Methods Used for Rehabilitation
VOJTA THERAPY: This is a special type of therapy found in Germany for detecting and manning motor disorders associated with Central Co-ordination Disorders (CCD). This German venture was brought to Kerala, India for the first time by Rev. Fr. Thomas Felix CMI, so as to benefit hundreds of infants in India.
OROFACIAL THERAPY: For many Cerebral Palsied children, Orofacial dysfunction is a severe health problem. These children suffer from drooling and eating drinking and articulation disorders. A stimulating Orofacial Therapy (according to Dr.Rodolf Castillo Morales) improves orofacial pathologies of children especially Down syndrome as early as possible. Early Intervention methods employing the combination of Castillo Morales – Manual Orofacial Therapy and his specially designed palatal plate improves the well-known symptomatology of the open mouth, hyper’ salivation, protruding tongue and prevents secondary conditions like malocclusion and open mouth habit. It directly affects functions of lips, tongue and cheeks while activating Orofacial function like sucking, swallowing, chewing and breathing. It indirectly affects the articulation. Abnormal result Special Therapy like Montessori Therapy, Orofacial Therapy, Three C’s Educational Approach etc. will also be given.
MONTESSORI THERAPY: MONTESSORI THERAPY is mainly for the mental improvement of a child. Montessori therapy is based on the concept and philosophy of Montessori educational principles of child development, this concept is further developed as Montessori Medical Pedagogy to cater to the needs of a child with various and multiple handicaps. The smallest learning steps in the exercise of practical life, sensory material arithmetic and language are to be transferred from the therapeutic to the home situation, parents receive clear therapeutic instructions from the therapist. It is absolutely necessary for the parents to work closely with the therapist for the success of this therapy.
PHYSIOTHERAPY: Physical therapy or physiotherapy is a health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention.
Therapeutic Horse Riding for the Mentally Challenged
This is another unique and highly successful initiative of CIMR.
The rocking and rhythmic motion of riding stimulates various and different centers of body and brain simultaneously, which is highly regarded as therapeutic. The purpose is to cater to faster development of the mentally challenged person.
Students are shown how to clean and brush the horse, how to massage the horse and the daily chores of keeping the stable clean and tidy. The purpose is to reduce the fear of animals in the students and assure them that they can build up friendship with them.
Harnessing and saddling processes are shown to students to make them understand and learn how systematically this has to be done so that we can lead a horse as we wish and ride it. The purpose is to give the students ‘confidence’ that they can lead a fierce horse by holding the rein with a definite length and strength.
Sports activities have a paramount importance in improving the movement co ordination and psycho social development among the mentally challenged children. To facilitate maximum support in sports and games, the Developmental Centre for the Mentally Retarded (DCMR) has developed a Multi – purpose Indoor court at its campus in Murinjappalam, Thiruvananthapuram. At present eight sports activities viz. i) Basket Ball, ii) Foot Ball, iii) Volley Ball, iv) Lawn Tennis, v) Shuttle Bat, vi) Hockey, vii) Cricket and viii) Golf are being practiced at this indoor court. Besides the above activities, the children are also practicing in Table Tennis and Caroms. Out of the eight sports activities, one item will be practiced in every day. The sports activities are planned in such a way that each student will get a minimum of half an hour in every day in a particular sports item. Children from pre-primary to vocation classes are actively engaged in sports activities. Experience reveals that the sports activities facilitate to improve fine and gross motor development in mentally challenged children. In addition, the group activity in sports helps to improve psycho social and language functions among the mentally challenged. By playing different sports and games, children develop cognitive function also.
It is proud to record that 10 children from our Institute participated in Para Olympics held at Spain in 1992 and 85 children participated in the Republic Day Parade held at New Delhi in 1999. In 2003, children from CIMR attended the National Youth Festival and performed at par with the children from formal schools. This is a clear indication that the mentally challenged children are capable of doing all activities at par with normal children if they had been provided constant caring and skill training. By experiencing their ability in sports, the former President of India, His Excellency Dr APJ Abdul Kalam presented two horses from the Indian Army as a token of love to the children for riding.
Art is another form of method which when practised brings a soothing effect on them. They can be trained easily in all forms of classical dance and also taught to play the string and percussion instruments. By learning to play musical instruments, they learn to focus and concentrate, they also learn the importance of team effort when playing in a choir or a band.
We have a dedicated art facility called Freedom Centre in Kovalam, Trivandrum. The Freedom Centre is open to all the children around the world. It is a symbol of National Integration, where children and their parents come together to learn and explore all forms of Indian Classical dance from diverse states of our country. The centre is well equipped with a state-of-the-art auditorium, ample space and a wide range of musical instruments to explore.
It has been established time and again that an experience of a natural landscape and working within it is beneficial for both physical and mental health. The aesthetic value and the inherent tranquillity of a farm provides peaceful and beautiful space for the mind to ease and feel calm. Getting the mentally challenged to practise farming can result in having a soothing effect on them aiding in their mental growth.
At CIMR, we have a dedicated 10.8 acre agricultural-horticultural farm which also serves as a vocational training centre for our students. Activities in this farm are aimed at developing employability skills paving way for self-reliance. The students actively take part in every step of farming, right from learning sowing, harvesting and post-harvesting technologies. Selected group of students practise farming techniques every day. Children are also encouraged to spend time in the farm in addition to getting farm training. Along with farming techniques the students are also introduced to farm animals and taught how to care for them and treat them.
Automobile Mechanism is also followed as a teaching method which allows the individual to gain a living. Car driving and its basic mechanism like car repairing are been taught to the CIMR students which help them to develop their skill in automobile. Students can even carry this skill as a career which helps them in their daily living.