Umeed Foundation uses a mix combination of behaviour based methods and structured teaching and involves the following programs:
Assessments are the foundation stone to identify what services we have to offer to the child or young adult. At Umeed, we conduct different types of assessments depending on the need of the child like Functional Assessments, Occupational Therapy & Sensory Assessments, Language Assessments, and Behavioral Assessments and many more.
ii. Educational Programs
The educational programs at Umeed has its main focus on taking out best potential out from the child by using all the strengths of the child and working on his difficult areas.
A special education program is customized to address individual student’s unique needs. A special educator works with the child addressing the student’s individual differences and needs. This involves individual planning and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted materials, accessible settings and other interventions designed to help students achieve higher level of self sufficiency and success in school and community.
iii. Occupational & Sensory Integration Program
Most people learn naturally to correctly interpret the sensory information that we receive from the world around us, but some people don’t. If the brain is interpreting the information from the senses too strongly, you can get what is called “hypersensitivity” where world can seem frighteningly loud and even the gentlest touch can cause distress. On the other hand, if the brain interprets the information from the senses weakly, a person can feel numb, or dull and consequently seek out more and more exciting or even painful stimulus to counteract these stimulus.
The typical goal of sensory integration is to help the child re-organize or re-process sensory information in order to have a more accurate response to external stimuli.
iv. Language and Communication Therapy
Children on the autism spectrum often have difficulty understanding the communication of others and communicating effectively with them. In fact a child on the autism spectrum may not see any reason to communicate with other people. This may delay their language acquisition and lead to frustration when they cannot make their needs understood. If they find play and social situations difficult and so avoid them, they also have fewer opportunities to learn language.
The speech and language therapy is provided to the child in the form of one to one sessions with a therapist. But very often we devise a programme for a child to be delivered by class teachers and teaching assistants. We provide training for the school staff and suggest communication targets for the child’s individual education plan which should be integrated into the curriculum.
v. Behaviour Therapy
Almost everyone on the autism spectrum has at least some challenging behaviors. These may range from the odd (spinning, flapping) to the self-injurious (head banging) to the truly dangerous (hitting, kicking, dashing into traffic). Autistic people may also find undesirable ways to avoid doing what they don’t want to do: they may hum, slide under the table, or otherwise avoid non-preferred activities.
At Umeed, we the behavior therapist walk into a setting, observe the environment, the activities, and the person in question; gathers data about what seems to set off or calm difficult behaviors; to suggest appropriate changes and/or interventions; and to troubleshoot until the interventions are successful. Interventions may range from behavior charts with stickers and motivational prizes to changes in an environment that is creating sensory overload or undue frustrations.
vi. Pre Vocational Skills
Most families hope that their child will one day hold a job. However, many students are not prepared to access and take full advantage of this curriculum, because they have not developed the pre-requisite skills.
We, at Umeed work on developing the pre requisite skills of the child so that he gets ready to start working in a vocational center, a transitional community employment, sheltered workshops or even to get him ready to stay in day care. Depending on the child’s interests, we teach simple work skills such as sorting, counting, assembly, packaging, cutting, punching, filing, design copying, making snacks, cutting vegetables and much more.
vii. Vocational Skills
Once our child reaches the teenage, our concerns need to involve looking forward and focusing on the skills, the child needs to acquire as an independently functioning adult. Unfortunately, in our country the present scenario very clearly reflects that services for special needs are being concentrated mainly on Early Intervention and pre teen age groups. While new centers are mushrooming for the younger children, there remains a dearth of services for the older ones.
At Umeed, we aim in making the transition from childhood to adolescent and later into adult life in a meaningful manner to secure a future direction.
viii. Life Skills Trainings
Life skills are the skills which will assist an individual to interact with his/her environment as independently as possible (interpersonal skills) which are necessary for an individual to manage his/her own personal affairs. These include:-
– Eating food independently
– Bathing and toileting
– Ability to do basic house hold chores
– Understand money concept
Work, Leisure and Communication Skills (like using a phone, playing indoor games, etc.)
ix. Play Therapy
One of the things that cause parents a lot of apprehension and pain is their child’s lack of pretend play skills. Pretend play happens later in development (usually around two years of age in typically developing children) and is the most sophisticated form of play. At Umeed we emphasize on pretend play which is particularly important for developing the skills needed for social relationships, language and communication. This type of play is often delayed in children with ASD, but many children with ASD can and do ultimately develop pretend play.
Appropriate play skills are taught target play and to replace the unacceptable perseverative behaviors. Remember, successful behavioral plans include a strategy to replace the unacceptable behavior with an appropriate behavior, not just diminish the unwanted behavior.
x. Inclusive Trainings
Inclusion, not only means going to a mainstream school but also being included in society as a whole, being friends with neuro typical peers and many more things.
At Umeed, we run many programs that work on the child’s school readiness skills and prepare the child to be included in mainstream education. We prepare individual programs for each child who can move from special to mainstream school and also who already go to mainstream school and need some additional support.
Umeed also works closely with the mainstream schools who have special needs section by conducting workshops for their teachers and also designing programmes specifically benefitting the child so that the child is able to cope better.
xi. Social Communication Groups
Autism is also known as “social communication disorder”. All persons with autism have some degree of difficulty in social and communication understanding and giving responses.
At Umeed we run to groups to intervene in this area of difficulty.
One group includes the children who are functionally more able and going to mainstream schools. These children may face some problems in their daily classroom activities like sitting quietly, copying from board and many more. This weekly programme replicates classroom situation to work on the social skills necessary for the child.
The other is Adolescent group where they get an opportunity to develop social skills, make friends , talk about their likes, dislikes and range of other appropriate skills.
xii. Community Orientation Programs
An individual has to be an integral part of the society and community he/ she belongs to. Umeed plans and supports community visits like at the mall, cinema, parks, worship places, commuting by metro, awareness walk, organizes melas etc.