At Vivekalaya School, children with special needs are exposed to a range of experiences
At Vivekalaya School in Coimbatore, an integrated approach has been the cornerstone of the academic policy from the beginning.
The specific needs of every child are looked into, based on which a remedial intervention program is framed. The approach here is holistic - one that exposes children to a variety of activities, skills and experiences.
Children with learning disabilities are taught in separate classrooms for academics only, and are integrated with other students for extra-curricular activities.This includes activities like dance, play, art, karate, music, indoor games, talk shows, guest lectures, literary activities, value education, story times, career guidance and counselling.
The school caters to children with learning disabilities like dyslexia and ADHD. Students with mild autism are also taught here. Reaching out to them are 30 special educators.
Like with most inclusive schools in India, trained staff skilled in reaching out to children with special needs in a challenge. Vivekalaya is associated with the Madras Dyslexia Association, which helps the school with the training. There is also regular in-house training by senior staff who follow the Transactional Analysis program.
The science of Transactional Analysis has a framework of reference, when it comes to understanding students, empathising with them and providing emotional support.
Being an integrated school has a positive impact on students, says a school official. "As an integrated school we develop the culture of respect and belonging. It provides opportunities to learn about, and accept individual differences."
To read the profiles of the rest of the schools in the Inclusive Schools series, click on the links below:
Orchid School, Pune
APL Global School, Chennai
St Mary's , Delhi
Gamru Village School,Himachal Pradesh
The Heritage School Kolkata
Nankana Sahib Public SchoolLudhiana