Thursday, February 23, 2012

Autism in the future

Topic: Autism in the future

I had a course with Mr. Koshy in the starting of second year in which we had to build an Autism Village. That was the first time I interacted with Autistics and I got interested in it.
Autism is a developmental brain disorder which leads to impaired social interaction and communications skills. Most children with autism have a limited range of activities and interests and they have repetitive behaviour. There is no one definite method for all children because each child is different. It is not a disease or mental illness; it’s a developmental disability and typically appears in the first 3 years of life. There are various therapies such as Behaviour, speech language, Applied behaviour analysis, occupational, physical, physio therapy that might help the child.

Here are my initial ideas:

Idea 1: The biggest problem they face there is the fact that all the applications on the I pad is Americanised, and Indian children aren’t able to relate to it. From there came the idea of making an app that has Indian culture imbibed in it. For instance if we take something as simplistic as breakfast food, right now there are food items such as bacon, spaghetti, croissant etc which we don’t eat, instead we have simple things such as idli, dosa, vada.
There are existing apps on which you can take photos and add visuals and text. But if I do this I’ll be creating already existing images which can be used.
Problem that I can face: Affordibility. Most people cannot afford an Ipad so I’ll be eliminating a huge group of people. Also since it’s slightly fragile if a child throws it in a spurge of anger, repair cost will be expensive as well.

Idea 2: I have been teaching illustrator and thought of making a handbook/manual which will be easily accessible and affordable. All the assignments that I will be giving them now onwards can be compiled together using pictures sinc most of them have a photographic memory. So it will be a ‘How to learn Illustrator’ using pictures and colours and minimal text.

Problem that I can face: Will people want to buy it and learn Illustrator?

Idea 3: Allanah is a student from Srishti who made sensory toys since the biggest problem Autistic children face is communication and interaction with people of their own age. She is halfway into a ten week research with Asha, a school which deals with Autistics.  I was thinking of joining her and seeing where the research takes me.

3 Places I’ll go to:
1.       Asha Special Needs school (Mrs. Jayashree Ramesh)
They provide education and training to children with special needs.
Aim: To integrate children successfully into mainstream by training them to hold regular jobs.

2.       Prayas, Spastic Society of Karnataka (Mrs. Kavita Sharma)
They provide indigenous technology based solutions using the Ipad.
Aim: Enhancing learning, communication and meaningful occupation by using Technology.

3.       Communication deal
They provide intervention across several domains such as motor, communication, cognitive and social skills.
Aim: Integration of these children in regular schools subsequent to intensive preschool intervention.

People I’m in touch with/will get in touch with:
Dr. Koshy
Mrs. Kavita Sharma
Dr. Nandini Mundkur (Bangalore children hospital)

I plan on meeting with these people and then understanding what the need is once I work out a questionnaire and then focus on one thing.

A list of movies that I want to watch:

My Name is Khan
Mozart and the Whale
I Am Sam
The Other Sister
Mercury Rising
Forest Gump
What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
Little Man Tate
Backstreet Dreams
Change of Habit
Run Wild, Run Free
House of Cards
Killer Diller
Rain Man
Silence (also known as Crazy Jack and The Boy)
The Boy Who Could Fly
Autism: The musical
Temple Grandin
Fly Away
A mother’s courage: Talking back to Autism
After Thomas
Silent fall
The black balloon
Snow Cake

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