Life Skills Education for Children

News »

{tab=Seminar}

Seminar on mental retardation

Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University’s Faculty of Disability Management and Special Education is conducting a national seminar on mental retardation from 25 February, 2011 to 27 February, 2011.

The seminar would cover inclusive education, its percepts and practices, for children with mental retardation, a release from the university said.

Government officials from education, welfare, human resource departments, state coordinators of inclusive education, representatives of implementing agencies and special educators of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, RMSA and parents’ association would participate in the programme.

{tab=Life Skills Education}

Life Skills Education for Children

Studying to overcome challenges is one thing but overcoming challenges to study is quite another. The latter is what the ‘Play Therapy Unit’ at the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University is seized of.

Intellectually challenged children of all categories undergo training to pick up life skills and then school readiness skills. The training depends on the level of the disability.

C. Renuka Devi, Assistant Professor, Special Education, says the children are classified into mild, moderate, severe and profound disability groups.

The first two are taught school readiness skills and the last two are first taught life skills, otherwise called Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

The children are also divided into two age groups – those below or above six years – for the purpose of assessment, which is on 18 parameters.

They are gross motor activities, fine motor activities, meal time activities, dressing, grooming, toileting, receptive language, expressive language, social interaction, reading, writing, numbers, time, money, domestic activities, community orientation, recreation – leisure activities and vocational activities.

The gross motor activities test the children if they are able to hold head steady, sit without support, roll over flat surface, run, squat, etc.

The fine motor activities test children if they are capable of reaching for and grasping objects, picking up small objects using thumb and fingers, carrying a filled paper cup without crushing, pouring liquid from a pitcher into a tumbler without spilling, etc.

Meal time activities includes tests for ability to differentiate between edible and non – edible items, chew solid food, identify drinking water at a public place and have the same, etc.

Under the expressive language evaluation the children are tested if they can say 20 words, their name, say name of parents and their occupation, express feelings, complete sentences, describe events in logical order, etc.

The assessment is for those aged over six years and named ‘Madras Developmental Programming System’. For those below six years there is a similar assessment test, called Upanayan.

Ms. Devi explains that such an assessment is necessary to start the appropriate training programme.

After the assessment, the teachers train the kids in the presence of parents.

The assistant professor also says that training also differs from one kid to another, depending on their grasping ability. And the training is quite different from that of the regular school. The teachers first show pictures, then pictures and words and then letters.

This approach is called the ‘whole to part’ learning methodology.

{/tabs}