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Tuesday, 29 March 2011
My special needs students at GOLD and I had a great time sifting sand at the sand pit at the 3C community centre last Monday.
Instead of just painting with acrylics, I thought that a change of activity would be much welcomed, so we went to the sand pit and using a fine wire mesh, we took turns to sift the sand into a big bowl. Back at the centre, I then gave each of them a plastic container filled with enough sand , poured globs of of food colouring ( I used my icing colours from home) and made them stir the sand thoroughly . The students had a great time stirring and seeing the sand changing colours. My next step was to hand them cups and saucers and using them as templates, I guided them into drawing concentric circles. Of course, another gaff of laughter followed among themselves as the plates kept moving off the position they wanted and they didn't know how to pencil around the plates.
They are actually a good bunch of kids/teens with varying levels of cognitive and linguistic development and understanding. Some have Asperger's Syndrome , thus they have difficulty in communication with limited and repetitive patterns of behaviour. Some of them have Down's Syndrome, which basically means it is a chromosomal condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. Some are autistic, some are slow learners and some are mentally challenged. For all the grim description, we do have a good time. How ? I'll tell you - some call me Teacher Lak sa mee , ( like in Laksa ?)some call me Aunty Laky , ( sounds like boy in Malay -laki?some Teacher Laksh-mini and some call me Teacher Last Minit (as in minute) How not to laugh, you say ?
Being special needs children, every simple act which we take for granted is a novelty for them and during times like these, my heart is filled with burgeoning love and gratitude to the Almighty God for His mercy and blessings because it makes me realise how stoic and difficult life must be for the parents and guardians concerned.
There are not many schools or centres where such children are given attention and taught social and living skills . GOLD is one of such centres and it welcomes all parents/guardians to take an active part in such activities.
It goes without saying that any or all contributions in cash or kind are welcomed and much appreciated, so do drop me a line or call or sms if you wish to do so. It's not a matter of how much we want to give, it's more of how much we care.
A line from Andy Rooney , a man who has a gift of saying so much with so few words" I've learnt that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand "
( I received this touching message through my friend, Vasantha Maru and as it sounded too beautiful to be filed away, I thought I'd share it here )
Happy reading and painting