ARIVU- a Early Intervention Centre for Special Children Launched

ARIVU- a Early Intervention Centre for Special Children Launched

Mangaluru: With a Mission to Work with multi disciplinary teams in hospitals and build Early Intervention Programs; to provide Advocacy, Education, Empowerment of Families; Set up groups of volunteers and assess families with disabled children in the entire Dakshina Kannada district; Conduct camps and seminars on various issues of disabilities, to create awareness and provide education to families and society; Develop professional working relationships with other organizations who have developed successful early intervention models; Ensure parents are aware of their child’s problems and the challenges; to provide Early Intervention and Remedial Services to include the parents and family members working with the Rehabilitation Professionals and to teach how to help the child;

To Connect with medical professionals who will provide early diagnosis and recommend early intervention; Provide Rehabilitation and Behavior services; to Develop an individual plan for your child and help the family implement it; to Develop specific strategies to help your child learn new skills and use them in different settings; and Help reduce your child’s difficult behavior by understanding what the ‘cause’ of the behavior is and then teaching your child more appropriate behavior- ARIVU (a unit of ARIVU Trust)-a Early Intervention Centre for Special Children was inaugurated at Shaktinagar- Mangaluru.

The programme began with a prayer song invoking God’s blessings, followed by welcome address and briefing of ARIVU by Ms Poornima Bhat- the Founder Trustee of the centre, where she said, ” Arivu, which means Awareness in Kannada language aims at helping the parents in raising their children diagnosed with autism and Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder (ADHD) through behaviour therapy and counselling, speech and occupational therapy and counselling. The ARIVU logo symbolically represents a concerned individual taking the community (depicted by the ring around the waist) along with him from darkness to brightness by creating awareness. The centre was started informally a year ago and has 32 children, with majority of them diagnosed with autism and ADHD. The centre is bearing the expenditure that includes salary for four staff with generous donations from philanthropists. Apart from the kids, we will also focus on their parents who will be taught on methods to handle their wards”.

Poornima recalling the ordeals she faced at the early stage of raising her toddler son (now 26-year-old but has a stunted intellectual growth of a four-year-old), furthers aid, ” We moved to USA in 2001 when my husband got a job offer as a visiting scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory-Ohio, USA. While in USA I worked in a Rehabilitation and Counselling areas in New York- and later thought of acquiring skills to deal with my son. I decided to change the course of my career with a MS in Rehablitation Counselling after having to bring up my special son and that’s when I started dreaming about ARIVU. An offering of Arivu Trust, it is the result of the first-hand experience of its founders in raising my son diagnosed with downs syndrome. This is a non-profit NGO set up for creating awareness in the community about disability and taking remedial action”.

The Centre was inaugurated by lighting of the traditional lamp and also unveiling the Centre Sign y chief guest- Sr Maria Jyothi AC- the Founder Principal of St Agnes Special School, Bendore-Mangaluru, along with other dignitaries on the dais, namely Ms Akhila Alva- area corporator, MCC; Dr K S Bhat- President, ARIVU Trust; Dr Radhakrishna Bhat- Treasurer/secretary of ARIVU; and Karthik Keyan- Co-ordiantor, Early Intervention Program, Disability NGOs Alliance (DNA)-Bengaluru. In her inaugural address, speaking on Early Intervention, Sr Maria Jyothi AC said, “The early childhood years lay the foundation for all future development. Recent scientific evidence shows that early experiences literally shape our lives by affecting the way the young brain develops. What happens to us in the early years has a major effect on our health and social development right through to adulthood. Therefore, we must ensure that children’s early experiences are positive – that they have a secure foundation for development.”

“The early childhood years are just as important for children with disabilities and developmental delays as they are for all children. All their future development is based on the critical learning patterns laid down during this period. The early years are also critical for the whole family. This is when families can best begin to learn how to support and nurture their child, how to meet their child’s needs, and how to adapt positively to having a child with a disability or a developmental delay. A child’s earliest years are filled with new stimulation and novel experiences that drive his or her cognitive, social, and physical growth. The first 3 years of life are a critical time for brain development, especially if a child is delayed or restricted in development. If a child needs support to develop optimally, occupational therapy can help.” added Sr Maria Jyothi.

She further said, “There are programs called early intervention across the country/state that are funded by federal, state, and other NGOs. Public funding is also needed by certain centres, like Arivu. Early intervention is a collection of therapy and support services that provide children from birth to 3 years old who have disabilities, or who are at risk for developing them, the help they need to succeed later in life. Occupational therapy is one of several services that may be provided as part of early intervention. It benefits children with many specific conditions (e.g., Down syndrome, autism), in addition to children with no clear diagnosis. And Ms Poornima with all her experience and knowledge that she has gained in USA , will do a excellent job in taking care of these special children here at ARIVU. I wish Poornima and her family all success in their efforts to take care of these special children”.

Karthik Keyan also speaking on the Early Intervention said, ” If you’re concerned about the development of an infant or toddler, or you suspect that a little one has a disability, the early intervention system will benefit a lot. Early intervention services can help infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays to learn many key skills and catch up in their development. Early intervention is a system of services that helps little kids with developmental delays or disabilities. Early intervention focuses on helping little kids learn the basic and brand-new skills that typically develop during the first three/early years of life. And with the launching of ARIVU, and dedicated service by Ms Poornima, parents can avail the best care and training for their special children at this centre.”.

A few children and parents were presented with mementos by the Trust, and also the Birthday of Ronauk of Arivu was celebrated during the occasion. Dr K S Bhat briefed about the Trust, and requested for humble support from the public towards ARIVU, a NGO started for the good cause of the special children. Dr Radhakrishna Bhat proposed the vote of thanks. In conclusion, we all should commend and appreciate Ms Poornima and her husband Dr Radhakrishna Bhat for deciding to come back to Mangaluru from US to make their dreams come true. Both have them have been dreaming of Creating a Resource Centre for parents blessed with special children, and provide Counselling and Behaviour Services and it was this purpose that the family moved back here in 2012- and now with the launching of ARIVU, they have made their dream come true. They are very proud that ARIVU will be a pioneer in early intervention for special children of early age in DK. Let us all support and encourage the Bhat family in their mission in making a difference in the special children.

ABOUT ARIVU:

ARIVU is an NGO established by the parents of a child with disability. They believe that Parents and Teachers are the crucial pillars of the overall development of a child. At ARIVU, they provide therapies and training to children with Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, reading and writing issues and Mental Retardation. Educating parents and helping them to understand their child’s issues and developing a home plan is our highlight. Overall development of the child requires working in the following areas: Behavior, Speech and language, Social skills, Fine Motor skills and Academic.

At ARIVU, they assess the child, understand the deficiencies in the above mentioned areas and develop the required skills. They provide Behavior Therapy, Speech and language therapy, Sensory Intergration Therapy, Social skills training and Academic development through Group and Individual therapy sessions. How you can help Arivu Trust: Your donations to Arivu Trust® are exempted U/S 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961, vide order FNo. CIT(E)BLR/80G/ITO(E)I/MNG-1026 A/AAETA8972H/Vol2016-2017 dt. 23-06-1016 of Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions), Bengaluru. Bank Account details for your donations: Account Name: ARIVU TRUST Bank: Karnataka Bank; Account No.: 5132500100657401; IFSC CODE: KARB0000513; Branch: H.O. COMPLEX BRANCH, Mangaluru. For more details contact : 0824-2213632; 8971237669; Email : arivutrustr@gmail.com; Web : www.arivutrust.org

ARIVU would also love to accept new and used educational materials. Let us spread awareness about Arivu and refer families in need to them. You will be helping a child in travelling in the right direction, under the leadership and guidance of the following Trustees:

Dr. K. Sundara Bhat, Ms. Poornima R. Bhat and Dr. Radhakrishna B. Bhat

President – Dr. K. Sundara Bhat

Professor and former Head of the Dept. of General Medicine at Father Muller’s Medical College in Mangaluru. Dr. Bhat has a distinguished career exceeding 30 years and is continuing as a physician at the Father Muller’s Hospital, Mangaluru. He holds an MBBS and MD from Kasturba Medical College in Manipal. Dr. Bhat served in Central Kerala for 6 years before returning to settle in Mangaluru.

Vice-President – CA Ravinarayana B.V. Bhat

Mr. Bhat is a finance professional and Fellow Member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He also qualified as Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Information Systems Auditor from USA. He started his professional career as practicing Chartered Accountant at Bangalore. With the six years of practical experience he moved to Bahrain Airport Services, Bahrain. Since last 17 years, he works for Oman Air, national airline of Sultanate of Oman.

Treasurer/Secretary – Dr. Radhakrishna B. Bhat

With a Ph.D. in Metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, Dr. Bhat has served as a scientist at the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, Hyderabad for 17 years. He accepted an invitation to be a visiting scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton OH, USA for 5 years. He later became a senior scientist at the GE Global Research Center, Albany NY, USA, for 6 years before returning to India for good in 2012 to settle in Mangaluru and realize his and his wife’s dream of ARIVU.

Administrator – Ms. Poornima R. Bhat

After completing her M.S. from Wright State University, Dayton, OH, she worked in Rehabilitation and Counseling areas at Albany, NY, USA. With a B.Sc (Electronics) from Bangalore University and a diploma in Computer Applications from Hyderabad Central University, Poornima decided to change the course of her career with an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling after having to bring up a special son and dreaming about creating ARIVU.

Honorary Advisers: V.S. Basavaraju-Executive Director-Strategy, The Association of People with Disability (APD), Bengaluru; and Sr. Maria Jyothi A.C.-Founder Principal, St. Agnes Special School, Mangaluru