Typically, children on the Autism Spectrum are placed in SDC or special Day Classes in School. More oft than not, if they are not very expressive or communicative in language, as is understood by the Neurotypical world or as a layman would call it the Normal world - they are placed in a moderate to severe classroom, wherein they are taught more functional skills and academics at the very tender age of 10 or 11 itself rather than have them pursue the more academic subjects such as Science,Math, Social Studies etc.
At PRAGNYA,we believe that children must be allowed a chance to learn different subjects throughout their life, as it keeps them challenged and increases their productivity and understanding. It is hence, that we came up with the idea of the Academic Augmentation program where-in the children can come in to work with a Neurotypical peer and learn some basic concepts at their level, of what they might be missing on at school. They learn from a peer and begin to love to learn, rather than look upon it as a chore. For any parent of an ASD child, they would rather that their child keep learning, regardless, of whether they are learning at the level of learning and regardless of their age (a 14 year old learning at the level of a six or 7 year old is still better than not learning anything at all).
The biggest challenge facing the Autism world is the seclusion. While many organizations working in the space of Autism Awareness would call it "Exclusion" - at PRAGNYA, we believe it is more "seclusion" rather than exclusion. Families with children on the spectrum tend to shy away from public events, gatherings, for fear of their child or child's behavior being judged. Hence, these children typically do not get included in playdates, do not get invited to parties, do not really have friends, since they do not communicate in the same manner as their neurotypical peers, and are perceived as being "Weird", "Whacked out" and in some really harsh situations.
At PRAGNYA, we believe that the latter type of behavior largely stems from ignorance and lack of empathy on the part of those who form mainstream society, today. It is hence that we introduced the "Social Immersion" program with "Autism Acculturation" in mind, wherein we acculturate our Autism families (not just the child) to the neurotypical world, one session at a time. through different experiential activities. From social excursions, to play, to engaging in peer to peer activities, we employ our "patented" method of "Positive Peer Pressure" in helping the children on the spectrum model after their neurotypical allies, and form meaningful friendships.
At PRAGNYA, we believe that children must given an opportunity to learn through not only the traditional medium or Books, but also through exposure to cultural activities and through the medium of Art. Hence at PRAGNYA we organize such activities to let the Child experience these activities in a controlled environment.
We have seen with families with children on the Autism Spectrum seldom take the child out into the world out of fear of being judged or simply concerned about their safety. At PRAGNYA we organize and mobilize our Allies (Young and Adult) to help make sure take these families out on excursions where the Children on the Autism Spectrum and the Main stream get acculturate with each other.