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My Work with Children with Disabilities Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Anand Koti, India Feb 22, 2006
Child & Youth Rights , Health , Green Spaces   Opinions
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My Work with Children with Disabilities Understanding life is really difficult. It’s better not to understand it and let it come the way it has to. We can improve our life with our collective hard work, practical approach and meditation. There is a bright ray of light within everyone, it is constantly trying to come out and break through.

Words can not describe my experience of working with children with disabilities, as every day is a new learning and new memory. They are my family.

In June of 1999, I received my first Dan Black Belt in karate. Since then I have been teaching children karate. My love for children kept me busy with them directly or indirectly. We had one group of deaf and dumb children and giving them training during tournaments and examinations was a real challenge, however there were very focused and sincere students. The result was that they won the tournament in both categories: boys and girls.

I have studied the impact of the voice modules of working parents and its effects on a child (5-10 years old). The tensions at a work place can be felt in a parent’s voice that has an impact on a child’s behavior. After three months of hard work, I gave my findings with the do’s and don’ts to all the parents. And it’s working!

What I have learned, and in these many years of teaching, what I have observed is the importance of a teacher. It’s the teacher who brings the impact and change. I am very thankful to all my teachers and mentors who guided me.

Before I started to work among children with disabilities, I visited many hospices and observed how they operated and their daily activities. Each hospice has its own specialty and the children have their own characteristics. This can be well defined from the environment, food, climate, cloth, medication and care that they get from the caretaker. We have managed to move many residents from government orphanages to private ones. The changes that were observed in them were very encouraging, proving that the proper environment, love and care, health and hygiene, food, and above all the love and support of the caretaker make a huge difference.

My first day at a government orphanage, broke me apart. I was speechless to see the plight and how they are living. They came running around me and hugged me. Well it was a common sight as they get food, clothes and love from outsiders. I stayed there for more than an hour and scanned the whole scenario; the living conditions, environment, electricity, water, drainage, medications, hygiene, bedding, clothes, food, caretakers, playroom, storehouse and all the required parameters. I wrote my journal and went to sleep. Next morning when I read the journal, I was convinced that this is where I am going and what I am going to do. Working with these children is a gift from God to me. When I am with them, I am a different person and everything starts flowing like water, I need not think about what to do and how to do it.

Believe me you need to have a heart to work with these children. I had been very expressive with my eyes; lot of communication was done with the help of it. Residents never saw sympathy in my eyes for them. You need to motivate them; let them know that they are the best and can do it. I made them realize the importance of who they are in this world.

We had to design everything and get things organized. It was really challenging dealing with tough conditions and parameters that were not in our control. Different therapies were introduced to them; work plans were rescheduled and made to be result-oriented. Focus was given to social skills and life saving skills. Everything was happening quickly and results were seen in almost all the areas of life.

There are 35 residents whom I work with at a time. During my session, the discipline and silence that they maintain is outstandingly great. Even if I move out of their vision, the majority of the residents would be seated in their place and would ask my permission to leave.

The love and respect they have for me makes me believe I can make a difference.
We have residents who are suffering from downs syndrome, autism, other mental impairments, deafness, cerebral palsy, mild to severe learning disabilities, and some multiple disabilities.

Most of the time I was involved in group therapy. This helped in giving attention to all the residents at the same time. The whole idea about having group therapy was to build trust among them. This was the base foundation of my work. Gradually these children started to trust each other and feelings of belonging increased. During group therapy arrangements were made in such a way that the aggressive residents were next to each other. As the group therapy started they got the opportunity to understand each other. This further helped in developing trust among each other (e.g. while passing the ball in group therapy they knew that the resident is going to pass the ball and vice a versa. This developed trust among themselves) as days passed by aggression among each other was lowered down. Assessment was carried out to see who can lead the team and carry out the responsibility of taking care of residents who suffer from multiple disabilities and cerebral palsy. Soon we came with a solution and found couple of residents who are very fast learners and having good understanding. Now these residents wash these children, brush them, change clothes and take care of them. I would really say lot of hard work was involved in achieving.





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Writer Profile
Anand Koti


Anand Koti is a graduate in Industrial Psychology (H), PG in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, PG in Hospital and Health Management (H) and has done his foundation course in Education with special needs children (Rehabilitation Council of India). He is a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Karate. He has an expertise in vocational training, and has worked with patients who have chemical dependencies, HIV/AIDS and who are terminally ill. He is presently writing a couple of articles on mental health and a book on mental health and martial arts. He is based in India.
Comments


Patty | Apr 4th, 2006
I loved reading how to came to find such joy in working with your new family and friends. I had a neghbor family who recently moved to Italy, the little boy has Down's Syndrome. I just miss that little guy so much. Luckily we are still in contact with the family. There is so much love in the world to spread and people with disabilities can spread it infectiously if people accept it. So open the doors, invite others in, and let positiveness spread. Happy thoughts to you and your family and friends.



Deb Livingston | Mar 25th, 2006
Hello Anand, You are an inspiration to me! Very important work that is so difficult. Stay healthy yourself. Deborah



Inspirational
Eugenia Bivines | Apr 30th, 2006
Hello Anand, Outstanding! You have the ability to articulate very well. You have bought back so much knowledge about your trip. Keep up the good work! Eugenia



smiles and tears
clarita zarate | May 6th, 2006
Excellent article! I am very touched. I am particularly moved by some of the profound observations you have made concerning the whole child and, this aspect is not covered nearly enough in our present society, the spirit. I will read more of your articles because you have something to teach worth learning. Thank you for coming straight from the heart!



Keep up the good work
Derek G | May 12th, 2006
Keep up the good work. I use to do voluntary work in a school for children with special needs and to me the work was so exciting but even more special because of my own disability which was brought on by a stroke at age 7yrs and 6 months that I could relate to many of them because it was like looking in a mirror and seeing myself at that age(I hope that makes sense)



Carry on that excellent work.
Abu Rushd Md. Ruhul Amin | May 13th, 2006
I'm so moved reading your a experiences with children with disabilities. You're doing a noble job for the sake of humanity. I sallute you for your works. Your writings reminds me the film "Black". You're working with many many Black I mean childs with disability. I love children very much. They're like angels to me. As I'm a broadcast journalist, sometimes I get chance to meet such childs. Always I feel if I could do something for them? Ruhul Amin Rushd, Senior Reporter, Bangla Vision ( A satellite TV), Dhaka, Bangladesh. e-mail: ruhulrushd@yahoo.com



from shweta
Shweta | Jun 10th, 2006
Dear Anand, i must say that you write well. I was wondering if you are aware that soon there will be UN convention on Disability. This is coming up after much deliberation. On the other hand, Indian Govt. is trying to rush in with the amendments in Persons with Disability Act..which i do not think is good becuase its being done without consulting the disability worrld in true sense. the elventh five year plan is being worked upon...the expenditure review of Minstry of Social Justice and empowerment shows that crores of money does nto get spent!! I wonder how?? It seems they have no idea about how to spend it efficiently!! let me know your thougths!! regards shweta



I am looking up to do some thing for people with disabilities
Omaima Gasim | Jan 24th, 2007
Dear Anand, I liked very much your work and your amazing skills and knowledge, Ok, it is not my speciality but I work as a volunteer in an association that provides legal, psycological, and social aid to people with disabilities and special needs of all ages, it is good experience to me to be around, although I don't have direct contact with them but I am trying to do some thing to them, I found many kinds of problems that could face them in such community, they have lack of knowledge about the daily life, especially people with hearing and mental disabilities and really will be pleased by any kind of advice you can offer? we are in Egypt, as you know egypt has great population and so it has also large numbers of people with disabilities who could reach more than one million and a half, officially but in deed it could be double this number! most of them are under the poverty line, and with care of thier labour parents that present very severe conditions of living..which is truely making thier lives harder .. I may write you more soon, if your time allows you, my sincere appreciation



I am looking up to do some thing for people with disabilities
Omaima Gasim | Jan 24th, 2007
Dear Anand, I liked very much your work and your amazing skills and knowledge, Ok, it is not my speciality but I work as a volunteer in an association that provides legal, psycological, and social aid to people with disabilities and special needs of all ages, it is good experience to me to be around, although I don't have direct contact with them but I am trying to do some thing to them, I found many kinds of problems that could face them in such community, they have lack of knowledge about the daily life, especially people with hearing and mental disabilities and really will be pleased by any kind of advice you can offer? we are in Egypt, as you know egypt has great population and so it has also large numbers of people with disabilities who could reach more than one million and a half, officially but in deed it could be double this number! most of them are under the poverty line, and with care of thier labour parents that present very severe conditions of living..which is truely making thier lives harder .. I may write you more soon, if your time allows you, my sincere appreciation



Nobel Price?
Youths Ahead! | Dec 2nd, 2007
I wish you all the best and I want you to know that your writings are wonderful and really axceptional.. You shall win the Nobel Price..



Nobel Price?
Youths Ahead! | Dec 2nd, 2007
I wish you all the best and I want you to know that your writings are wonderful and really axceptional.. You shall win the Nobel Price..



My dear Anand!
Andrea Arzaba | Oct 6th, 2008
I am so proud of u! We need more people like u in this world u know??? Ahhh u know Ive worked with ppl with dissabilities for a short time, I am trying to make a video...and you are so right....it is like they have so much love to give!!!!! It's a pleasure working with u :) xx



working with the disable
jennifer polk | Mar 1st, 2010
I would like to work with the disable but I dont know where to start, I have a 2yr old with down syndrome, and I want to get more involved

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