Holistic Learning and Inclusion of Children with Developmental Disabilities
The research project had a heterogeneous group of six children with special needs (ADHD, ASDs, Learning Difficulties, Speech Impairment and Down’s syndrome) in an inclusive environment along with children who did not have special needs. This was done with the focus of seeing how these children develop holistically and progress in various domains when complemented with a group of neurotypical (NT) children.
Children with special needs differ in a number of ways from neurotypical children. In an inclusive set up, arts based therapy has been found to facilitate social interactions and learnings in a non-threatening and uninhibited manner. The peers served as appropriate language, social, and behaviour models. There were no control groups in the project.
Motor, Language and Cognition were the key domains that were addressed .The results that emerged at the end of the project showed marked improvement in the skills in the chosen domains and also showed visible progress in the other domains. The therapeutic goals were met quite well for the entire group. The inclusive setting contributed to the progress made by the children with respect to peer interactions and social dynamics.
By virtue of the fact that this research project involved a variety of new techniques to help the children, one had to come up with a different set of measurement criteria to monitor the progress of the children. While most of the new measurement tools showed substantial improvement in the children, further validation came from the fact that the standard tools showed very similar growth patterns as compared to the new measurement criteria used. The usage of the assessment tools in triangulation with Intuitive Metaphysical Machinery (IMM) and the intent of the project has made this research project truly meaningful.