PROJECT JAGRUTI - AUTISM AWARENESS DRIVE

In our vision to reach children at the grass-root level, we have started a project for awareness of Autism in the underprivileged sector known as JAGRUTI. “Jaagruti” in Marathi means Awareness. Today, there is a great need for awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder as its symptoms cannot be seen and thus make the diagnosis difficult. There is a lot of misconceptions that mistaking Autism for Mental Retardation. Autism is a different ability and not a disability, with the right combination of therapies and a different teaching technique, the children can be able to cope up with their peer groups in the world. There are many myths regarding Autism which need to be cleared and people need to be made aware of solutions and help that exist- like appropriate therapy. By creating awareness with Anganwadi Workers, they can identify children with Autism and Train their parents for effective strategies on Parenting Children with Autism


OUTCOME OF JAGRUTI PROJECT

  1. Over 600 Preschool Govt. teachers trained in Autism screening in students of age groups 2 to 8 years .
  2. Over 10000 students screened for Autism in the last one year.
  3. more than 35 children referred for further assessments to Divyam and other centres.
  4. 10 confirmed cases of Autism in the last 1 year out of the awareness trainings.

IMPACT OF JAGRUTI PROJECT

  1. Debunked Myths from the minds of Teachers and Caregivers.
  2. Awareness and knowledge about signs and symptoms of Autism.
  3. Knowledge about simple classroom strategies to handle children.


A) Creating Autism Awareness in BMC Schools, Mumbai, India Rational:

Diagnosis of autism at an early age is highly beneficial in the intellectual development of the child. Early diagnosis of the disease enables initiation of appropriate therapy in children, aiding in their development. Teachers play a vital role in interaction with a child during the early years of life. Their ability to pick out Autistic children in the classroom will be beneficial in the long term.

Purpose of Training -

● Remove the myths related to autism
● To give them tools for screening children who have autism


B) Creating Autism Awareness with Anganwadi Workers, Mumbai, India:

Why Anganwadi Workers?

Anganwadi is a type of child care centre in India. They were started by the Indian government in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition. Anganwadi means "courtyard shelter" in Indian languages. A typical Anganwadi centre provides basic health care to community children. It is a part of the Indian public health care system. Basic health care activities include contraceptive counseling and supply nutrition, education and supplementation, as well as pre-school activities. Anganwadi Workers are agent of Social Change, mobilizing community support for better care of young children, girls and women. When they will participate in the Autism Awareness Trainings it will impart them an in-depth knowledge and hence they will be able identify children who have common symptoms of Autism and guide parents how to approach their child and also be able to refer parents for right therapies.

Purpose of Training -

● Remove the myths related to autism
● To give them tools for screening children who have autism in Anganwadi (Preschool)


Autism Awareness Training with Community Health Volunteers

The community can be helped Only by their community stakeholders. With this philosophy, Divyam Centre For Autism in association with Public Health Dept, MCGM Conducted 4 Autism Awareness Trainings with more than 170 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) of M East Ward and M West Ward between Nov.2019 to Dec.2019.
All CHVs had joyful learning experience during training and they actively participated and got knowledge of Autism, its related symptoms, social perspectives myths, and truths and how to identify children on the Autism spectrum in their community.
The probable cases would be referred to Divyam for further support services. Our vision is to identify cases from the underprivileged sector and refer them for further services and also debunk myths about Autism, where many people think it’s Mental Retardation.

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