Academy of Learning and Development - A project for 'special children' by Sushilabai Nanasaheb Deo Charitable Trust. Arti Deo, Director,has evaluated several therapies available around the world. ALD has found ABT effective and have Arts-Based Therapy as a regular therapeutic intervention (among others) at the Academy http://www.aldindia.org/therapies.htm
Here is what Ms. Arti Deo has to say about ABT – “The Arts based Therapy sessions were interwoven beautifully with the other activities at the Academy to lend coherence to all the therapeutic activities done during the sessions. The emphasis was on building attention-span, motor co-ordination, motor planning, body-awareness and spatial sense during the ABT sessions. However, the primary aim was to impact eye-contact, self-esteem, left and right brain connect and to improve expression and communication. The ABT sessions resulted in increased social interaction, confidence, sitting tolerance and increase in sustained attention. The sessions were a happy blend of storytelling using puppets, painting, drumming, music, movement and games. The children enjoyed and looked forward to the sessions with enthusiasm. Vanashree is very dedicated and well organized and wonderful with the children” Arti Deo, Director, Co-Founder
Ms. Betty Abraham has a post-graduate degree in special education and has training in several other interventions. Betty’s only child, Adrian is a wonderfully sensitive boy of 12 years with Angelman’s Syndrome. Adrian has much to communicate but not many ways he is able to. Despite trying many different approaches, Betty realised that Adrian needed something more than just “improved muscle tone” and “better attention-span”… he needed for his innate personality to emerge and for him to find something that he would like to engage in. Adrian experienced ABT and Betty felt a positive difference in Adrian, “For my son, who had severe sensory issues, I saw a significant decrease in the need to indulge in self-stimulatory behavior and mouthing. He became more confident and relaxed. Vanashree ‘understood’ him and his need and redirected it in a constructive manner. Even now, he has a very special smile and hug for her. This to me indicates the veracity of the ABT program and the ABT Practitioner’s tenacity to reach a child no matter how high the odds.” Betty Abraham, Mother of Adrian, 12 years, Angelman’s Syndrome
Betty also expressed her professional opinion “The ABT program was and is grand success for any child with special needs regardless of the type or severity of the disability. The children are allowed to set their own limits with intermittent gentle nudges to encourage participation and progress. the children blossomed and bloomed like new buds opening up to the morning sun, we saw the calming of aggressive behavior, increase in focus and concentration, to greater socialization skills and team work. They respond positively to this structured freedom and enlarge their boundaries. There are many opportunities for the children to explore without judgement or prejudice. Instead their needs are met with joy, encouragement and quiet acceptance”.Betty Abraham M Ed SpEd (L.D), Educational Therapist, Certified SET Practitioner; Ex-Head Academy of Learning and Development and current Visiting Faculty at SNDT University
Nirupama Rao Consultatant, Niraamayaa Vanashree used to come to Niraamayaa to conduct ABT for our special needs children. Her sessions were very interesting and interactive, involving all the senses and a lot of movement. It was amazing how meticulously she would plan each and every detail of the session. The children used to really look forward to her sessions and would welcome her warmly. I'm sure many children will benefit from her sessions and from her positive energy. I wish her the very best.
Priya Shah, an ABT Student from 2016 batch found the structure of ABT Training unique and helpful to her learning. “Ms. Vanashree Ghate was my guide throughout the ABT journey. At first I was unclear as to where I was headed with certain clients and how to apply metaphors in my sessions! During the supervision, my Supervision Guiide’s gentle demeanour and amicable disposition put me at ease. She guided me effortlessly with her expertise on how to plan my sessions using metaphors and effectively handle behavioural concerns of the client. I felt more confident after the supervision. Priya Shah, Counselor, EQ Pratitioner, ABT Practitioner (ABT year 2016)