People with autism spectrum are more often than not, labelled as ‘different’ and stigmatized by the society. This leads to social isolation, loneliness, low self-esteem and diminished social identity (Villa et al., 2005). Therefore, it’s imperative for them to study in an educational setting where the main goal is INCLUSION.
Inclusive schools are different from special schools. An inclusive school provides opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in ALL aspects of school life along with peers who do not have disabilities, such as, mainstream classroom, sports and extracurricular activities. A Special school, on the other hand, is segregated from a normal school and only serves to students with various severity of disabilities.
There are various advantages of both. A child in an inclusive school learns from his peers by imitation and adapts skills such as team work and equality making him feel more accepted. A child in a special school has individualised focus on his specific needs which cannot be catered to at a mainstreamed classroom and there is no competition as focus is on individual progress.
According to the child’s capabilities and preferences, following are a list of special as well as inclusive schools in Delhi-NCR. It’s important to note here that since autism is a developmental disability, the earlier the child gets help (preferably from pre-school), the better is his prognosis.
Special Schools in Delhi
Tamana Autism Centre — School of Hope
Location- Vasant Vihar, New Delhi
This is India’s first rehabilitation and research center for autistic individuals providing holistic services under one roof – a special school, sensory integration clinic, early intervention center, diagnostic center and research cell. They provide intervention for the autistic based on modules of TEACCH, ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis)
Location- Sheikh Sarai, New Delhi.
Their aim is nurturing abilities of special needs children. They cater to autistic children by providing special education, occupational therapy, psychological counselling and speech therapy through ABA and social skill training.
Inclusive Schools in Delhi NCR
1. Amar Jyoti Research and Rehabilitation Centre
Location- Karkardooma, Vikas Marg, Delhi
Their concept of educating children with and without disability in equal number from nursery to class VIII is exceptional. They also have a special training centre for children with deafness, blindness and multisensory impairment. There are preparatory classes for inclusion of developmentally delayed children as well.
2. Bee Hive Junior School
Location- Kirti Nagar and Paschim Vihar, West Delhi
Their goal states “Every child can learn”. Bee Hive is a playschool with 1:10 ratio classrooms having children with various needs, They provide play, recreation and art therapy along with modified curriculum for children with special needs. They have a rich source of IEP’s (Individualised Educational Plans) for children as well.
Children with autism spectrum are quirky, but it’s their quirks which make them beautiful. This April 2020 ‘Autism Awareness Month”, let’s appreciate them and remember the quote by Dr. Seuss ‘Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?’. In the end, we hope this list guides you towards your child’s finest growth possible!
Villa, R. A & Thousand, J. S. (2005). Creating an Inclusive School. Premium Member Book. (2018). 10 Reasons to Support Inclusive School Communities for ALL Students. TIES Center.