Autistic children coming to normal life through special education

Ahmed Rusan Zaman, 5, has been shifted to normal school and now leading a normal life with his family and neighbours, thanks to Proyash Institute for Special Education, running under Bangladesh Army, for its proper guidance and treatment.

Earlier, Rusan had severe speech impairment along with acute attention deficit hyperactivity problems. He also had a tendency to remain silent and isolated. Having taking treatment from Proyash, he recovered from his complexities and got him admitted at Nursery level at the Prottoy English Medium School.

Like Rusan, a total of 15 students have been shifted to normal school this year and they are performing very well with their new life.

“After 12 years of our marriage life, we gave birth to twin babies. My husband, Major (Rtd) Kamruzzaman and I were very much pleased with our two boys. They were growing without difficulties. But after two years, we noticed that Rusan couldn’t speak and his performance is lower than his brother’s, Ramim,” said Rusan’s mom Nusrat Zaman while sharing her bitter experience.

She said they consulted with many doctors and at last they went to Proyash Institute for Special Education. After examination through expert panel, Proyash admitted her son and gave three months speech therapy. Teachers of the Proyash also have taught Rusan and his mother many activities, including home activities.

“With the special guidance and help of Proyash, my child has become normal. I express my gratitude to teachers of Proyash for their manifold support. My son Ramim also played a vital role in helping his brother. He always tried to keep his brother Rushanactive ,” she said.

The Principal of Proyash Institute for Special Education, Colonel Mahbub Alam Sikder said Proyash is a specialized organization that values the holistic development of all children with special educational needs through multidimensional programs.

The institute established to serve the children with special needs is being considered as one of the biggest institutes for the children with special needs in South Asia regarding its infrastructure, coverage of target people and spectrum of services, he added.

He informed that Proyash is running similar programs in Jessore, Bogra, Chittagong, Rangpur, Savar, Comilla, Shyllhet and Ghatail area.

Now, he said, they are offering eight programs related to the education, therapies and other support services for the children with special needs.

The programmes are Certification on Disability Management and Education (CDMED), Post Graduate Bachelor of Special Education (BSED), Post Graduated Diploma on Speech Language Therapy and Audiology (PGDSLT), Certificate on Disability Management and Education-Executive (CDMEDE), Bachelor of Education (Hons’) in Special and Inclusive Education, BSc (Hons’) in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Masters of Special Education (MSED) and MSc in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology (MSCASLP).

Mahbub Alam Sikder said that the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Austrian hearing implant company MED-EL contribute to the improvement of diagnosis and rehabilitation of hearing impairment in Bangladesh. By building up local structures and expertise, social inclusion and quality of life people are getting improved, he added.

He said the ADA and MED-EL are supporting Proyash to increase the number of local experts through a new BSc study programme for Audiology and Speech Language Pathology under the national initiative.

“With the assistance of the international project partners the set-up of the study programme will be an achievement for us and I am sure it will be highly beneficial for our students. On behalf of PROYASH Institute I would like to thank MED-EL and the project partners,” he added.

Principal of the Madras ENT Research Foundation’s Institute of Speech and Hearing Prof. Ranjith Rajeswaran said MED-EL works with three main local education partners: CMH Dhaka (Combined Military Hospital) and PROYASH Institute,

National Institute of ENT and Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

The involved local institutions set-up training programmes for Audiology & Speech Language Pathology on different levels, supported through know-how of the international experts from the World Hearing Center (Poland) and the Madras ENT Research Foundation MERF (India), he added.

ADA-Project Manager Christian Steppan said not long ago, they were discussing the need for corporate social responsibility measures in Dhaka.

“Thanks to the expertise of our partners from India and Poland as well as the Austrian Development Agency’s support we have now launched a bachelor degree programme for audiology and speech language pathology, a school screening programme and a train-the-trainer course. These actions will significantly increase the availability and skills of hearing-healthcare professionals in Bangladesh,” he added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)