Of Autism and Autonomy – The New Indian Express
Express press service
Offer tailor-made professional training or even training in life-building activities, The new Indian Express speaks to organizations in the city that help children and adults with autism on the path to self-sufficiency
Hash hack code
A social enterprise that works with neurodiverse individuals, Hash Hack Code offers them qualifying training, particularly in technology.
It offers these people a higher education that often remains inaccessible, allowing them a path to self-reliance through jobs in the world of technology, where skills are more important than a degree or certificate.
“Even though online learning and mastering new skills have become easier, they are still not available to everyone. This is where equal access to education is more important than ever, because education is a lifelong process and upgrading/re-skilling is essential for a career. Our curriculum is carefully designed to embrace the diversity of the human brain and mind in order to gradually learn computer programming. Through our graded lessons and our experiential learning methodology, we help lay the groundwork and spark student interest,” explains Manu Sekar, the founder.
Success stories abound with Hash Hack Code. Not wanting to stop there, the organization plans to create a neurodiverse company, which will also accommodate neurotypical people instead of the current scenario where neurodiverse people are forcibly integrated into the neurotypical workplace. This would offer neurodiverse people a real shot at careers and advancement, he notes.
For more details call: 9886693027
Gurukulam Center for Children with Special Needs
Founded in May 2019 under the aegis of Radha Nandakumar, it is an organization built by mothers of children with special needs. Children with autism find a significant presence here.
“For most of their lives, these kids are just getting training; there’s nothing they take home in terms of money or anything. We wanted to start an initiative, we’re getting these students to make products, handicrafts, etc. get paid for their work Every month, whatever payment we receive from foreigners for the work, we distribute to the students as their stipend,” says Supriya Vijay, an administrator.
The center works with brands such as Hasta, for which the students do the engraving on t-shirts, and Paper Flower, for which they do the hand rolling and packaging of the dried flower agarbatti. They have a block printing unit and a weaving unit on site; they also train students in cooking and making paper bags. Soon they will open a salad and juice outlet in the center.
Children’s individual talent in writing, design, etc., is also encouraged. They also accustom them to the routines of everyday life, from bus rides to managing communication in a restaurant, to managing money, and more. All with the idea of making them more independent.
For more details call: 9841318260
This trust provides much-needed care and attention to a particular group of children with special needs who have fewer survival resources – those who are abandoned by their parents. Arunodayam is working with the police, child protection committee, etc., to find these people and take them in.
While therapy is offered to all residents, vocational training is provided for people over the age of 18. There is a sewing program that allows students to make everything from cushion covers, aprons, cloth bags to masks since the pandemic. The boys are trained to make paper bags from newspapers and diyas.
“We also have a small vegetable garden where the older boys take care of the agricultural activity. The students are also trained to take care of the younger ones. Thanks to this training, we employ students who become independent. helps them get some sort of income, it’s also a form of occupational therapy for them, so every day is a learning experience for us,” notes Iyyappan Subramaniyan, Founder and Managing Director.
For details call: 94449 15803
A brush with art
Mala Chinnappa has worked with autistic children for 10 years. First a therapeutic training, this artistic approach has evolved to allow a certain number of its beneficiaries to make a career out of work.
“We try to address behavioral and emotional issues through art. Initially, art is used as a way for them to engage and express themselves more deliberately than to start hitting. It calms a hyperactive mind and awakens a person who is zoned out. From around 14-15 years old, they actually become young artists,” she says.
As students learn to paint, draw, or sculpt, they begin to create works that they put up and people are ready to buy; because they are very original works. Their work is appreciated for its abstract expressionism and avant-garde contemporaneity.
Their works are regularly exhibited at the Cholamandal Art Village or the VA Gallery, Kotturpuram. Mala and her team help turn it into merchandise. Since these students have the ability to make art without worrying about the final product, their work remains truly unique, and therefore, there is a huge demand for their business.
It would help many of them to become artists by profession; they just need a bit of a grip, she notes.
For more details call: 9841068794