Shilpa Society for the Mentally Handicapped

Project Brief: The most important short term goal of the Society is to focus in its Early intervention program by setting up a nodal Early Intervention unit.
Project Type: Special Needs (description)
Primary Focus: children with disabilities (description)

Secondary Focus: remedial education

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: NYC/NJ
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Prasanth Ramanand
Project Partner(s): Premila Harimohan
Other Contacts: Anita Chawla
Project Address: , “ Sruthishilpam”, 21/1252 A ,,Palluruthy,Kochi,
KERALA  682006
Tel: 91-484-2328977 / 2232598
Stewarding Chapter: NYC/NJ
Apr 2007NYC/NJUSD 17000
Dec 2006BerkeleyUSD 2000

Total = $19000

Importance of early detection and intervention
The awareness need to be spread among doctors as well as people about early intervention. In the rural areas where poverty and illiteracy are high, people do not know what is to be done if their child is mentally handicapped. Most often, children are bought to special schools when they are quite old. If diagnosed in early childhood and proper early intervention is done the improvement shown by a child will be much higher. This point has to be driven in among the people.
Early Detection and Early Intervention
More than ninety percent brain development in a child is completed by 2 years of age. Maximum number of synaptic connections between neuronal cells important for learning is formed in this period. It is a plasticity period where the infant’s brain cells are highly responsive to experience. Myelinisation which is important for transmission of messages to and from the brain is completed by 2 yrs of age.

Intense stimulation of the child
The Child is given stimulation using colours, sound, light etc, with the help of special toys. The services are provided by a team including an Early Interventionist, doctors, clinical psychologist, therapists (occupational therapist, physiotherapist, and speech therapist), social worker etc. The assessments are done at regular intervals and program redesigned and tailor made depending on the child's problem.
Short-Term: The most important short term goal of the Society is to focus in its Early intervention program by setting up a nodal Early Intervention unit.
The project would directly benefit many more developmentally delayed children and their families. The male/ female ratio will be approximately equal.

Long Term
• Acceleration of rate of development of the child
• Acquisition of new behaviors / skills by the child
• Increase independent functioning
• Early detection & prevention of secondary handicaps (for example if a hearing defect is detected early and provided proper help, normal development of speech can occur but if there is a delay in providing intervention the child may not develop speech at all)
• Minimize effects of handicapping condition.
• Render assistance to parents/caretakers in coping skills and understanding their child better
Shilpa was the daughter of Dr.Harimohan & Dr. Premila. She was a beautiful child, soft gentle and graceful with long hair but unlike other children she was born mentally disabled. She was tiny and fragile and had recurrent attacks of fits, she also had a congenital ventricular septal defect (Hole in the heart) and so prone to many illnesses. She bore her sufferings patiently. Even though her heart problems was solved, she continued to be troubled by constant attacks of fits. When she was eleven years old after one such severe attack, she went into a coma from which she never recovered. Shilpa left this world on December 1st 1995 .It was a great loss for her parents as their life centered on her and it was difficult to fill the vacuum created by her loss. It became clear to them that Shilpa’s memory can last forever only if sincere service is done to children like her and their rich experience in this field would benefit others. With the help of several friends, a Charitable Organisation called Shilpa Society for Mentally handicapped was formed on December 1st 1996, first death anniversary of Shilpa.

The Shilpa Society is committed to selfless service to the mentally handicapped to improve their quality of life. All its activities are focused on this principle.
The Society is registered under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration Number : 052850443

Registered NGO ( Registered under charitable trust Act of 1957)