Presently, WARDS operates from a small setup in a civic amenity site in Jeevan Bima Nagar, Bangalore. Currently, around 51 children aged between 4 and 15 and a few adults are utilizing the services.
Most of these kids come from below poverty families who cannot take care of these children on a day-to-day basis. For instance, autistic individuals lag behind others in areas of communication, social skills, and cognition. Some of them have dysfunctional and self-stimulatory behaviors (i.e., repetitive, non-goal directed behavior, like rocking, hand-flapping), self-injury, sleeping and eating problems, poor eye contact, insensitivity to pain, hyper / hypo-activity, and attention deficits. Autism is a very complex disorder; and the needs of these individuals vary greatly. But, these kids are often neglected and treated brutally because of lack of awareness about their kid's physical / mental challenge.
At WARDS, staff is cognizant of this scenario and the services are carried out according to the individual needs of the individuals.
Day Care Program: The day care centre provides a safe, secure place for parents to send their children to be taken care of during the day time, while they attend to their duties and earning a livelihood. Additionally, the centre provides programmes such as vocational training and simple educational inputs to these challenged children. At present, there are 51 children utilizing the services under this program. In the vocational section, adults are engaged in activities like candle making, block printing, jewelry making, chalk and paper bags making by which their potential is nurtured and confidence is boosted. In the educational section, children are given appropriate inputs to attain inclusive education .They are also encouraged to participate in all competitions held for special children like painting, drawing and dancing. They are also given basic training in computers. Based on the age and degree of disability, the children are also provided special services like physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. WARDS has implemented this program for 20 years with the support of trained and semi skilled teachers to facilitate the learning and development of mentally and physically challenged children.
Early Intervention Program: The early intervention program facilitates cognitive development in disabled children aged between 0 to 6 years. Readiness to learn in the early years of life is the focus of this programme. By the age of six, differently-abled children are empowered with required cognitive functioning and ready to be enrolled in special schools for toning their special skills. Under this preparatory program, children with mental and physical challenges, Cerebral Palsy, Autism and learning disorders are taught various life and communication skills and are helped to develop their social skills. They are also provided with therapeutic services like Music Therapy, Yoga, Speech Therapy and Physiotherapy. Around 20 children are admitted in this group for a period of 2 years and are given preparatory training during this span of time. Two trained teachers and caregivers are provided exclusively for this programme. WARDS stands as the first model centre for mentally and physically disabled children catering to this age group in Bangalore city.
Homebound Program: The homebound program is exclusively meant for children who are bedridden and are unable to travel independently to special schools or other schools which integrate special children. The staff at WARDS, provides services such as physiotherapy and teaches these special children life skills in their respective homes. WARDS, under this programme is presently assisting 15 children in six slums located close to the centre.
Welfare Scheme for Children: With most of our Children being from the poorer sections of Society, WARDS recognises the need to reach out and provide welfare programs for children. The welfare programme for children entails medical care and treatment, corrective measures such as surgical intervention if required, mid-day meals, uniforms, teaching aids, raw materials for vocational training and transport allowances for pick up and drop from home to school. This programme also provides facilities for assessment and supply of appliances, help them get Railway concession, identity cards, scholarships and various other benefits.
Counselling Training Program: This programme provides counseling training in Interpersonal communication and listening skills. Under this program, WARDS has trained around 100 visually impaired educated individuals to move ahead in their life confidently. It is interesting to note that most of them work in different firms and government departments today.
Mid-day Meals Program: Mid-day meals is provided everyday to all children at WARDS. A nutritious meal plan is designed and implemented. The meals are prepared in the WARDS premises with great care for hygiene and quality.