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Anitha should go to school

The one question Anitha’s parents need to face quite often is “why should Anitha go to school?” This is one of the painful questions all parents of kids with disability have to answer day in and day out.

©CBM India
Anitha
Anitha, a 17 year old girl was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes Type 1 at the age of 5. At the age of 14, she was forced to discontinue her regular schooling because her vision and hearing ability got affected by diabetes. The school was unable to support Anitha because the school and teachers are not equipped to facilitate kids with disability.

Due to Anitha’s deteriorating vision and hearing abilities, she struggled to follow her teacher’s teaching and instructions. Being the only breadwinner of the family, Anitha’s mother struggled to make ends meet. Adding to the struggle, quiet often Anitha and her parents face the questions ‘Why Anitha should be sent to school? What she is going to achieve? Why the family should unnecessarily spend their money on her education?

Anitha’s mother said her daughter needs to have every opportunity to learn new skills and acquire more knowledge to survive in this competitive world. Due to her weakening vision and hearing loss, it has been very important for her to learn as much as she could as early as possible.

Anitha joined CBM partner; The Clarke School for the Deaf in Chennai, where she received intervention for hearing loss and was supported by an in-canal hearing aid. She also had vision assessment done. Since there is no cure for the progressive vision loss, as much as possible measures for adequate lighting, good contrast as well as magnification is taken care of and Anitha continues to manage with the situation. She is currently under insulin and other medication for hypothyroidism.
 
Now in her 17th year, Anitha wears in-canal hearing aids in her both ears. She is trained in Braille and Sign language and has been provided with magnifying lens and big font books. She has also given tactile training in order to communicate with other people and has been trained in mobility and orientation, especially sighted guide technique. Now, she has good orientation and is mobile in familiar places and uses her residual vision well.

Anitha’s family say that children with any disability must be accepted by the family and community and sent to school at the earliest, as early intervention is the key to successful rehabilitation of such children. Her mother underlines the importance of the family’s role, its responsibility and involvement in the rehabilitation process of every child with disability to make them self-reliant and confident.


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