With 2015 coming to end, we have been very busy at Handimachal. Last month we had two Indian volunteers, Raviraj Shetty (Occupational Therapist) and Jill Sanghavi (Counselor) from Mumbai who spent time at Handimachal for a week working with the team in various areas the team needed guidance on.
Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non blaming approach to counselling, which centers people as the experts in their own lives. A session on Narrative therapy practices was conducted at Kullu to empower the team to use the approach while dealing with parents and difficult situations which come up in our work with families.
Fathers are often the unsung heroes to children with special needs. All fathers who care for children with special needs are amazing. One thing to be considered with these fathers is that they, just like their moms, need support. Moms of kids with special needs tend to discuss their children and collaborate with other parents through support groups. Fathers may be more reserved, but are still interested and invested in the care of their children. Some fathers enjoy meeting or chatting with other dads with whom they have things in common. Raviraj facilitates a Fathers group at Umeed, a child development center in Mumbai.
A Fathers group was facilitated at Handimachal on the similar lines, giving platform to our fathers to come together and share their stories of Fatherhood. Raviraj and Mr. Dhiman facilitated the group. The fathers will meet periodically henceforth. 15 fathers met that day and had some amazing insights to give.
A Mothers group was also initiated by Jilli and Shruti. 13 mothers gathered and we fell short of time to listen to all they had to share. A Whatss app group was formed immediately for our Fathers Group and Mothers Group which is now primarlialry connecting medium.
Learning and discussion sessions on various topics of Language and communication Development were held too.
A team building exercise with the team of Learning centre Manali was conducted.
A session on Autism and Cognitive Behavior therapy practices was conducted for the special education staff of Manali.
A lot of case discussions, sharing ideas of innovative therapy practices, various modules being followed in other therapy centers, our funny moments with children, “This happens with you too’’ stories, our shared vision and aspiration to work with special needs children…. We fell short of time to talk of everything we wanted to.
Our 3 CBR agents and Shakuntala, special educator, giving their full attention during a training session.
We are very thankfull to Raviraj and Jill to have spent time at Handimachal. We will actively seek to apply all the new learnings we had with them. We wish them success on their special path working with special needs children.
Shruti, Occupational Therapist, Handimachal Kullu
8 December 2015
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