After struggling a lot for past three years, finally I have been able to convince my husband and bring Farheena to Bangalore. We both miss our Dina School of Special Education and Rehabilitation, as we were a part of it from its conception. Regrettably, it is a sad situation where the parents, teachers, and other members of society are not much interested in special education in a village. It was tough to make improvement s in the school as the management could not find good teachers, physiotherapists and other faculties to work there.
Farheena was also getting withdrawn into herself and talking to her imaginary friend because she could not mingle out much in the village society. People failed to understand her there and she started moving away from them. With Rayyan shifting to Bangalore, pursuing his dream of becoming an animator; Farheena was fast turning into a female Chuck Noland with me acting like Wilson. I was in a panicky mood and therefore started building up heat to shift to Bangalore so that she could be back with her brother and family (aunts, cousins and uncles).
Being Google brained nowadays, I searched online for schools nearby to Arena Animation and came across FAME India. You can know more about this school on their website http://www.fameindia.org/.
I was impressed with facilities like therapies, education and life skills programs. Here is a brief about their programs
Ankura: Early Intervention and early stimulation services for Children with developmental delays aimed at helping children above the age of two in acquiring skills required for future learning in different areas based on their strengths and weaknesses. Parents are trained to be co therapists with the multi disciplinary team of Special Educator, Speech therapist, Physiotherapist/occupation therapist, social worker.
Aarambh: Pre-school program for children in the age group of 6 to 10 years to develop pre learning skills through individual sessions and group activities.
Utpal I,II and III: Caters to the needs of children in the age group of 10-14 years with emphasis on enhancing skills that are essential for activities of daily living, motor skills, cognitive skills(pre academic skills), communication skills and play skills.
Utthappan: Functional academics are taught in the areas of language, numbers, money, time along with developing appropriate social and interpersonal skills.
Samarth I,II,III: These 3 sections are for the students in the age group of 14 to 18 years. They are taught functional academics along with pre vocational skills such as weighing, measuring, needle work, paper bag making, painting, photocopying, scanning, lamination data entry and other similar activities.
Karuna: Respite care for children who are non ambulatory. The aim is to maintain the learnt skills.
Uttejana: Awareness programs in schools and colleges to educate children about issues pertaining to disability.
It was not easy for me to shift to Bangalore. The expenses would more than double up for me. I did not have to pay house rent, or school fees for Farheena back there. In Bangalore, not only the living expenses would shoot up, but also I had to pay rent of 7,000 and shell out another extra 5,000 rupees for Farheena’s education. It was tough convincing my husband to agree for the change. I used alternate methods of putting pressure and cajoling until he finally gave in and agreed to make arrangements for our shifting. But as usual he will do where he thinks he has reached the limit, whatever happens after that I am responsible. It was scary, but I decided to jump into the well the check its depth.
So finally the house hunt began. We found a home near open forest. We finally bid goodbye to Byndoor after 10 years and came over to our new home. There was a scary moment for me when I was not sure of getting admission for Farheena in FAME India. There was some mess up and confusion regarding communication I had with a person there who had assured me that her admission is secure and I can visit them after 11th June.
Let me not ponder over it as ‘All is well that ends Well”. Farheena is in FAME India and very happy with her new school, her teacher and her friends. She is fast becoming more active. She twice came with me to a nearby grocery store to shop for household things. She has found an amazing girl in FAME India, Manjushree from administrative department, who is available in reception with her bright face welcoming us, with whom Farheena is bonding fast. Farheena falls in love quickly and Manjushree is the one now. I find her chatting with her on facebook also.
When I took Farheena for admission, few things were noticed by the Mom in me. One of the most positive things I saw was the way the H.M. treated her with respect. Love is easy when it comes to Farheena, but respect for her wishes is tough. During her interview with Farheena Madam Kalaivani was talking about the importance of making Farheena independent. I mentioned the toughest part was allowing her comb her hair as it is thick, and long. I casually asked her whether we should go for a shorter cut for Farheena. It was my cunning way of testing the person to whom I was going to hand over Farheena. She replied “No, let her have her long tresses if she loves them. It is her choice”. That satisfied me as she was the person who respected Farheena’s decision to have long hair or whatever she felt comfortable with.
Not many people know that even special needs people have right to make their own decisions. Many have advised me to do certain things to Farheena so that her life and care taking would be easy, without even giving a thought to how Farheena might feel. So I am sure Farheena is in the right hands. The smile on her face and lengthy chat she has with me after coming back from school proves how happy she is there. Send your good wishes for her new venture to be successful for her.
NOTE: There is going to be garage sale in the school premises on 21st of July. You can visit and make the event a grand success.