Novi Survat Goa is a charitable non-profit CHILDREN'S PALLIATIVE CARE Organization that provides holistic care to families having children with diseases/ disorders for which there is no cure.

Physiotherapy at Novi Survat Goa started in 2007, children with cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopment conditions are provided physiotherapy & other support services through a team of qualified and experienced physiotherapists. Recreational Therapy works closely with the Physiotherapy Centre to provide comprehensive care to the children already registered and undergoing therapy. These children have multiple disabilities and as they grow older there is a need to train the children for activities of daily living (ADL), self-help skills, optimize their abilities and then workout an individualized program for appropriate training for self- employment, independent or assisted living.

Promoting self-reliance is a fundamental aspect of our existence, and it's crucial that life skills which foster this individuality be an integral part of our system. It's essential for parents, caretakers and skilled trainers to prepare children to become self-sufficient adults who possess the skills necessary to thrive in society. As a child grows, parents progressively impart knowledge that encourages independence by teaching life skills that can be applied in society. However, this task can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including identifying when to teach specific skills and understanding what techniques work best for your child. In addition to parents and caretakers, the child's surroundings also play a significant role in fostering a child's development when it comes to life skills.

"Children spend more awake hours in school than they do at home. It's almost as if you are creating their worlds." -Jennah Schuh

Providing special needs children with comprehensive and essential skills to incorporate the three major life skill categories into their education. These include daily living skills, social skills, and occupational skills. However, implementing such a curriculum successfully poses significant challenges.

An experience we had recently is with a 9 year old child, who suffers from SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) which limits her movement and confines her to a wheelchair. During a session she expressed that she would like to go to school just like her sister, but because of our education systems and it not being assessable to wheelchairs in a normal school setup she was confined at home. At Novi Survat goa we then started to train here few months passed and she was ready to be put into a school setup that caters to her needs. With both her Physical needs and Recreational needs on going she was able to adapt and comprehend all the information. Once she was ready we then started to look for schools and finally her dream came true. She joined school and now attends school 3 times a week.

A brief list of Life skills that are carried out at NSG are:

1. Personal care: Focuses on developing personal hygiene habits and provide required support to ensure they practice them regularly.

2. Maths: Teach children count money, tell time, and maintain a small savings box. They can be taught how to safeguard

their money, and to take responsible financial decisions.

3. Household Skills: Cleaning the house and shopping for groceries are some of the things they can be taught to do.

4. Essential Reading: Basic reading and word association can be taught are being taught to the child which helps in picture comprehension and identification of items being used on a daily basics.

5. Safety: Teach children with disabilities about safety signs and their meanings. They should be aware of fire and other safety hazards, and ways to get themselves to safety in case of an accident. In the event of building evacuation, they should be aware of the exit pathways.

6. Self-Awareness and Self-Confidence: Children with special needs should be able to identify their emotional, physical, and psychological needs. Encourage them to acknowledge and receive praise and criticism.

Parents of children with special needs dedicate a huge amount of their time and energy doing their best for the children. But the most precious gift they can give their children, and themselves, is their children's self-dependence. So, they must actively supplement the skills training received from different centres and Ngo's. They should consistently motivate their children to do everyday activities with little or no assistance. Such an approach will impress the merits of being independent upon them.

Miss. Ghislaine Mari Dias Recreational Therapist Novi Surat Goa

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