In addition to our core activity of remedial teaching, which is to enhance the scholastic skills of a Learning Disabled child, we take initiative towards a rounded personality of the child. Working in this direction, we assess various skills and areas of interest of the child and facilitate the growth of the same. Believing in the concept of ‘Sound mind in a sound body’, to keep the child fit, we have daily yoga sessions and arrange long distance cycling and trekking periodically. We encourage our pupil to participate in competitions to boost their self-confidence.
In a society where scholastic achievements overshadow other talents of a child, creating awareness and acceptance about Learning Disability is a task of prime importance. We recognize and work towards it. Once the populace is aware of this and parents with children who need special education come forward, we counsel them after assessing the child and offer them suitable solution
Out of the many success stories we are proud of, some stand out because of the gravity of problem and their SUCCESS in overcoming the same.
1. From a troublesome to a triumphant Teen: AARYAMAAN (Name changed)
In 1999 Aaryamaan was a troubled 14-year-old boy with a history of hindered communication, introversion, poor knowledge of basic mathematics and severe difficulty in reading and writing Kannada (his mother tongue) and English. The ill treatment at his regular school added to his woes. Although he was good at sports, his father discouraged him to make sure that he paid due attention to his studies.
Thanks to his habit of going through magazines, he came across an article about SAMVEDA in ‘TARANGA’ – a Kannada magazine and recognized it to be his mentor. He approached his parents and asked them to take him to SAMVEDA.
His father, an well-accomplished academician himself was skeptical and frustrated because of the failure of his every attempt at improving his son’s learning standards all those years. His mother (a homemaker) however wanted to give her son’s wish a chance and his parents brought him to SAMVEDA.
Here, his father expressed his apprehension about Aaryamaan’s ability to be better learned. This opinion remained little changed during Aaryamaan’s first year at SAMVEDA.
The second year, following his son’s improvement in performance his attitude changed to be one of interest, which gave way to confidence about the Institute by the yearend. His opinion so changed led him to acknowledge SAMVEDA’s successful role wholeheartedly.
This confidence was complemented by Aaryamaan’s performance in the third year when he successfully got through 10th Std. Board Exams in 2001-02 with a decent score of 58.6% though he still has a nominal spelling problem.
With encouragement for his all round development at the Institute, he turned out to be a natural leader, he made his own notes and self-learnt the whole syllabus for the board exams with the guidance of teachers here. He is good in yoga and athletics (He secured second place in Triple Jump at the District level) and he successfully completed an 83-km bicycle race conducted by the Department of Forestry. He is now in The College Athletics team… Yes, now, at the age of 17, he has joined a regular college
2. UDIT (Name changed) at SAMVEDA from 1998… Challenging the Mental Challenge
Udit joined us in 1998 with severe problem in his ability for concentration, attention and learning. At thirteen, he had not the ability to even read, write or reproduce letters of the alphabet, of either Kannada or English and was foreign to the basics of Mathematics. He was unlike any thirteen-year-old even in his behaviour. His general knowledge was almost nil, he was uncommunicative, secluded, introvert, very passive, fear ed interaction with people, had very poor memory and was very low on confidence.
He stayed the same in his first year at SAMVEDA. In the second year, there were some traces of his improvement. In the third year, he started showing some real improvement in his behaviour and his academics. Fourth year witnessed a vast improvement in his performance in all the fields he successfully got through in three subjects of 10th Std. Board Exams. He also showed good progress at sports Volleyball, High jump and other athletic events.
He is a wonderful cyclist he completed an 83-km State level cycle race conducted by the Forest Dept. He was one among the only eight successful participants out of the total 39.
His interpersonal skills are worth appreciation now. He, to our surprise (an extremely pleasant one) presented himself on stage with full confidence in front of a big gathering at a Teacher Training College without any traces of stage fear and was very expressive too. He has a better General Knowledge now and proved his leadership skills when he was wholly responsible for a recent trekking event he planned the whole event, did all the correspondence and co-ordination and managed the accounts too.
This, the fifth year, he is going to appear for the remaining three subjects of the board exams. He has to and is working hard in Mathematics at this level though his basics in the subject are sound now.
Smitha was thrown out of school when she failed to get through 8th standard. Earlier, in primary school, she had already been detained twice. The authorities forced the parents to withdraw her from school alleging that it was impossible to teach her anything. Everyone in the family was worried about her future; she was sixteen and had hardly mastered the letters of the alphabet; her mathematical skills were not age appropriate and she had poor general knowledge. She had lost her self-esteem. Smitha was brought to Samveda by her aunt in May 1995. After the assessment it was found that she was a severe Learning Disabled child.
After analyzing the results of several assessments, Smitha’s Individual Education Plan of three-year duration was prepared according to Samveda’s Remedial Teaching Model. After the successful completion of this program, she was trained to appear for the 10th standard public exam which she successfully cleared in two attempts (three subjects at a time) and at present pursing a pre-university course (in National Open School) and employed as a part time worker in a computer institute.
4. Praveen (12)
Praveen is the result of a consanguineous marriage and came to this world in the seventh month of pregnancy with an underdeveloped brain and was physically weak. He had delayed developmental milestones. He was put under treatment twice by separate psychiatrists but he could not bear the side effects of the drugs and finally the parents had to discontinue the treatments. At the age of seven, Praveen could neither talk nor socialize, and he was becoming increasingly hyperactive and destructive. Under such circumstances, his parents found themselves run out of options other that physically punish him. He could not communicate his trauma due to lack of speech. He was very stubborn and would cry, yell, scream, pinch, bite others and run away. His bashing and hysterics became unmanageable to his parents. During these years, he developed bed-wetting with severely disturbed sleep and he became anemic too.
Psychiatrists assessed him as a mild mentally retarded child with delayed speech and hyperactivity and he was put on treatment. During the treatment, he lost his weight due to low intake of food and he used to be too dull and sometimes used to sleep. Seeing all this, his parents decided to discontinue the treatment. After they stopped the treatment he went back to his habits of destroying things, spitting at others, pinching and throwing stones and footwear at anybody who wanted to interact with him.
Praveen was brought to Samveda at the end of 1996. After initial screening, he was sent to All India Institute of Speech and Hearing for a fresh assessment. Praveen was certified as mentally retarded with an IQ of 30 and mental age 3. He started traveling from Harihar (His place of stay) to Davangere (12kms) to attend Samveda special school. After an year at Samveda, the Samveda staff found a donor for Praveen and so Praveen was taken into the ‘Samveda Kunja’, the special hostel for kids with learning disability and trainable mental retardation. After his three-year stint at Samveda, he learnt how to behave with his parents and almost everyone. He was friendly with everyone. He had picked up more than 250 words. He started to speak using short sentences. He was trained in all self-help skills with 100% of results. He became classroom friendly and started writing and there was marked improvement in his physical fitness. By the time he left Samveda, he had become the darling of the school and hostel. Presently he is attending a school in Harihar.
5. Priya (19)
This is Priya’s fourth year at Samveda. She is pursuing the Secondary course through National Open School. She has passed two subjects out of five. She hopes to clear the other subjects in the next attempt. Nowadays, she reads texts and makes notes on her own.
Last year she was unable to read. It was very difficult for her to decode a word. She would take more than an hour to read just ten sentences. Even after understanding the meaning of a word, which she found in a sentence, she was not able to recognize it. She used to get tired of reading and would even drowse in front of teachers.
Two years back, the situation was still worse. She could not even read a single syllable. She used to get tired after reading 10-15 words the meaning of which she would search in the dictionary. She could not even understand a picture dictionary meant for primary school children. She did not talk to anyone at school/home. Every time she waited for instructions from someone to do any work. Sometimes she would resist and do no work at home. She did not have any friends and no one wished to speak to her, as she was a very poor communicator.
When she was admitted to Samveda she was fifteen and did not know the letters of either Kannnada or Engish alphabets, she had no number concept and was unable to do basic mathematical operations. She could not communicate in her mother tongue. She did not understand basic social concepts like family, school, friendship etc. It was found that an aunt, who was childless, adopted her when sh e was a 6 months baby. Priya’s mother was physically weak and their family was under financial constraints. Under such circumstances, her parents and her aunt carried out an informal adoption (not legal). After a year of her adoption, her aunt conceived a daughter of her own. When Priya was of 4 years, she was sent to a Kindergarten. Somehow, her performance was not improving through the years. Priya’s foster parents decided to call her biological parents and let them know about her poor performance and they also suggested that she might start improving if she were to continue her studies with her parents. Shocked by their attitude towards Priya, her biological parents brought her back. She was admitted in a local school where her performance deteriorated even further.
After some time, she was brought to Samveda. Her poor scholastic performance, improper physical development and emotional disturbance were some of the important issues that teachers of Samveda had to tackle with.