Little Pods: Special care for Special Needs Children
Mental health has always been neglected in our society, French Philosopher Michel Foucault in his work ‘Madness and civilization’ asserted that the modern history of mental health treatment has been full of horrors. There were various instances that depict the shallow approach of the society towards it. But times are changing; we are learning lessons from the history and with growing emphasis on the academic research in the domain of mental health and its treatment, new dimensions and solutions are surfacing the shore. Unfortunately, whatever advancement human race has achieved remains restricted to its treatment and understanding only, little evolution has occurred in the collective conscience of the society. Now with the modern use of technology and much more awareness, adult/children dealing with various mental health condition sare looking at a bright future ahead. Western countries recognized the issue and took the necessary steps to provide solutions, and almost a congruent pattern can be seen here as well. The emerging startup culture is facilitating the growth of such firms, among such, Little Pods shines as a bright star. Little pods came into existence when the astute and dynamic Kirti Shah understood the gravity of the issues related to the chasms left between the society and individuals with special needs because of the stigma attached to it. Kirti understood in order to make full use of the opportunity, the focus should be on working in such areas, so that the integration of such individuals in society can be made viable through institutional efforts. She understood the need to work closely with the core, hence start with early childhood intervention.
What makes them unique?
Little Pods provides varied and distinctive services for the special need children, firmly considering the individuality of each child, their professionals have been trained thoroughly to assist the child in instilling the required skills for functioning independently. They have devised interventions and strategies both on the needs of the child and the patrons, and the caregivers while keeping the child’s comfort in mind. Little Pods’ focus always remains on improving the child’s strength by not only working on the academic skills and behavior but social/interaction skills as well, hence aiming the holistic development of the child for much better chances at integrating into society with appropriate communication skills. Little Pods provide various ‘at school’ and ‘at home’ services with the approach to achieve independent functioning for individuals with Special Needs.
Such services require a personalized touch, therefore the management has implemented a personalized teaching service called Shadow Teachers, as the name suggests, these teachers become the shadow of each child involving in observation, planning and execution interventions at prepared under the guidance of experts specific to each child’s requirements. These benevolent shadows assist the particular child to develop, plan and hone social and behavior skills as per the societal requirement and act as a bridge between the school and parents by maintaining a formal channel. Little Pods’ management has taken into account the growing concern of dependency of the child on the Shadow Teacher, and thus has formulated a systematic plan for the same and equipped the school staff with the required skills to mitigate the chances of dependency. Such modus operandi facilitates the personal, social and intellectual development and provides an opportunity for positive and productive learning each day. For professionals with Little Pods, the personalized service is given the utmost importance, they believe in leaving no child behind, and understand the importance of the home followed by the school, where almost every child, be it with special needs or not gets molded and learns the very first lesson. Keeping these aspects of the lessons in mind, the professionals meticulously craft the home sessions, leaving no stone unturned. Little Pods’ professionals understand the importance of comfort zones and their conduciveness to a child’s overall growth and development of a rhythm and pace. They have been crusading against the stereotypical stigmatization of such people; “Rain Man” portrayal of a widely known but poorly accepted phenomenon called AUTISM. The firm understands that to facilitate the better growth and positive learning outcome, a very clear understanding of the child’s needs and concerns are required. It is a commonly known fact that such children have a preoccupied mind, sensory needs and prefers to stay in their own world tendencies; hence all attempts for management behavior or other developmental skills are done with great understanding of symptomatic behaviors.
Coping with different issues associated
- For a child with critical/terminal illness, painful medical procedures can be a very difficult experience, it may make the child lag behind in developing the prerequisite academic and socialskills. The firm has integrated varied plan from different genres targeting positive development in the child.
- These children are very fragile in nature, so the parents and caregivers are trained in the usage of a systematic and effective approach, to ensure the omnipresence of training, the group has the facility of online services to reach every house, school or institute.
- Working with special needs children can be tiring, exhausting and confusing at times, the firm provides a well formulated and tested intervention plans with detailed instructions for such situations.
- Working with such a sensitive population can be very challenging and overwhelming for other professionals as well, hence they have a systematic training and supporting program for inhouse as well as external mental health professionals.
- In current times, most children spend a significant amount of their free time with visual technology, gadgets and internet, aside from its benefits, it can have an adverse impact on the concentration and memory, as well as the child’s ability to make decisions and set goals. Little Pods helps parents and caregivers understand the management how of screen time that further optimizes the brain functioning.
Kirti Shah, a clinical psychologist by profession also holds a post-graduation diploma in forensic psychology, and has worked extensively with children as an independent counselor and has also been associated with various organizations. Her academic background and immense experience to deal with children and adults as a mental health professional make her stand apart in the mental health industry.
–“The interpretation of dreams is a great art” – Paracelsus, for Kirti each child is a different and innovative dream that needs an interpreter. She encourages the professionals to be that interpreter, as after the successful interpretation with genuine care, and understanding approach, only a gentle extra push, use of felicitous solutions and well-coordinated teamwork will tantamount to the independent functioning of the child. It is the Little Pods’ vision and endeavor to bring prescribed expert professionals under one roof, and cater to the holistic needs of the child towards a quality life. Strong believer of “You grow, We grow” understands the responsibility of dealing with tender hearts and young professionals. Little Pods organization is also discern by being an all women organization with strong core team. Ms. Kirti appreciates her Admin and Coordinating team; Ms. Jigna Datar and Ms. Stephanie George for building up such a specific structure. Kirti is more than pleased with these beginnings and envisages a rapid change in the attitude of people towards mental health and promises cultivation of a healthy relationship with all their associates.