Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for Children

| | posted on:Autism, Mental Retardation
The C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation established Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for Children in 1985. Saraswathi Kendra provides those supplements necessary for the all-round development of the child. Any child whose life is disturbed by problems that interfere with school performance and inter-personal relationships can benefit from this programme.
Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for ChildrenThe mission of the Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre is to recognise, understand and establish innovative and comprehensive services geared to the special needs of children with Learning Problems and Disabilities, Autism, Dyslexia, ADD and ADHD, so that they may learn to cope with their studies and general development. Saraswathi Kendra is an alternative form of schooling for slow learners and learning disabled children.
Reaching out …
The children attending the Saraswathi Kendra have one or more of the following problems.
Learning Disabilities
Learning Problems
Habit and Behaviour Disorders
Personality disorders
Anti-social behaviour
Eating and sleeping disorders
School phobia
Saraswathi Kendra’s policy is to help the educable, low I.Q. child develop his/her learning potential, educate himself/herself to the optimum degree and maximum extent possible and develop other latent skills that can be channeled towards giving the child income generation potential and economic security. School dropouts are also submitted.

Saraswathi Kendra does not admit children with problems of mental retardation as neither the required staff services nor the infrastructure for such handling is available.

Any child who remains at the same class level for more than two years, in spite of the Intensive Remedial Education Programme, may be referred to a more appropriate system of education. Similarly, if a child is found appropriate for a regular school, Saraswathi Kendra recommends the return of the child to a mainstream school. The decision of the authorities of Saraswathi Kendra is final in this regard.

Saraswathi Kendra provides free services for those whose family income is below a certain amount, or collects nominal charges for others.

Staff Services
Saraswathi Kendra is staffed by trained psychologists, therapists and counselors, social workers and special educators. Saraswathi Kendra is aided by honorary psychiatrists, speech therapists and physiotherapists, neurologists and other medical consultants.
Class Structure
Relatively small classroom strength of 6 to 10 students
Small informally arranged classrooms
Ratio of staff to students maintained at 1:8
No definite distinctions as classes I to XII. Students are grouped according to their abilities and may move from one level to another. Upgrading of levels may be done as and when suitable and not necessarily at the end of an academic year.
Special Events
Lectures on health and nutrition are regularly organized for parents and students
The students regularly participate in various competitions and functions for students held in Chennai.
Weekly parent – teacher meetings and parent counseling meetings are organized to review student progress
Annual Sports Day, Project Day and the other events are conducted regularly
Workshops are held for teachers of regular schools to introduce them to the concept of learning problems and disabilities.
Excursions and field trips are conducted regularly for each class.

Alternate Therapies

Reaching out to children with learning problems can be through several ways. Although the ultimate goal is to educate them and give them a means of earning an income, this need not necessarily be done with blackboard and books. Music, dance (or movement therapy), art, yoga, athletics and cricket coaching are utilized on a regular basis at Saraswathi Kendra.
Yoga is an essential part of the various programmes offered by Saraswathi Kendra. It helps the children concentrate, controlling their movements and developments. A full time yoga teacher is provided by Saraswathi Kendra.
Movement and Dance Therapy
Ramana Sunritya Aalaya (RASA) conducts regular movement and dance therapy classes for the students of Saraswathi Kendra. This helps their physical development and motor control. Many of the alumni and students of Saraswathi Kendra are, today, professional dancers.
Regular music classes and exhibitions of talent have helped the children express themselves in music. Many alumni of Saraswathi Kendra are eminent classic musicians and play-back singers.
Art Therapy
Art and craft are both a therapy and an activity. Art therapy is used to communicate with hyperactive, autistic and troubled children.
Traditional Indian art styles, drawing and contemporary painting are taught regularly to the students. Many alumni are now working as artists, film makers and art directors in the cinematic field.