July 2022, Gurugram: In a unique initiative to empower specially-abled children and their families & caregivers, Ridge Valley School, Gurgaon launched its much-awaited wellness centre “We Care”. The wellness centre, located on the school premises, is designed to empower not only children with special needs but also provide support to the families of these children with unique and tailor-made learning skills and therapies.
We Care will help families identify the special needs of their children at an early stage. It provides specialised counselling services to support families with acceptance, and work towards the holistic societal inclusion of both the caregiver and the child by providing best-in-class therapeutic services.
The centre was inaugurated by Dr Renu Malaviya Professor at the Department of Education, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi.
The centre is headed by Moly Suryavanshi, a CA-turned-behaviour therapist and certified autism specialist, armed with extensive years of experience in dealing with children with multiple special needs primarily autism, learning disability, and ADHD. Suryavanshi’s personal journey into the world of autism began just several years ago with the birth of their son Kabir Suryavanshi, who at the age of 2 years and 3 months was diagnosed with autism. Instead of being engulfed by gloom, she took it as a challenge. With her strong determination and dedication, along with the help of a neurodevelopment paediatrician, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist, she took it as her life mission to change individual and societal attitudes towards children with autism.
In the process, Suryavanshi acquired the required education on the subject and is now herself an autism specialist and a behaviour therapist. On March 12, 2022, when the CBSE declared its Class 10th term 1 results, Kabir was among the highest scorers with 96 per cent marks.
The chief guest, Dr. Renu Malviya on this unique initiative said, “Usually in such initiatives, the emphasis is always on special children to get them trained accordingly. However, this concept is extremely unique as it also involves training families along with their children. I believe this is indeed a beginning of a new dawn.”
The services at We Care, designed by Suryavanshi, currently include occupational therapy, behaviour therapy, speech therapy, remediation, and social skills therapy. The parent training and brainstorming sessions will provide mental health support and an in-depth understanding of how to empower the children at home and in other social settings.
Highlighting some of the best practices in inclusive education globally, Dr Ameeta Mulla Wattal, Chairperson & Executive Director of Education, Innovations and Training – DLF Foundation Schools and Scholarship Programmes remarked, “And yet again, Ridge Valley School becomes the pioneer to think of and host a unique initiative which is trying to break the stigma around autism prevalent in our society. I would like to thank all the parents who took the step forward in joining this inclusive facility and preparing themselves along with their wards for the better times ahead.”
She further added, “Each child matters and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they receive the complete holistic development same as others and be ahead with all the challenges life throws at them.”
The launch concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms Moly Suryavanshi, HOD – Wellness. She said, “Therapies transcend boundaries and it is very important for the parents to get empowered and be aware of how important it is to collaborate with families to work on the holistic development of the child.” She further emphasised the uniqueness of We Care which provides parents with the platform to get empowered