FiVE has been founded by Mathew Easow, an accomplished ex-banking and investment professional and Sowmya Surendranathan, a highly qualified Speech Language Pathologist who was practicing in the UK prior to starting FiVE.
Both come from families closely connected with medicine, education and teaching. For Sowmya, it was a natural step to train, gain extensive experience and specialize in areas related to children with special needs. Mathew is an Industrial Engineer by training with a focus on quality and processes.
Having gained extensive experience in India and overseas, they decided to combine their strengths and expertise to establish FiVE, based on thorough needs assessments. Mathew looks after the operations of FiVE to ensure a highly professional environment, leaving Sowmya free to
fully focus on the challenges of providing inter-disciplinary therapy services to families of children with special needs.
The FiVE Approach
Sometimes, anxious families will avail each specific therapy from different therapy centres without information being shared among therapists. This can have disastrous consequences on the child and counteract the effectiveness of any of the intervention.
It is very important to keep in mind that we are working with the CHILD here, NOT SOLELY THE CONDITION. Unless everyone involved with your child interacts and decides on common goals, style or approach, therapy becomes useless.
Transparency and sharing of information
In The FiVE Approach, transparency in therapy and sharing information and feedback among the team, family, doctors and schools is very essential.
Keeping your doctor informed
When a doctor refers a family to us, we update the doctor soon after the initial consultation. A copy of the assessment report is sent to the doctor and then on we keep them updated on the therapy plan and progress. This helps the doctor understand the status of the child better and enables support the families more effectively..
At FiVE, we work with children right from the age of 3 months.Therapy is initiated as soon as the problem is detected and is implemented with the full involvement and participation of families. Therapy plans focus on needs, strengths, priorities, goals, and actions
to be undertaken.
Not all parents with children who have specific needs are often well informed of where, when, from whom and how much help their child is likely to need and will receive.
A detailed discussion before starting any therapy is essential so that you are completely aware of the situation at hand. When we meet families for the first time, we spend lot of time and attention identifying the actual problem, and help you understand the required course of action.
Assessments are always conducted by a team of professionals – occupational therapists, speech- language therapists, psychologists and special educators. The combination of the team that will then be assigned for each child is decided depending on the issue at hand.
Labeling and Diagnosing is done only by professionals who are authorized to do so within their expertise and experience in their specific areas. It’s definitely not ‘a one shoe fits all’ approach.
Our comprehensive and dynamic assessments are geared towards defining the root cause of the problem and facilitate the choice of medical,
educational, behavioral, and psychosocial treatments.We not only assess your child, but the needs of the family and entire issue at hand. This helps us plan the most effective and appropriate intervention program which includes not only identifying strategies to bridge gaps in development, and manage behaviors but also finding strategies to build on what is practical and feasible for the family.
Therapy is always one-to-one where each family gets the undivided attention of the assigned therapist in a private space dedicated to you. This ensures that
you are comfortable and facilitates the family and the child to bond with the therapist.
Individual therapy is especially important at the beginning stages of treatment as specific goals are established. A child however may attend more than one individual therapy e.g. occupational therapy and communication therapy for a child with autism spectrum disorder, or occupational therapy, speech-language therapy and special education for a child with learning disability. In such cases, therapists involved design a single plan for the child and implement it using their expertise.
We can never guarantee how quickly your child will improve or how much of the developmental gap we can bridge. At FiVE, therapy is given in blocks of 3 months where a review at the end of the block facilitates planning the next step. This will help you understand the direction of progress and internalize the whole process in smaller, more comprehensible steps.
Children learn by observing, imitating and experimenting with their peers and adults around them. Being in a group will provide your child opportunities for modeling and practicing the skills he learnt in the individual sessions. Group therapy is always conducted by skilled therapists who are able to bring the best in each child in that particular group and promote positive interactions.
You are not alone! You may be at a point where you have just realized your child has a problem or you may have already done the rounds of doctor/ therapist shopping. You may be backed by a very supportive family or you may be the only one concerned about your child. Remember, there are other families also going through the same or maybe even more stress and mixed emotions of hurt, guilt, disappointment, anger.
Meeting other parents will help you share emotions and experiences. Therapists running the workshops focus on specific topics of common concern such as behavioral management, toilet training, implementing home programs, understanding your child’s sensory needs, developing a communication strategy for your child etc.
This is a commonly used term that actually has three parts – Speech Therapy, Language Therapy and Communication Therapy.
Speech Therapy addresses motor problems involving the oral structures (lips, tongue, teeth, palate, nasal cavity, breathing mechanism), where the child is unable to produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly.
Language Therapy addresses cognitive (thinking) problems involving listening, paying attention, understanding, memory, organizing thought etc., where the child can speak but not in sentences, makes grammatical mistakes, has difficulty learning new words, and reading.
Communication Therapy addresses social problems involving interest to interact, adapting to people and the environment, where the child can speak but only when he chooses to, doesn’t follow instructions, avoids people, answers irrelevantly etc.
Occupational Therapy helps a child become functionally independent in his daily routine such as self care, academics, leisure and social skills. Occupational therapy involves all areas of development and learning, as listed below
|Gross and Fine Motor skills.|
|Cognitive Perceptual skills: Attention and concentration, memory, comprehending information, logical reasoning, problem solving, understanding concept of shape, size, etc.|
|Sensory Integration: Ability to accept, sort out or put together and respond to inputs received from the environment such as sound (auditory), light (visual), touch(tactile), taste (gustatory), smell (olfactory), balance and pressure (vestibular and proprioception), and movement.|
|Visual Motor skills: Abilities like copying.|
|Motor Planning skills: Ability to plan and sequence motor tasks e.g. imitating|
|Oral Motor skills: Coordinated movement of muscles in the mouth, lips, tongue and jaw to help in feeding and speech.|
|Socio-Emotional skills: Ability to interact and adapt|
to people around us.
|Activities of daily living: Independence in self-care, academics and work activities.|
Special Education helps children who have difficulty in their academic performance. Special Education addresses problems in reading, writing, spelling, math and difficulties the child may face in relating, recalling and responding to even newly learnt information.
Special Education involves specialized teaching methodologies, specific learning strategies and interesting learning material that will provide the child an easier way to learn and become independent.
Special education is provided either in an intensive one-on-one setting or in groups where peer learning is encouraged. Special education helps the child learn to cope with their difficulties using their own strengths and can be applied in the child’s school environment itself.
Psychology has two parts – Clinical psychology and Educational Psychology.
Clinical psychology involves assessing and addressing the mental, cognitive and social wellbeing of a child and his family.This includes evaluating a child using age appropriate norms as well as detailed analysis of the issue at hand and how the family is dealing with it. Clinical Psychology helps define behavior patterns and design a treatment program for the same along with other therapists.
Educational psychology involves assessing and addressing learning needs and adjustment issues in school-going children. This includes evaluating a child to determine their learning disability and learning potential which will in turn help the family make decisions regarding schooling and help the school implement strategies that will help the child cope in a mainstream setting.
3 centres in Chennai:
Old no. 48, New no. 51, 3rd Cross Street (West), Shenoy Nagar, Chennai – 600030.
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# 32, 92nd Street, 18th Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai – 600 083.
2/9 Seethammal Colony 3rd Cross Street, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600 018.
To fix an appointment at Chennai or to make an enquiry contact:
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# 1017, 13th Main, 3rd Cross, H.A.L. II Stage Extn., Indira Nagar, Bangalore – 560 008.
Bengaluru Helpline : 94491-55000, 94492-55000, 94493-55000 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To fix an appointment at Bengaluru or to make an enquiry contact:
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Monday to Friday : 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday : 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday – Holiday