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Governor launches learning guide for children with autism

Staff Reporter

Education vital for the differently-abled to participate in society, he says



LEARNING MADE INTERESTING: Governor Surjit Singh Barnala presents `Advanced Aut-Soft', a computer-aided learning guide, to a special child in Chennai on Wednesday. Shrimati Indira Gandhi College principal K. Meena (left) and Principal Secretary to th e Governor C.K. Gariyali (right) are also in the picture. — PHOTO: S.R.RAGHUNATHAN

CHENNAI: A computer-aided learning guide for autistic children `Advanced Aut-Soft' was launched on Wednesday by Governor Surjit Singh Barnala.

Developed by K. Meena, principal, Shrimati Indira Gandhi College in Tiruchi, the guide consists of assessment and remedial tools aimed at making learning interesting and interactive for children with autism. The exercises cover various aspects, including language, word meanings, opposites, shapes, singular and plural usage.

Launching the software, Mr. Barnala said education was vital for the differently-abled, as it enabled them to fully participate in society. "Programmes to help the differently-abled lead a normal life are the need of the hour," he said.

He emphasised the need to care for the differently-abled in rural areas. It was heartening to note that the learning guide had sections on alphabets, pictures, animals, birds, essential grammar and numerical ability.

He recalled a stunning roller-skating performance by 10-year-old Salman Kabir, an autistic child, which he had witnessed recently.

Children with autism were excellent in areas like music and mathematics. They had the ability to memorise route maps and car numbers, he said, adding that parents needed to identify such talents and encourage their children.

Principal Secretary to Governor C.K. Gariyali, children and special educators from Vidya Sagar were also present. Ms. Meena, who has been pursuing research in fields related to special education for over a decade, demonstrated a few exercises for parents and special educators gathered at the function. Once loaded onto a computer, the compact disk was self-explanatory and very user-friendly, she said.

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