Nurturing growth with a life-span approach
Human mind is designed for learning. If we know how do we learn and understand the world around us, we can assist those people better who have difficulties in learning and comprehension.
Intellectual disability means inadequate development of intellectual or cognitive functions e.g. attention, learning, memory, sensory-perceptual processing, conceptual learning, thinking and reasoning etc. Appropriate training can strengthen these functions and can make one a better learner. Persons with intellectual disability have immense learning potential along with capacity for understanding, feeling, achieving and aspiring. They are concrete thinkers and have problems with abstract thinking, which is needed for academic learning. Just like everyone else, they need education, training and work opportunities for self-growth. We, as parents and teachers, need to understand how to facilitate the process of development which is not different from others. It requires hopeful attitude and creative thinking on our part.
The key issue with intellectually challenged persons is the difficulty in learning which has a cumulative effect in other areas of functioning as well. Appropriate training programs at every stage of development are the answer to multiple challenges faced by them and their parents. Past three decades of working with intellectually challenged boys and girls in Muskaan Vocational Training & Employment Center has reinforced our belief that once adequately motivated and trained they learn and achieve much more than what is generally expected of them. Their keenness, enthusiasm and perseverance for learning and working and zest for life have been a source of inspiration to all of us.
Muskaan is working with the following objectives:
- Provide comprehensive education and training including vocational training and employment opportunities to persons with intellectual disability.
- Empower the parents through emotional support and appropriate information by organizing training workshops, lectures and counseling services etc.
- Provide safe and dignified life to intellectually challenged adults through assisted living facility of group home, especially when parents become old or pass away
- Raise awareness in the society about the capacities of persons with intellectual disability and to foster recognition and respect for their rights & dignity
- Advocacy with the Government and other stake holders to create adequate, appropriate and quality services and facilities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities