A MISSION TO UNFOLD AND REINFORCE POTENTIALS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM TOWARDS QUALITY EDUCATION AND LIVELIHOOD
Prayas is a Computer and iPad Training Programme for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders; initiated by Autism Society of India, running in collaboration with Spastics Society of Karnataka, Indira Nagar, Bangalore, India.
It has been financially and technically supported by Sap Labs India Pvt. Ltd. Bangalore.
Prayas: Reinforcing Potentials The Basis
The rise in autism prevalence and awareness has brought about a lot of products which address various areas of teaching and training.
It’s painful to speak with parents and educators who have spent thousands of rupees and dollars from a limited budget, on programs that aren’t meeting their child’s/students’ needs. Families, Special Schools, NGOs and Regular Schools can’t afford to be stripped of their funds by products that are not useful. At Prayas, our endeavor is to provide parents and educators with tools to make their children/students successful. This has been possible as our focus is on results, by creating a situation, an environment which suits the sensory needs of an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our Project, “Reinforcing Potentials” has been implemented as evidence based project, where a process curriculum is followed; where, with the help of computers, small applications in the form of lessons, one works on cognition as well as development of skills related to computers. At present the basic module is a FREE ON- LINE RESOURCE called DAKSH, it can be easily accessed by any person/school/organization across the globe. It can be used in a home based set up, center based set up or community based set up.
Prayas has completed three batches of training for more than 40 individuals in a span of fifteen months.
1.An intake assessment is done to identify the base line functioning of an individual; this enables us to look at the kind of training programme we can offer.
2.The initial assessment also helps us to identify as where we can integrate the usage of iPad in training.
3.The training at Prayas is done in three batches every day having 5 kids each, with their respective parents and two teachers; thus creating a calmer environment which caters to the SENSORY NEEDS of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
4.All the training sessions are recorded daily and monthly reports are sent to parents. Training is done by the trained professionals.
5.Parents are encouraged to work with the kids; so that they understand the strengths and deficits of the kids.
6.This is continued for first four months of training; fifth month is saved for the revision, where the focus is given on independence, speed and accuracy.
7.Individuals are evaluated for having been able to recognize the tools on Ms Word, Excel and PPT and their usage. The latter is evaluated at different levels;
- Being 100% independent
- Functioning with verbal prompt
- Functioning with physical prompt.
8.Following are the categories in which the computer training/work is done on each day of the training period.
- 1.Introduction to Self
- 2.Readiness in Language and Math
- 3.Language Skills/ Grammar
- 4.General Awareness
- 5.Emotional Awareness
- 6.Computer skills
- 7.Sequencing/ Pattern recognition
- 9.Story Telling
- 10.Leisure Activity
- 11.Creative Work on MS word and Adobe Illustrator
9.The eighteen months duration of training at Prayas has enabled us to segregate the programme in two categories
- Level 1 ( Age group 5-12 yrs)
- Level 2 ( Age group 12- 20 yrs)
This is being uploaded to the internet as the FREE ON- LINE RESOURCE called DAKSH.
Main Features of DAKSH
1.An ADD-ON Programme
2.Following the “Process Curriculum”.
3.Principles of Learning: Middle path of “Bloom’s Taxonomy”.
4.Basis of Training: Cognition and communication.
5.Customizable to the level of the child.
7.Focus on Skill Development.
8.Specific Skills to Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Strengthening Pattern Recognition
- Learning to EXPRESS
- Building Creativity
- Learning Life Skills through Cause and Effect
- Learning HOWS?
Prayas aims to reinforce and harness the potentials of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders through the indigenous technology based solutions in their early years of life and give them a chance to become a productive citizen of the society.
For more details here.