“Pratidhi” is an initiative of Helping Hands Organisation (H2O) along with Parent Partners that focuses on providing quality services to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or generally called as autism. H2O believes in a holistic approach in dealing with developmental and clinical disorders of childhood. This centre shall cater a high quality special school for ASD and a therapy centre under outpatient (OP) mode. The special school shall provide quality inputs and high intensity training to 10 students initially. The school would have a wholistic approach providing the students with special education, functional academics, Actvities of Daily Living (ADL) skills, Occupational and Speech Therapy services. Outpatient clinic shall cater to children who need OT, Speech, Physiotherapy services. The centre in the first phase will build a cadre of 4 Special Educators, One therapist each in Speech and language pathology, Occupational therapy cum Sensory Integration, Physiotherapy and Behaviour therapy.  Besides, the children will be trained in various pre-vocational areas also. We shall provide the parents of children with ASD an understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how to manage their kids with ASD through parental counselling services. This centre will concentrate on addressing the impairments associated with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder including the areas of communication, socialization and restricted and repetitive behaviours to attain the ultimate goal which is to improve the quality of life of special children thereby their parent’s life and to set them towards a path for being independent. Pratidhi therefore symbolizes hope to families who are in need of it and hope for a better future for children with ASD.

The centre shall operate from its premises at MPANRA -67, M.P.Appan Road, Vazhuthacaud, Thiruvananthapuram-14.

This initiative was taken along with Parent partners with the objective of beginning a quality multi-specialty Centre. The the Centre shall offer the following services:

Occupational Therapy: Providing assessments & treatment methods to develop recover or maintain the daily living and working skills of children with physical, mental or cognitive disorders. The centre will be using state of the art equipment’s and methods including our star attraction i.e. the reflexology path

Sensory Integration Therapy: focuses on children with difficulty in processing sensory information such as textures, sounds, smell, tastes brightness and movement that can interfere with daily functioning. It uses play activities in ways designed to change how the brain reacts. Sensory profiling of each child is done and inputs are tailor made to the specific sensory input of a child.

Physiotherapy: involves re-mediating impairments and promotes mobility and functioning through examination, diagnosis or clinical conditions and using physical intervention. This may be as simple as daily exercise and yoga to our school students to specific rehabilitative intervention as the need may be.

Behaviour Therapy: It is a type of psychotherapy which focuses on the reinforcing the desirable behaviour and eliminating unwanted or maladaptive ones that have been learned. One of the major areas that draw on the strategies of behaviour therapy is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Applied Behaviour analysis is an effective learning tool for helping children with autism or developmental delays to acquire and maintain new skills.

Psychological assessment: Developmental quotient, Intelligence quotient, social maturity, adaptive behaviour, personality, disorder of psychological development (PDD, disorders of scholastic skills), disorders of childhood and adolescence (ADHD, CD)

Speech therapy: This comprises of identification and treatment of disorders related to the speech and language development. This helps in the improvement of receptive language, expressive language, communication, fluency and articulation. The use of Assistive and Augmentative Communication Devices (AAC) shall also be targeted for nonverbal children & young adults.

Special education: It is the application of customized (designed to meet the individual’s requirement or IEPs) instructional program and services provided to children with identified disability to meet their unique learning needs

Computer Based Intervention: Uses computerized programmes for teaching language skills, including vocabulary, social skills, social understanding, and social problem solving. The use of CBI in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) offer some advantages to traditional one-to-one or group instruction including easier differentiation of instruction, decreased distractions and the incorporation of an individual’s relative visual learning strengths.

Besides, we plan the following other programmes also:

Group Therapy: focuses on improving social interaction by encouraging emotional and social reciprocity, improve problem solving skills, practice new skills learned and to build friendships

Vocational Trainings: Pre-vocational and vocational trainings in the field of computer, pottery & painting, handicrafts, music & dance, gardening & flower arrangement, stitching, cooking, paper cover & paper plate making, card making, text book binding etc. are planned so that the children can find a suitable job aiming at future self-sustainability.

Regular Outings: children are taken on one day trips to implement the skills that are learned to real social situations. (like shops, restaurants, parks etc)

Daily Living Skills: sessions on daily living skills are provided to the children & parents to help them train their children at home.

Workshops: Regular workshops help to update to the latest information and to provide training for professionals, students, parents and community.