Akila Vaidyanathan

akila_image

Akila Vaidyanathan

Founder Director, the Amaze Charitable Trust
Founding Member, Joint Secretary, Autism Society of India
Email: nirala44@yahoo.co.in
Phone: 09791823043
Address: 3/571, Gandhinagar Street 1
K. VadaMadurai Post, Coimbatore 641017

As Director of AMAZE CHARITABLE TRUST, Envison and Implement programs that help persons with Autism develop skills in the areas of Technology, Communication, Language, Cognition, Social Skills, Fitness and Sports.
EXPERTISE

  • Specialize in Communication and Education Assessment and Programs for children with Autism and related disorders.
  • Detailed Program planning and Road map for intervention for children/ individuals of all ages and severity of disorder.
  • Training in areas of Communication / Behavior Management /Learning Strategies for parents and teachers/schools.
  • Technology based intervention and Training for Cognition, Creativity and Communication including PECS, PCS, VOCA, CLICKER and iPad based apps.
  • Skill development programs in the areas of Employment / Vocation using technology and Life skills, Social skills / Soft skills, Fitness and Sports.
  • Previously worked as Software Consultant in the IT industry for 10 years [1989 -1999]

AWARENESS / ADVOCACY

  • Founder member of Autism Society of India [ASI], currently Joint Secretary of ASI.
  • Founder, Director of AMAZE Charitable Trust, Coimbatore working towards increasing Awareness and Advocacy and Empowering families and persons with Autism – Currently we run two centers with several programs including Technology based intervention, Intensive Skill Training for Adolescents and Adults with Autism, Social skills group, Fitness and sports training, etc.
  • Member of the Advisory Committee for the “PRAYAS” project by SAP Labs India and ASI to use technology to scale learning and employability for persons with Autism .
  • Contributed to the the core Advisory group working towards providing and scaling “Inclusive Living for PWD” with the Serene Senior Living projects [Kovai properties], Coimbatore .
  • Coordinate Annual Adventure training camps in collaboration with NALS Coimbatore for Families and persons with Intellectual Disability.
  • Program coordinator for the VELVI ART FOR AUTISM FESTIVAL, January 2015 @Coimbatore where workshops in the areas of DRAMA, MUSIC, ART, MOVEMENT and KINESIOLOGY were offered to children and Adults on the Autism spectrum and their families and professionals working in this area.
  • Represented the Autism Society of India at the South Asian Autism Network Conference hosted by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Justice, New Delhi in February 2013.
  • Active contributor on several e–forums relating to Autism and writes in leading newspapers on Autism related topics.
  • Coordinated and conducted several Autism Awareness programs for the public including public walks and seminars and at specific mainstream Schools and Institutions.

TEACHING / SEMINARS  

  • Visiting faculty for the PG Diploma in Special Education [Autism] KPAMRC, Bangalore for topics including Communication / RPM, Parental Involvement ,Parent Mental health and Counseling, ”Navigating the Autism Maze” [2001- current].
  • Visiting faculty for RCI Diploma in Autism course,at SSK Bangalore on “The Learning process, Perception, RPM” [2012].
  • Conducted workshops on Visual Strategies to help children communicate , including PECS for parents and therapists at various locations including Chandrashekar Institute of Speech and hearing, Bangalore and COMM-DEALL program , Bangalore[2002-2006].
  • Presented “Importance of Parental Involvement“ at the National Conference on Autism, January 23-25, 2005, Bangalore
  • Presented ”Insight into PECS-developing intentional communication in children with Autism” at the AAC Symposium conducted by MERF-ISH,12-14 November 2009,Chennai.
  • Presented a Case Study “Effectiveness of Picture exchange communication system [PECS] for building communication in children with Autism“ at the National Seminar on “Multi Disciplinary Approach for the management of Pediatric Disabilities” in June 2010 at Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda university.
  • Conducted an 8 part workshop on “Empowering the child with Severe Difficulties to Learn and communicate“ for teachers and Parents at Sri Prashanthi Academy, Coimbatore [Oct-Dec 2010].
  • Trained a batch of over 100 State Government Anganwadi workers on “Autism Diagnosis and Assesment” [Coimbatore, 2010]
  • Taught a batch of over 100 Special Education Teachers on “Inclusion of ASD students role of parents“ at Avinashalingam Deemed university [Oct 2011] [RCI credit course]
  • Trained over 100 Sarva Siksha Abiyan teachers on “Autism Diagnosis and training methods” at Avinashalingam Deemed University,Coimbatore[March 2012]
  • Conducted an Intensive training program on “Understanding and Teaching Children with Autism“ for Special educators, therapists and parents in April 2013.
  • Conducted several training programs on “Communication in Autism “ and “Technology based Intervention” in house @ AMAZE [latest Oct 2014].
  • Presented a paper on “AT Tools and AAC for Autism“ at the International Conference on Intelligent Interactive Systems and Assistive technology at Kumaraguru College of Technology ,Coimbatore [Aug 2013].
  • Taught 2 batches of about 50 Special Education Teachers on “Autism and Technology” at Avinashalingam Deemed university [Dec 2013, 2014] [RCI credit course].
  • Panel Discussion on Employability @ SAP Labs Bangalore Over 100 participants – SAP Employees ,Persons on the spectrum seeking Employment @SAP and their families, Autism community members [August 2014]
  • Spoke on the “Role of the parent and special educator” @Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Coimbatore September 2014 – 60 participants
  • “Understanding Communication in Autism:Structured and Unstructured strategies to build Communication skills in children with Autism“ @AMAZE Coimbatore [October 2014] – 16 parents / professionals.
  • “Technology based intervention “ including Computer based and iPad based applications @AMAZE Coimbatore 10 parents / professionals [October 2014].

RELEVANT TRAINING / CERTIFICATIONS  

  • Completed 1 year PG Diploma in Special Education [Autism] from KPAMRC, Bangalore[1999-2000].
  • AT tools and services for Students with Autism “ New England Assistive Technology [NEAT Marketplace], Hartford, CT, Nov 2006.
  • Rapid Prompt Method [RPM] Certified level 1 Implementer – under Mrs. Soma Mukhopadyay [HALO, Austin TX], April 2008.
  • Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment[FIE], Level 1 Certification training, Gurgaon, NOV 2009 under Dr Louis Falik.
  • PECS Basic and Advanced Certification Training, Singapore, November 2010.
  • Attended Special Olympics Bharat, National Coaching Camp, Hyderabad [August 2012] and GMS training.
  • Velvi-Drama for Autism course [6 month online certification course] Oct 2013 – Feb 2014.
  • Currently pursuing M.Sc. [Applied Psychology ] 2nd year, from Bharathiyar University.

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