“I am thankful to Spandan Holistic Institute for introducing various concepts of child development, their behavioral and scholastic problems. The initiative has encouraged us to understand various issues like learning disability, slow learners, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, mental retardation, and related emotional and behavioral concerns. The project has enlightened us to solve, cater and alter problems.”
Rahul faced great difficulty with his education and his parents were unable to understand his failure in exams despite being an intelligent boy. He looked emotionally disturbed and was a restless and impulsive child. Once he even chopped off his eyebrow and hid in the water tank. He was given psychological help with counselling and remedial education, which did not prove beneficial and he was removed from his school. Rahul’s parents then brought him to Spandan where he was diagnosed with dyslexia and it was found that he was emotionally disturbed due to familial conflicts. He was admitted to the special learner’s school and given homeopathic treatment. He improved considerably in his behaviour as well as proved himself academically by clearing the SSC exams.
“The project has opened my eyes to several educational and behavioral issues that I believed were only related to the child irrespective of their difficulties. My perspective has changed such that I know it is because of the disorder that the child behaves in a particular manner and does not do it purposefully. I am able to deal better with any situation.”
Baby S was born into an extremely poor family of a schizophrenic mother and an alcoholic father who had attempted suicide. The mother abandoned her child on the 10th day after birth so it was her even poorer grandparents in Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, who brought her up. Some years later her grandmother died suddenly of cardiac arrest. These extremely traumatic experiences from such an early stage of childhood lead to severe autism and profound retardation. After 3 years of treatment with Spandan, Baby S is able to lead a comfortable life. She even performed at a cultural show, for a large audience of about 500 people.
Sathwik is an extraordinary child who has all the features of autism but proves the fact that an autistic child is not disabled. Although he has no speech and makes no eye contact, he has certain unusual abilities. He is able to comprehend complex passages within a few seconds ranging from the Upanishads and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata to passages by John Milton and cartoons by R.K. Laxman. He shows mathematical understanding without being taught. He displays fine gross motor skills and can skate and bicycle on his own. He even received a national award from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Sushmita: Living in the Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar slum area, she was referred to Spandan by a family friend. She was a hyperactive child and would not follow commands. Her father, a police constable, works in shifts and had enormous difficulty managing his child. He spent sleepless nights and once, out of sheer frustration, he almost threw his child down from their terrace. Sushmita’s mother had an extremely difficult time managing her husband and child. After visiting the Barvalia foundation, Sushmita has become less hyperactive and irritable and has even started speaking. She does not display any signs of behavioural disorder any longer.
Aarti is a 5th standard student who was thought to be very restless. She was really talkative and she could not concentrate on any work but now she is little bit quiet. Initially, her basic mathematical skills were very poor and she always made mistake. After treatment she has become less talkative, is better at solving simple math problems and can read and write well. She has shown considerable overall improvement.
Ajay came to Spandan 10 years ago as a drop out, rejected from many institutes. After 6 years of treatment he was able to clear SSC exams and take up a vocational course. Ajay is now a sports teacher and a computer teacher at Spandan’s special school as well as at other schools. He was even able to put in a lot of effort and prepare a short movie on the M.B. Barvalia foundation and their work. Everyone applauded his movie and he is now looked up to as a role model by Spandan’s school children. He has become a great example of strength, patience, hard work and self-confidence.
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Anish was referred to Spandan as a 3-year-old child with complaints of delayed speech and poor socialization skills. He did not have spontaneous speech but he was able to repeat advertisements when he saw them on television. He did not understand simple commands and had poor eye-to-eye contact. He had a habit of lining up things in a row and pushing them around like a train. These were some of the typical behavioural characteristics of autism that had been diagnosed by Hinduja Hospital. At Spandan he was treated with occupational therapy, psychotherapy and homeopathic medication. Within a year of treatment he showed improvement in communication skills and understanding, and reduction in irritability. After a further treatment period of 9 months he tested as non-autistic in a CARS test. He has been able to score 80% marks in the 3rd standard at Powai English High School.
Krupakar: The story of Krupakar, told to us by his mother Saroja Mani, brings awareness and immense hope to parents of children who are slow learners or learning disabled. Saroja noticed that Krupakar was slow at understanding and Dr Barvalia confirmed that he is a slow learner and having emotional shock. Within six months of treatment his physical problem of frequent asthmatic attacks and his hyperactivity also reduced considerably. With occupational therapy and excellent support from the school for slow learners run by Barvalia foundation, he made tremendous progress. He passed S.S.C. and has joined SITI, Pune for Diploma in Automobile Engineering, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. He has registered for Higher Secondary from the National Institute of Open Schooling. Saroja herself took VRS from Indian Bank in 2000 and joined the foundation as a honorary teacher, teaching Economics for the children. She urges parents of children with special needs to stay engaged with the doctors, therapists and teachers, and encourage the children with positivity and patience for best results. She is immensely thankful to Dr. Barvalia and all the other care givers and well wishers who have contributed to Krupakar’s success.
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