc. One finds all kinds of restaurants. Santhi sagar, Adigas…….. (Chain of hotels) are ubiquitous and in between checking out two schools for Ramam we would hop into the nearest Shanthi Sagar for a plate of his Sambhar vada.For more on autism resource in Bangalore visit.
http://care4autism.blogspot.com/2009/12/job-opportunities-for-autistics.html
http://care4autism.blogspot.com/2009/06/talking-to-autisticpart-2.html
http://care4autism.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-montessori-schools-activity-centre.html
http://care4autism.blogspot.com/2009/11/asha-academy-for-autism-and-severe.html
http://care4autism.blogspot.com/2009/11/information-and-resource-centre.html
http://care4autism.blogspot.com/2009/12/irc-autism-awareness-walk.html
http://care4autism.blogspot.com/2009/11/drsr-chandra-sekhar-institute-for.html















18 comments:

Buysell said...

I really appreciate your post here. It gave a lot of info about the Autism schools around Bangalore. I am visiting COM-DEALL tomorrow(with appointment) and day after tomorrow too.
............... My son is 19 months old and diagonised with autism :(

MY mail id is shuvadips@gmail.com

I would admit him to COMM-DEALL this week itself.
Thanks very much!
Shuva

viji said...

Thank you so much.Good Luck!

Buysell said...

I have been to the COMM DEALL and since my son is still young and less than 24 months we were suggested to work with him at home and give a 1.5 hr demo as to how to work with him. We are also asked to come 1ce/2ice a month to check on the progress. And the good news is there is some progress. His pointing skills have improved and he is now responding to call atleast once in 6-7 times which was nil before. He is also plaing with us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such good info. Does anyone has idea about Dr Nandini Mundkur. She runs centre for such children in malleswaram.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for so informative and detailed blog.

Mohan said...

Thank yo so much,we appreciate your feedback . I have not heard of nandini mundkur. Will check and get back to you.

Mohan said...

Nandini Mudukar is a developemental paediatrician. She was with Bangalore children hospital. I am not sure if she still continues to practice. She conducts assessment,infant stimulation activities ....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the beautifully written blog. Very informative. Hope your child is doing great at Com-Deall. Please do write about your experiences there and any new ones that you have found.

viji said...

thank you.he goes to ASHA basveshwar nagar. Yes, he is improving.He still has a long way to go. Good luck

suraj- Bangalore, India said...

Hi,

Love your blog, we have searched around and are yet to find GFCF food in Bangalore, will appreciate if you could share some information about places.

Has GFCF diet made (considerable) difference to him.

pls. share your experience with GFCF diet.

Also, which school did your child enroll with in Bagalore ?

Thanks and regards,
Suraj

Anonymous said...

Have you heard about dewdrops in J P nagar ...works with children with autism.

upen said...

The blog is very informative , Kindly share you experience

My Mail id : chupendra@gmail.com

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Benu said...

Hi...we went the same search as you did that time and all your account perfectly matches. Appreciate the sensitivity you've shown in the sharing that is immensely valuable for parents. May God bless your family..

Anonymous said...

Really appreciate your blog. It has been a detailed, informative and wonderful article. Think this is a similar experience by most parents with children requiring special attention. Bangalore needs to have more schools which are truly inclusive.

zaneeskhan said...

Sir,that was an amazingly informative article that I have been looking for the past two years with the least hope of getting informed about autism&ADHD.having an autistic boy with ADHD in mild stage and left untreated without proper support & guidance.....only people with humility understand better.salute for your efforts. And yes we all parents looking for that day to see our children become an independent being hopefully made your day.prayers for your children' bright future.Thank you and please continue your support.god bless.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed information.Finally which school did u settle for. Planning to move with a child of 8 years to Bangalore.Any help will be highly appreciated.

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