This school, Saandipani, in Shanti nagar is in Hyderabad. It follows the Waldrof curriculum that does not have a mass appeal with parents of regular kids. It works for our kids feels a mother of an autistic kid. The school believes in lot of physical activities, the academic sessions start only at 11.30. They teach more of vocational skills such as stitching and carpentry. After the gym, OT , and exercises , the mother feels the child is more focused. There are no deadlines. Her son is in the 5th grade. The best part she says, I don’t have to nag him, and he feels it is his responsibility to do his work. I feel that is major, major …. (Guess it cannot be emphasized enough) learning. Today he writes A-Z, numbers independently and she feels it is an accomplishment to be proud of it. Earlier he was doing a whole lot of academics, none of it independently. ABA is an absolute NO -NO with her son. The Waldroff curriculum is based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner. According to him a regular kid is not ready for academics till the age of 7 and a special child till the age of 12. No wonder this philosophy has no takers in India.
The other school in Tiruchi, Shivananda balalaya in Srinivasa nagar is a mainstream school with a separate set up for special kids. They gradually integrate the children. The mother, I spoke to says her daughter, a CP child is attending school here. There are autistic children also. And the children are taken care of. They also allow shadow teachers. The student –teacher ratio is 4:1.
As the loreal ad with Aishwarya Rai goes “5 problems, one solution…………….” an ad for schooling for autistic kids should probably be something like this “I problem, multiple solutions, no guarantees”. Anyway the parents cannot be blamed for want of not trying. Montessori, TEACCH, ABA, Waldroff, to state syllabi, different techniques, different methodologies work for our children. Jo Jeeta wohi sikander.