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This Bengaluru centre aims to end the isolation faced by children with special needs

September 12, 2018

Astitva means 'identity' and that is exactly what this therapy centre for children with special needs is aiming to create. Located in Bengaluru, Beautiful Minds Astitva was launched eight years ago.

This founder of the therapy centre Asha Gnanaolivu is a child developmental specialist, who has worked as a counsellor in many schools across Bengaluru. There she saw firsthand the discrimination children with special needs face. That left a deep impact and she decided to bring about a change.

That is how Beautiful Minds Astitva was born. There are over 75 children with autism, Down syndrome and other special needs here. They are given sessions on early intervention, occupational and speech therapies, dancing, music, play therapies and yoga.

Children with special needs are very dependent on their parents and teachers, especially their mothers. They need individual care and attention. We aim to provide that. I have always loved working with children over adults. I knew that starting a venture like Beautiful Minds Astitva would be the best way to reach out to hundreds of children with special needs. I have seen mothers running from one part of the city to another for therapies for their children. Beautiful Minds Astitva has all facilities under one roof. Asha Gnanaolivu, Founder-Director

Asha says awareness among parents when it comes to special needs is still poor. This is also true for educated couples, many of whom refuse to acknowledge the fact that their child has special needs. Beautiful Minds Astitva helps them with free counselling sessions so theyc an understand their child's needs.

For children from poor backgrounds, Beautiful Minds Astitva offers services at discounted rates, sometimes even free of cost.

Asha says stigma is a major problem faced by parents. "I have heard many parents say that their neighbours don't allow their kids to play with a child with special needs. We have a long way to go when it comes to an inclusive society. Children with special needs face constant isolation and other such challenges".

Beautiful Minds Astitva aims to empower more children with special needs to enable them to live independently. Their centre in Koramangala is a haven where children flower under the love and care of a professionally trained staff.

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