Raising Awareness on World Down Syndrome Day and Beyond

downsyndrome

Down syndrome is one of the most common chromosome abnormalities in humans, found in one out of every 1000 newborns each year. However, the society, including most of the parents of babies with Down syndrome, has so much to learn about this, especially in developing countries like India.

Keeping this in mind, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) was first observed in 2006 in many countries around the world. Acknowledging this, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day – the 21st day of the third month; to signify the triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome. Here, we are trying to simplify the disorder so that everyone knows and understands the fact that children with this condition are not sick or suffering; they just have one extra chromosome.

What is Down syndrome?
To put it simply, Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) is a chromosomal abnormality where a child is born with three copies of the 21st chromosome (as shown in the picture).

When babies are being developed, they receive 23 chromosomes from their mother contained in her egg and 23 chromosomes from their father contained in his sperm, totalling 46 chromosomes. Children with Down syndrome are born with an extra 21st chromosome.

what-is-down-syndrome1 (2)

Characteristics of children with Down syndrome:
While the effect of this disorder may differ from child to child, most of the affected ones are observed with the following physical characteristics:
● Flat facial features
● Small head and ears
● Short neck
● Bulging tongue
● Upward slanted eyes
● Atypically shaped ears
● Poor muscle tone

Children with Down syndrome usually have some degree of developmental disability, but it’s often mild to moderate. If not paid attention to, the children might show behavioural properties like:
● Impulsive behaviour
● Poor judgment
● Short attention span
● Slow learning capabilities

How to raise a kid with Down syndrome:
First thing a parent should do is learn as much as possible about the condition. After that, one can look for help at other support groups, talk to therapists and get in contact with other parents who have already been through this. Apart from this, here are few things that might help such parents:
● Give your child chores around the house. Just break them up into small steps and be patient
● Have your child play with other kids who do and don’t have Down syndrome
● Keep your expectations high as your child tries and learns new things
● Make time to play, read, have fun, and go out together
● Avoid saying “That’s wrong” to correct mistakes. Instead, say, “Try it again”
● As you work with doctors, therapists, and teachers, focus on your child’s needs rather than on the condition
● Look at what your child is learning at school and see if you can work those lessons into your home life

While all these tips will certainly help your children in the longer run, one thing they need the most from you is love. Kids with Down syndrome need and deserve as much love as other kids.

Contributing towards making the society more understanding towards children with special needs like in the case of Down syndrome, The Ponty Chadha Foundation runs Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a school for specially-abled kids. MBCN makes sure that these children get a holistic learning experience and a supportive environment, empowering them to achieve maximum independence while defeating their conditions.

On this World Down Syndrome Day, let us all take a pledge to create a society that is more supportive and loving towards the children with special needs.

Advertisements

Our Children Light The Way To A Hopeful Tomorrow

Our Children Light The Way To A Hopeful Tomorrow

Children are our most valuable resources, and if there is any hope left for the world to truly become a better place, then it is with these little bundles of joy. They remind us of love, kindness, compassion and innocence every step of the way. Children’s Day in India is celebrated with a lot of mirth and joy, and is a chance for us to encourage the little ones to grow into wonderful human beings, who can contribute to the society at large.

MBCN has always seen the bigger picture for kids with special abilities. These children have every right to receive education, seek greater opportunities, get involved in shaping the society and participate in activities, much like their peers. However, we still live in a world that can’t seem to rid itself of the stigma that revolves around disabilities. It is disheartening to see a lot of these kids, who get marginalised due to their physical and mental drawbacks, and have a harder time coping with others due to the stereotypes and inhibitions.

The eminent and highly experienced faculty & staff at MBCN strive each day to make the learning process easier, and to equip these special children with a bounty of knowledge, skills and talents that can help them break the set notions around disability.

A recent campaign, which had resounding success across the city of Noida, was #ConnectingSigns. From teaching people the Indian national anthem in sign language, to expressing special needs, our MBCN kids caused ripples of change through the robust campaign, which we hope and pray would have an everlasting impact on our community in the years to come.

Whether it’s kindness or the beauty in curiosity, children with special abilities can teach us the importance of empathy and humanity. This Children’s Day, take a few minutes and spend it with a child who has special needs, and be sure to walk away with receiving more than you could have ever given!

Source: MBCN School for Disabled, Founded by Ponty Chadha

Vaakya – A New Voice for the Voiceless

A picture-based application “Vaakya” has been launched by Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN) charitable school, to help differently-abled and speech impaired children and enable them to learn alternative and augmentative communication.

Introducing the main features of the app to the press representatives at a press briefing, Ms. Vandana Sharma, Director of the School told that, “The app is extremely helpful for the persons who have lost their power to speak or read. Besides, it will also help people affected by cerebral palsy, autism and several other mental and physical conditions“.

She further told that “The app is a combination of audio and custom images. An individual can relate to these images and phrases that will eventually lead towards his/her enhanced ability to communicate effectively. The app aims to make speech impaired persons self-reliant and independent“.

Vaakya in Hindi means “sentence” and the app is equipped with amazing and user-friendly features. This also allows to create multiple accounts, hence, parents/guardians, therapists and teachers can share and use images and actions particular to an individual person. Not only that, it combines custom images and audio that makes it free from language dependence. Further the speech linked with actions can be recorded in multiple languages. According to the estimates, respectively 7.5 % and 5.8 % of the total differently abled population in India face speech and hearing impairments. Therefore, this app is expected to help a considerable population all over India.

Vaakya, a free communication app for voiceless, launched by MBCN, is not internet dependent rather it uses the phone’s memory. It was made available free on Google play store on 16 February on the eve of School’s 18th annual day. It can be downloaded from; https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.edu.aut….

Other than the app, MBCN also launched an e-commerce portal that sells products made by the special students of the school under its vocational training program “Swayam”. Though not wide, but very special handmade products range from office stationery, gifts, wedding gifts, packaging items and paper bags. Like Vaakya this portal also has simple interface and contains all details including size, specifications and price of the products. This portal is connected to school’s website http://www.mbcnschool.org and customers can buy the products from there.

Based in Noida, India and founded in 1999 Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan School is one of the largest schools in India for differently abled children. It has been providing complete rehabilitation services to mentally and physically challenged children. Currently, the number of its beneficiaries is more than 1000 students. It is run by Ponty Chadha Foundation.

News Source: https://www.prlog.org/12640117-vaakya-new-voice-for-the-voiceless.html

Ponty Chadha Foundation Supports MBCN’s School for Specially-Abled

Ponty Chadha, The Ponty Chadha Foundation, Ponty chadha Group, Mata Bhagwanti Chanda Niketan, School for specially abled

It’s been 18 years that Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), one of India’s largest schools for specially-abled, has been enabling the ‘children with special needs’. To commemorate the achievement, the school celebrated its 18th Annual Day today.

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan works under the aegis of The Ponty Chadha Foundation that works towards the social and economic development of the society.

On this momentous occasion, the school also launched Vaakya, a picture based app designed for people who are speech impaired, and/or affected by autism, cerebral palsy and various other mental and physical conditions. The app can be customised by the user according to their special needs and doesn’t rely on internet connectivity.  Multiple user accounts can be created by adding multiple students/patients to the application with unique actions and speech specifications as per individual users. The speech associated with actions can be recorded and played back in any language, providing greater flexibility. It is available on Google Play Store for free of cost.

The school also launched a shopping portal, integrated with its website (www.mbcnschool.org), which allows customers to buy hand-made products made by the special children of the school under their programme Swayam. The handmade products are wedding gifts, packaging items, office stationery, paper bags and other gift products which from now will be available online for sale. Continue reading