Home Music therapy A campaign for change – The New Indian Express

A campaign for change – The New Indian Express


Express news service

CHENNAI: All of my favorite Marvel characters have superpowers. Thor has his hammer, Captain America has a shield, and Iron Man has his costume. Autism is my super power and I was able to accomplish a lot with that power, ”said Pranav Bakshi, the country’s first autistic male model, addressing a gathering of 200 people at We are DisABLEd, a campaign of public relations department of MA. Media Management, MOP Vaishnav College for Women.

The two-day campaign, which aims to raise awareness of social inclusion for various disabilities, was inaugurated on Wednesday by Tamil Nadu’s Secretary of Health, Dr J Radhakrishnan. “A very valuable subject was chosen for this media campaign. People with disabilities face many challenges… lack of access to information, both for caregivers and people with disabilities, is one of many. Everyone empathizes, but we need to equip ourselves with the knowledge to understand the challenges of people with disabilities in order to make our meetings socially inclusive. Campaigns like this should have specific goals, focus on delivering the right messages and ultimately achieve the goal of ensuring that inclusion is within reach. There should also be access to information on facilities, inclusive policies and providers. The challenge is to lead by example, and a change of attitude must be done inward ”,
he said.

Krithiga Viswanathan,

The first day of the campaign featured a panel discussion on autism and coping strategies with psychologist and music therapist Baishali Mukherjee, specialist educator Krithiga Viswanathan, inclusion assistant (autism specialist) Rachel Chackochen and Thatatrayan Ganapathi Datta, father of famous singer Tejas Sri, a young artist with autism. The panel discussion was followed by a performance by Tejas, a quick encounter with Pranav, a performance by musician Godson Rudolph, a visually impaired person, and a talk by Govindakrishnan, founder of Nethrodaya.

In the interactive session, multiple layers of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the importance of social inclusion of the visually impaired took center stage. “Early intervention is important because of the scale of the development. A holistic approach will help a child in ways we cannot imagine. They need both education and guidance to be able to function without adult support, ”explained Rachel. Agreeing, Krithiga added how inclusion should start at home. “Caregivers should work to improve the independent skills of age-appropriate children. Inclusion can only be achieved when there is an understanding of the disease, ”she detailed.

Music, as a means of evidence-based therapy for children with autism and intervention on social skills, was discussed. “It offers support, helps raise awareness, reduces stigma, becomes a mode of communication, encourages participation and improves focus. Since social interaction and communication is a problem, it can make it easier to process social cognitive information, ”Baishali said.

Govindakrishnan offered relevant points on how one can be inclusive and an ally for the visually impaired. “In addition to cornea donation (eye donation), you can become a scribe, read and record lessons, help people at bus stops identify route numbers … help can be offered to many ways, ”he explained. Besides the need for inclusive and integrated schools, he also underlined the urgent need for competent teachers to provide specialized supervision. “Instead of having a general B.Ed and a special B.Ed, we need inclusive degree programming. We need an integrated configuration. We need inclusiveness in different aspects – from toilets with audio description to more books in audio format, for visually impaired children to lead dignified lives, ”he said.