Activities of THEO

1. Lifeskills Training Programme for special children

2. Donating orthopaedic appliances and aides to the needy differentially abled children

3. Publishing a periodical newsletter ‘THEO Speaks...'

4. Organising Recreational Programmes

5. Maintaining a small library ‘ THEO Reads'

6. Raising a cadre of volunteers who wish to offer their services to special children

Lifeskills Training Programme

Lifeskills are activities of daily living (ADL). They are also known as self- care skills essential for adult independent living. They are the practical skills needed to care for one’s basic survival needs and to function in the society. Basic abilities such as brushing teeth, dressing and undressing, washing hands and face, using the toilet are some of lifeskills.

Training in lifeskills includes teaching
    • Personal grooming (brushing, washing face & hand, menstrual hygiene, combing and plaiting hair, wiping drooling with handkerchief)
    • Mealtime activities (eating and drinking without spilling, eating with spoon and hand, emptying plate after finishing)
    • Dressing (buttoning, unbuttoning, putting on and taking off clothes, dressing self, completely)
    • More advanced skills like housekeeping and home safety skills, grooming, bathing, menstrual hygiene, clothing care and purchase, shopping skills, food preparation and related social skills such as table manners.

Lifeskills Training Programme was inaugurated on 28th March 2012. The training was started first in a special school MITHRA, Annanagar on 15th June 2012 with 10 students initially. They were trained by 5 teachers. But after seeing the improvement in the students more parents expressed their desire for their children to be trained too.

Therefore now, the number of children has gone up to 24. And the number of teachers has been increased to 8.Each teacher trains only 3 children to assure sufficient personal attention.

The training is offered free of charge to the students. The teachers are paid honorarium by THEO. The training takes place on every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4PM – 5PM (ie, after school hours).

Each teacher is paid Rs.100/- per day. Ms.Kondamma, a helper gets paid Rs.500/- per month.

Who is the training for :

Children or persons with special needs require such training. Due to their mental/ physical challenge they often lack many thinking tools and observation skills that help to learn even some of the basic routine activities. Given such a situation it is important that individuals with them be given training in basic self-care at the earliest. Although the extent to which they can be trained depends on the severity of their handicap, it is still important to look for ways in which they can be encouraged to become increasingly independent.

How is lifeskills training carried out at THEO

THEO offers lifeskills training programme to special children who are dependent on others for their daily activities. With the aim to make them self-reliant and independent as much as possible, training is offered in the above mentioned skills.

Each child is assessed before starting the training and the skills that need to be developed are determined. Skills are then prioritised and the goal to be achieved (skill) is set. Each skill (eating, toileting etc.,) takes about three months’ time to be learned by a special child. An evaluation (assessment) by an expert (occupational therapist) is done at the end of every three months to see if the skill has been well achieved. Then the next goal (skill) is planned for the child.

Pavithran and Nishanth learning how to brush teeth.

Arjun learning how to put on a shirt and button it

Yamini learning to comb her hair and clip it

Bavani doing peg board activity for finger flexibility so that she can hold a spoon and eat by herself

Priya learning how to put a plate with the help of thick ropes tied to the grill. Next she will learn to plait her own hair.

Narmadha has a tendency to walk on her toes. Mr.Vincent examined her feet and has recommended Dynamic AFO, an orthopaedic appliance with the help of which Narmadha can walk steadily.

Karthik learning how to tie a shoe lace as he uses special shoes for walking

Assessing Daisy’s flexibility level

Taking a look at Priya and Bagatpriya insert nada in the pyjama loop

Assessing Arun’s difficulty in walking

Assessing the skill

Selvam can now button his shirt

Assessing the skill

Pappu learning how to fold clothes

Karthik wearing socks and shoe. Mr.Vincent observed that Karthik’s fingers are not able to apply pressure and pull up the socks. He has therefore custom-made socks with zipper for him to make it easier.

Benefits / Impact of THEO’s lifeskills training programme:

Life becomes easier and happier for special children when they get to be independent and self reliant as much as possible. This in turn takes away the common worry of their parents, "Who will take care of my child after me?" and they can rest assured their child can make care of himself / herself.

THEO’s Lifeskills Training Programme Team

2 .DONATING ORTHOPEDIC APPLIANCES AND AIDS TO THE NEEDY DIFFERENTIALLY ABLED CHILDREN
Orthopaedic aids worth Rs.20,149/- have been donated to differentially abled children. This has helped them in their mobility and a 12 year old girl Rachel who has never walked in her life is able to walk now. Besides this, the Trust has also sponsored Speech Therapy for a special child Narmadha. THEO also has donated for the medical expense of a special boy Noel who underwent leg surgery. THEO has partly sponsored an orthopaedic appliance to a boy called Uma Shankar.

3. Publishing of monthly NEWSLETTER called ‘THEO Speaks...'.
It comprises interviews of personalities in the welfare field, articles relating to the needs of special children and details about the activities of THEO in that month.

4. Arranging Recreational Programmes for Special Children
Animation/ children movies such as Kung Fu Panda, Baby’s Day Out, Finding Nemo , Ice Age have been screened for them. Games and appropriate entertainment programmes were also conducted. This is to add more joy and happiness to their life. In addition, birthdays and anniversaries of friends and family are organised to be celebrated with special children.

5. MAINTAINING A SMALL LIBRARY ‘THEO Reads'.
IT COMPRISES MORE THAN 100 EASY-TO-READ CHILDREN’S BOOKS.

6 . CATERING TO THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF SPECIAL CHILDREN BY COLLECTING NEW AND USED CLOTHES IN GOOD CONDITION FROM PHILANTHROPISTS.

7 .RAISING A CADRE OF YOUTH VOLUNTEERS TO HELP IN ALL THE PROJECTS OF THEO.

THEO Activities

  • Lifeskills Training Programme for special children.

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  • Publishing a periodical newsletter 'THEO Speaks...'

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  • Organising recreational programmes.

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