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Make educational therapy central to institutionalized learning of children with special needs
In India, there is a felt need to make educational therapy central to institutionalized learning of children with special needs including those with learning disabilities.

When activity based learning is to be brought to the schools for children with special needs or to be made a part of inclusive education, it has to be converted into a therapy instead of reckless copying of what is happening in general education schools.

The conventional activities need to adapted thoroughly with a team of a special educator, pedagogue or expert in learning-designs, and a therapist to covert the activity into educational therapy with a well-defined and standard procedure to carry out tasks in small bites as patiently repeated 'exercises' and charting the success on individualized basis.

For example if dance is to be included as part of education therapy, it is not to be copied or thought as to normal children, rather, it has be linked to a small bite of curriculum with 'dance like' adapted movements. Converting a skill, art form or activity into education therapy is a skill which a special educator can acquire through background knowledge, designing and trying out adapted activities.

I think that special educators, and more so the heads of special or inclusive educational institutions, need to integrate different emergent special therapies and use them for the transaction of the designed curriculum plans for children.

For example within the gamut of physiotherapy, a team of a physiotherapist and mime actor - Pieter Devriese and  Jan Bronk - developed mime therapy to help to help people with a restricted facial movement or a lack of facial muscle control.

Now, mime therapy is a type of physiotherapy for patients with partially paralyzed facial nerves or those require facial muscle reconstruction. For this miming actions are selected as exercises to be performed. It becomes more of learning in 'mime like' action and their repetition as exercises with a procedure and regimen

Otherwise, miming is a performance art that relies on facial expression and body movement to communicate without speaking. Miming during its systematic learning and subsequent practice leads to better or improved body and muscle control.

Thus, during mime therapy, patients are made to perform a series of mime-like facial exercises and carry out therapist prescribed expressions in a particular sequence. So there is adaption, diagnosed need-based mime-like movements' selection and convert them in physiotherapy type exercises and practice.

The originators of the mine therapy have devised training courses to produce certified mime therapists along with forming an academic association to meet and grow professionally.

The hard work of research and development has led to modification of mime principles to make it suitable as part of physiotherapy that has a good synthesis of facial    movements involved in breathing, articulation, alertness and expression.

With mime therapy now having its own literatures and courses now, it is becoming a part the physiotherapy protocol for patients who are dealing with stroke and other neurological conditions and also finding application in speech therapy and education therapy.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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