Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dance and Drama Workhop-Part 2

        In the older lot, the children were asked to express their feelings for the oppoite sex.What did x feel about Y? The parents were asked to comment on their dreams and fears for their children. For those of the children who could express themselves, either by writing or verbally,  they were encouraged to do so. For the rest, the parents put in their aspirations and fears. Some of the individual dreams were that they could encourage their childrens’ culinary skiils, music talent, painting interest, to become a chef, musician, and painter. Data entry was also one of he options mentioned. As one of the boys put it in his own words, “I do not want my mother to be hurt, I want to be able to take care of my bag and mobile”…., to me the depth of their thoughts and concern was amazing. Some of the common fears were
What after us?
Self defense
Ability to take care of their belonginings
Financial dealings
Any major health ailments
Anybody taking undue advantage of the children.
                       Andrew did a role play on self defense with one of the children and showed how the children can be made to say stop, and goaway, with force.The child can be taught o distinguish between a friendly overture and not sofriendly one. The discussion was concluded on the note as one works on the dreams, interests and aspirations the gulf between the fears and success can be  narrowed down to enable these children to live life more meaningfully.

Dance Drama Workshop-Part 1

A dance drama workshop was conducted on the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th of January in the Rotary auditorium. Initially I was sceptical as to how a workshop of this kind would work for a non verbal child. The workshop was conducted BY ASHA, Basweshwara nagar under Jaishree’s stewardhip. Nikki Bettcher Erickson ,autism coordinator  from WCI, Willmar,Andrew Nelson ,Educational specialist form Marshall Unversity, Huntington, along with Prof.Ramamoorthi  from Madurai Kamaraj Unversity conducted the 4 day workshop in Bangalore.Majority of the children who participated were in the age group 12 and above.
                 The work shop was conducted in a phased manner .The first two days were more of warm- up sessions. On the third and fourth day this was followed by practise on a play, discussions with parents on various issues concerning autism. There were lot of fun games, involving the children, and encouraging them to participate.Some of the games included Pass the power, statue, guesssing games, man machines, reading expressions on another’s face dragon trains, make up…. The younger lot worked on the play, the capseller and the monkeys, with a twist to the story. Making it more relevant to the present times, the monkeys refuse to part with the caps, making the capseller heart broken.T hey do not imitated the capseller blindly. Finally one monkey takes pity on the capseller and relents. The other monkeys follow suit and return the caps.
                      It was intersting to observe the level of interest, and   participation by the children. They loved to exhibit their talents be it singing, dancing, or painting. The discussion group gave some serious thought to various issues that concern the older lot in thir adolosence.More on it in my next post.

More Websites

I have given below a list of websites that maybe useful to the readers on a range of topics related to autism.   on issues of advocacy, and information  life span program based on structured teaching, wish they had free downloads.  on first signs of autism, early detection. I have written a post on early intervention that has more websites you can look up.  on resources and information.  the officialwesite of the autism society of America.
www.ready-2-learn .com innovative   instuctional material for pople with autism   online asperger syndrome information and support.
Last but not the least . Modesty  is not  one of my virtues, anyway! ha ha ha

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Early Intervention

Early intervention goes a long way in helping children with autism, has now been proved beyond doubt. As I recall ramam’s initial diagnosis, the umpteen assessments, visits to therapists, coming to terms wih the diagnosis, the innumerable sleepless nights, the will to battle autism, the gamut of emotions are so huge as to last a lifetime. With early intervention we can nurture the young children into autistic adults with certain deficiencies.Yes, of course it is a spectrum disorder.The initial years are so crucial especially working on his fine motor,gross motor, eye contact, eye hand corodination, social and communication skills. The stress is never on academics.The book, a guide to understaning early intervention, early development and care by Suma shastri, IRC,is a well written document  that the emphasises the need for early intervention, the early warning signs,to watch out for.The book also mentions in the various developmental milestones  to be achieved by a child in chronological order. Qoestions as to when to seek occupational, speech thrapies have also been answered.The book is available on sale.The last chapter is a mention of resources available for early intervention.The books and websites are as follows;

1.         Child Development 2000 and Beyond by MCK Nair and R.K. Pejavar, Prisom Books, Bangalore.

2.         Child Growth and Development by Hurlock. G.B., McGraw Hill Publishers.

3.         Child Development (seventh edition) by Laura E.Berk, Prentice-Hall India Books.

4.         Simple Steps, Developmental Activities for Infants, Toddlers and Two Year Olds by             Karen Miller, Viva Books.

5.         Bridging; assessment for teaching and learning in Early Childhood Classrooms.
            By Jie-Qi Chen, Gillian Dowley.

6.         Making Toys for Preschool Children by Miller & Gibbs.

Web Links:

1.         The Whole Child – for parents @
2.         Child & Family Web Guide parent info on child development @
3.         Child Development Reference Vol 4 @
4.         Illinois Early Intervention Training Home Page @
5.         Developmental Disability, Early Intervention @
6.         The Early Childhood Gateway @
7.         Zero to Three Brain Development @
8.         National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) @
9.         Center for Disease Control and Prevention @
10.       National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More On Gluten Free Diet.

This is a mail send to me by Gina, a  lot of must know facts about gluten and the harmful effects it has on your body and mind.
 The article posted by Mark hyman on gluten in the Huffington post,  states that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity masquerade as dozens and dozens of other diseases with different names.  There are 55 diseases attributed to gluten sensititvity. These include osteoporosis, irritable bowl syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores,  and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune dieases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric  and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression,   schizophrenia, dementia, migraine, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). It has also been linked to  autism . Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune diseaese that creates inflamation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, joints, heart,digestive system, and more.  It can be the single cause behind many different "diseases." To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause--which is often gluten sensitivity--not just the symptoms. While testing can help identify gluten sensivity, the only way you will know if this is really a problem for you is to eliminate all gluten for a short period of time (2 to 4 weeks) and see how you feel. Get rid of the following foods:

• Gluten
• Hidden sources  from your diet.
There are gluten allergy/celiac disease tests that are available through Labcorp or Quest Diagnostics.
For more on the dangers of gluten visit

Google Autism Search Results