“Medha” meaning intellect, is an initiative to provide children with autism and other special-needs, a platform for social interaction, cultural instruction, and motor skills development and a community support forum for their families.
The classes provide group instruction that encourage interaction with peers, as well as individual instruction that is catered towards specific needs of the child.
Special needs families, particularly from subcultures that are not mainstream, have a very tough time helping their child feel part of their subculture. Typical special needs education in the school system focuses on the child’s special educational needs, and not on their cultural needs.
These children tend to have lower participation in cultural activities and their families tend to be less connected to their communities. This causes the children and their families to not have the same access the crucial social support structure that is available to others.
As Acharya says in the video below, Medha will reassure the parents and the children that they are supported and cared for by the society.
आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन |
सुखं वा यदि वा दु:खं स योगी परमो मत: ||
ātmaupamyena sarvatra samaṁ paśhyati yo ’rjuna
sukhaṁ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṁ sa yogī paramo mataḥ
Srimad Bhagavad Gita 6:32
To be able to see the joy and suffering of others as our own, and help those in need is a touchstone of Medha.
We endeavor to provide support through activities that are tailored to the needs of each child and their family. We believe that each child is unique and responds differently to activities. Our activities continue to evolve as we learn more about what makes each child special, unique and makes them excited and happy.
Typical activities include
- Basic Yoga techniques that help with balance and coordination
- Breathing and meditation that help with slowing down/calming down
- Music through singing Slokas and Bhajans (prayers/hymns/songs)
- Culture – stories, Show & Tell
- Language – basic level
- Drawing/Coloring – basic level