Diagnoses and applied therapies
In the local rural villages, we face all kinds of disabilities. Most common is learning disabilities, cerebral palsy and hearing impairment. Different types of muscular dystrophy are also common. We do also see children who suffer from hemiplegia and different congenital disorders. Down Syndrome is less common in these villages. Many children suffered from birth asphyxia and therefore have brain injuries. In India it is still common that parents are close blood relatives which often results in having children who are physically disabled, such as congenital hearing impairment. Some of our children suffer multiple disabilities and need many different interventions. Most of our children have low concentration spans and some are hyperactive. In recent years we are seeing more children with autistic features and behavioral disorders.
We offer physio-, speech-, and occupational therapy, usually in individual sessions. With smaller children, especially, it is necessary to work closely with their parents. Over the years we had many professionals from different countries sharing their expertise with us at Deepam. We received insights through methods such as the Bobath concept (a neurological concept of physiotherapy); we learnt about the Sensory Integration therapy of Jean Ayres (an occupational therapist), about Osteopathy, and were exposed to the Feldenkrais method. Speech therapists taught us more about sensory hearing loss and about myo-facial therapy.
For many children who need physiotherapy, we have successfully applied the Neurofunctional Reorganization or Padovan Method. Dr. Sonia Padovan came twice from Brazil to give several of our team members an in-depth training. We apply a sequence of exercises for the body, for the eyes, for the hands and for the mouth. This gives a great stimulation for the nervous system.
Additionally we teach a lot of handicrafts such as clay work, candle-making, wood-work and painting. Body awareness skills are practised through games and physical exercises such as yoga, horse riding and swimming. Social behavior and consideration for others is taught throughout the day in different activities. All children have to help with tidying up and the bigger ones help the smaller ones. Each of them gets basic education according to their abilities, in individual sessions or in small groups.