On 12th January 2017, the Department of Social Work, Kristu Jayanti college conducted an expert lecture on “Mental Retardation and Social Work” for the Master of Social Work students.
The expert for the session was Rev. Fr. Thomas Felix (Founder- Director, Central Institute of Mental Retardation). Central Institute for Mental Retardation (CIMR) is a voluntary, social service organisation, a national level NGO in India working for the welfare and rehabilitation of mentally challenged persons.
The students were opportune enough to witness a unique education system introduced by Fr. Thomas for the differently abled children in CIMR. Fr. Thomas oriented the students with his concept of 3Cs namely Comprehension, Competence and Creativity, which is built on the basic finding that the world around an individual can be reduced to basic shapes. Shapes are alphabets that are understood easily, which are used in learning concepts around them and help in developing independence.
Through the use of these simple shapes the children are taught known to unknown concepts and to combine them into complex forms. The expert threw light on how this method of training develops 4 cardinal Functions namely motor, psychosocial, language and cognitive, Hence, leads to the development of mind and body and integrating skills for independent living of the Mentally Challenged individual.
Fr. Thomas highlighted the significance of rehabilitating the child first to the family and then to the Society. The speaker then concluded the session by reminding the students that being differently abled does not make an individual a lesser human being. The students expressed their gratitude to the guest speaker for the exposure to new dimensions of Mental Retardation Rehabilitation.