Ashirwad is the special school run by CST. Adaptive behaviour profiles of the children are drawn using Madras Developmental Programming Scale (MDPS). Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed and followed for each child based on the behaviour profile. The IEP is written based on a multi-modal approach which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and behaviour modification interventions. This ensures that each child is met at their skill-level and is trained progressively. The Individualized Education Plan also enables us to objectively track progress of the children every quarter and every year. The school has a professional team of special educators, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and psychologist. Three of the boards of trustees have relevant experience to guide and contribute towards managing the professional needs of the school.
Apart from this the children are assessed every year by a psychologist. The children also receive regular medical test such as dental, eye, orthopedic check up, neurologist’s referrals etc on a need basis.
The children are trained in extracurricular activities such as art, dance, drama, oration and sports based on their ability, skills and interest. The children are taking out on field trips, lunch outings and for experiential learning.
While the education and therapies take care of the training and developmental needs, Ashirwad seeks to address nutritional and health needs through this programme. Since the children are from poor families, most of them are undernourished. A balanced lunch is provided for them in the school. The lunch program is purely based on donations and common people who decide to sponsor a day’s meal for the children.
The older children and those who are not educable are trained in certain vocational skills suitable to their level of capability. The vocational training unit makes envelops, pouches, greeting card designs, and other artifacts, which are then marketed. This helps to build the self-confidence of these children, and to bring out their creativity. Besides, it trains them for useful vocation in the future.
Awareness on developmental disabilities being what it is, Ashirwad seeks to fill the gap by organizing community outreach and awareness programmes, and by training medical and para-medical professionals such as nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, special educators, and so on. Ashirwad also takes on interns from various educational institutions to enable on-the-job experience. This program encourages International trainees and interns too. This on-going, hands-on programme is integrated with Ashirwad Special School and Blue rock- campsite and learning centre.