Tamahar has a wide variety of program for children with special needs and their families. The core programs are the ones focused on helping the child achieve developmental milestones and impart the foundation skills for their future personal, social and professional lives. These range from self-help, self-care skills to job readiness. "We also work with the families of these children and provide the parents with mental health services and skill development program."
Children with brain damage/special needs have difficulty developing on par with their neuro typical peers in all categories of development, e.g. mental, intellectual, physical and emotional. As a result, they need external support and stimulus to develop these skills. These stimuli, or activities/therapies, designed to impact these skills to infants and toddlers, are collectively called Early Intervention. This is the core foundation program at Tamahar, designed to provide the right environment to bring the child up to the mental age of 5 years and to create a base to enablethem to lead an as independent life as possible.
This is the core foundation program at Tamahar, designed to provide the right environment to bring the child up to the mental age of 5 years and to create a base to enablethem to lead an as independent life as possible.
Children who are developmentally above 5 years of age start with academic training, based on the Montessori method of teaching, where self-experiential learning is given importance. There is equal attention to self-expression through a number of extra-curricular activities. Under functional academics, stress is on learning only the essential subjects needed for life navigation and focus weighs more on teaching life skills – social skills and individual personality development.
This program also focusses on basic academic skills that the child must have to operate in day to day life. These include Math, Language (English and Oral Kannada), Science and lot of extra-curricular sessions (As per Karnataka state syllabus)
It is a bridge program between Early Intervention and Functional Academics that ensures that a child is ready move from intensive one on one intervention to a group setting.
This program is designed for adolescents and young adults to make them ready to take up any employment opportunity that they might get - this can be a vocational training, an open market job, a family business or even entrepreneurship. This started off as an experiment in 2016 and within a year, the first trainee graduated to join a vocational training centre! He is now employed and drawing a stipend there.
Our aim here is to expose these adolescents and young adults to the idea of working, which has not even been introduced to them till this point in life, and to the various options that will be available to them once they step out. We intend to help the person and their family identify the right work for the individual based on his/her potential and preference.
Sheltered workshops are facility-based day programs attended by adults with disabilities, as an alternative to working and earn their living. Activities will provide them a platform to learn and earn their living in a secure, protected environment giving dignity.
The program caters to young adults (Age 18+) with special needs having severe disability/intellectual impairment (IQ < 35) that would make it impossible for them to function independently, pursue education, and independent vocational training
Proven to improve balance and physical strength. Coordination improves; children who were hyperactive become relaxed. Remarkable improvement can be seen in listening skills, attention and self-regulation.
Is known to improve vocalization, attention, and sitting tolerance in children. It has teaches them music appreciation! The idea is not to teach music, but use it as the means to induce development.
While physiotherapy takes care of the physiological aspect of rehabilitation, occupational therapy aims at enabling the child to be independent by teaching Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and other everyday functions. (Safety, Selfcare, Feeding)
Caregivers of individuals with special needs need equal amount of love, care and support because theirs is a 24/7/365 job with no respite and constant emotional as well as financial strain. It is our aim to give them a platform to become more self-aware, fulfilled, emotionally balanced and strong individuals with an identity separate from their special child.
This is done through one on one counseling sessions and support group sessions with our in-house clinical psychologist.
A new initiative, this program aims at imparting profitable skills to the mothers of children enrolled at Tamahar. The intent is to empower the women to become valued contributors in their household, give them economic independence and most importantly, give a boost to their self-worth and sense of individual fulfillment.
This makes them emotionally as well as economically more resilient and confident. Over time, this translates into emotional growth of the mother and as a result, of the child. Currently, we provide spoken english and embroidery classes. In future, we want to set up a dedicated training centre for them and expand to include computer training and tailoring.
Tamahar also works towards creating awareness in the community and advocacy for the cause of pediatric disability. Bringing together the various stakeholders of the community, we plan lecture programs, activities and get-togethers 4-5 times per year. WHO has set aside certain days of the year that focus on particular conditions/ diagnosis.
We conduct programs of some of these days to spread awareness in the community and also advocate change. Some of these days are: April 2nd - World Autism Awareness Day, Dec 3rd - International Day of People with Disability etc
We have been wanting to increase our reach to more children for the past few years, but it is just not feasible, or sustainable, to go on opening new branches. Iinstead, we have started to spread our knowledge and expertise to other similar organizations through our Train the Trainer program to reach more children indirectly.
In 2017, Tamahar was appointed as the knowledge partner for Disability NGOs Alliance's rural Early Intervention project, wherein we disseminated our methodology among 3 other pediatric disability organizations in rural north Karnataka. We also had a TTT partner in urban Bangalore in 2018.