Category Archives: Blog

Yoga- Restore. Rebalance. Rejuvenate

Yoga- Restore. Rebalance. Rejuvenate

International Yoga Day is just around the corner, and the enthusiasm around the globe is already visible. The fact that 72 students and teachers from the City Montessori School of Lucknow will be performing exercises at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the occasion speaks volumes about the popularity of Yoga in the modern day world.

Our lifestyle is such where humans struggle with physical and physiological stress in their lives. This is where yoga comes as a rescue and alleviates stress, both physical and mental. Based on the holistic principles of harmony and unification within body and nature, Yoga’s simple postures leave a powerful impact. Yoga is not only a great solution to stay fit, but has also emerged as an alternative form of therapy. Solutions of many chronic ailments like asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis have been found in Yoga.

The great thing about yoga is that there are very few limitations. While colorful yoga pants, support blocks, and fancy mats are nice, you don’t necessarily need any of that to get started. Instead, a basic yoga routine which comprises of beginner poses will help your body and mood change for the better in no time.

There are a lot of health benefits one can expect from yoga. Some of those are:

1) Better Flexibility: Yoga helps in loosening the body, and in increasing flexibility.

2) Better Posture: Bad posture has been linked to backaches, neck pain, joint problems, and muscle fatigue. Yoga is one of the best ways to fix poor posture as each pose helps lengthen the spine, and gives a steady, balanced posture.

3) Increases Strength: Yoga naturally helps in strengthening the muscles & joints, and prevents injuries.

4) Better Sleep: A good way to relax the nervous system, yoga minimizes stress and improves the quality of sleep.

5) Boosts Metabolism & Immunity: Yoga naturally boosts the metabolism which assists in weight loss. Yoga also stimulates the four main physiological systems; circulatory, digestive, nervous and endocrine, which is directly connected to the immune system.

7 Fun Activities To Do With Your Dad This Father’s Day!

7 Fun Activities To Do With Your Dad This Father’s Day!

Not all heroes wear capes…they are called DADS.
As the Father’s Day approaches, it’s time to celebrate just how awesome dads are. They like having fun with us, spoil us and their love for us is unconditional. Being a father is one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs.

This Father’s Day, let’s turn the tables around. Instead of gifting your dad a personalized photo mug, a T-shirt or other endless supplies of gifts, celebrate this special day with some of these awesome activities we have jotted down for you.

● Take dad out and surprise him with a hobby-treat
Dads and parents in general get so engrossed in their children’s world that they often forget to have fun with themselves. Father’s Day is the perfect day to let your dad know that you appreciate how much his hobbies mean to him. Go for a sketching/painting class or fishing by the countryside to surprise him.

● Organize old photos sharing a special memory
Every photo has a story behind. It’s like a trip down the memory lane. If you are a craft lover, you can even make a simple photo book with your favourite memories with the best captions under each one of them. Gift your dad such cute handmade book this year.

● Take him out for his favourite sport
Ticket to his favourite sport is pretty much always a winning idea. He is surely going to enjoy the his time there. Also, it will be an amazing outing for him and a positive distraction from the daily office work.

● A car ride to his favourite destination
Plan a trip to his favourite destination. This will not only make him feel special but also it will break the daily monotony. Also, if you live in the plains, it is always a great idea to go to the hills and save yourself from the scorching heat this June.

● Volunteer to help someone else
Volunteering together is a great activity for Father’s Day. It gives you a chance to give back to the community and to spend time together. You can also get your relatives on board and spend the day serving meals or, spend time at the local animal shelter looking after them.

● Cook for him
Instead of going to a fancy restaurant, it is best you make something for him with your own hands. This will make him feel special in a different way. For example: you can bake him a cake and top it off with his favourite icing layer.

This Father’s Day, gift your dad the gift of time, the one thing in this world that is absolutely finite and cannot be bought or sold. Spend some quality time with him, create memories and make this day worthwhile.

MBCN’s contribution to making an Eco-friendly Environment

MBCN’s contribution to making an Eco-friendly Environment

The world is evolving and so are pollution, disasters and diseases. With this rapid change, it is imperative to preserve the Earth and living things on it. The issues related to Mother Nature have grown to such an extent that we humans have now started to realize the importance of going eco-friendly.

Building on the thought, Mata Bhagwati Chadha Niketan, a part of The Ponty Chadha Foundation has come up with a solution and contribute towards making an eco-friendly society.

Following the concept of eco-friendliness, special students at MBCN work with full vigour and enthusiasm towards making products that are usable in our daily lives and at the same time are comparable to high end consumer products displayed in premium showrooms.

The products, also available for sale on the MBCN website, range from stationery items like pen stands, photo frames and small notebooks, to gift items like jewellery boxes, wall hangings, chocolate boxes, etc. The children work in sheltered workshops and are taught the skills and art required to make these products.

Preference for Eco-Friendly products helps create a sustainable environment for us. Designing and manufacturing products keeping the environment in mind is always a good idea for saving our surroundings.

There is an impact on the environment for every small thing we do in our daily life, and opting for eco-friendly products will contribute to saving our environment and making it sustainable. The product made by our special children are beneficial economically, socially and environmentally. These products are environmentally safe from its production, right through disposal.

Children at MBCN are doing their bit to conserve the environment. What about you?
We would love to read about your ideas for environment contribution!

And yes, do not forget to shop for our specially designed eco-friendly products, available here: http://www.mbcnschool.org/shop-online/

Teaching with Love and Laughter

Teaching with Love and Laughter

“A day without laughter is a day wasted”- Charlie Chaplin

A good sense of humour brightens up the day and makes life fun. Laughing together is a way to connect, and a good sense of humor can also make kids smarter, healthier, and can help them cope with challenges in a better way.

Laughter has the rare ability to soften hardened hearts, open shuttered minds, and endear students to one another. This allows to reach the difficult, the unmotivated, the awkward, and the unhappy.

A simple effort to add humour to your lesson and activities will instantly make you more likeable among your students. This, in turn will cause your students around you, to please you, and to get to know you better. Thus, giving you the powerful leverage to influence their behaviour.

Kids with a well-developed sense of humor are happier and more optimistic, have higher self-esteem, and can handle differences well. Not only that, they are more spontaneous and see things from many perspective, rather than the obvious.

A good sense of humor doesn’t just help kids emotionally or socially. Research has shown that people who laugh more are healthier — they’re less likely to be depressed and may even have an increased resistance to illness or physical problems. Laughter may even help humans endure pain, and it is also known to improve our immune function.

Teaching with love and Laughter has many advantages:

1. It motivates to behave.
Humor can help create a classroom which students love being a part of. Happiness, when felt all around becomes a strong motivating factor for the student. No student wants to wallow in time-out while their classmates share a laugh with the teacher.
2. It eases tension.
Laughter eases tension and relaxes an uptight classroom. Besides releasing tension, humor has the ability to calm vibrating knees, and brings joy to one and all.
3. It encourages hard work.
When students are happy to be in the class, one can ask so much more of them. They appreciate a classroom that they enjoy coming to every day.
4. It reaches the hard to reach.
Humor has the power to help you make personal connections with students, particularly with those who are hardest to reach. Humour has the power to guide one in a positive direction.
Love and laughter are priceless gifts. Laugh as much as you breathe, and love as much as you live!

Sensory Play and its benefits for autistic children

Sensory Play and its benefits for autistic children

Children use their senses to explore the world as soon as they are born. This is the reason we usually find toddlers putting almost everything in their mouth trying to discover the taste and texture of different objects.

However, not all children find it easy to understand the messages they receive from their senses. Hence, sensory play is what comes into light for those children that helps them in adapting to their surroundings easily.

Sensory play is any activity that stimulates the senses. This includes the five main senses of touch, smell, sight, taste, and sound, as well as the two not-as-frequently-mentioned senses: vestibular (sense of balance) and proprioceptive (sense of where each body part is in relation to the rest).

Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. The sensory activities allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information helping their brain to create stronger connections to process and respond to sensory information.

The brain growth that occurs through sensory play enhances children’s senses, and their enhanced senses in turn make them better able to use those senses for learning.

Sensory play offers immense benefits in the development of a child. Here are a few skills that children develop when engaging in sensory play:

● Language Skills: Children develop their vocabulary as they are asked to talk on a particular topic everyday
● Social Skills: Children learn to share, negotiate and plan.
● Fine Motor Skills: As children manipulate small objects, they develop their fine motor skills.
● Gross Motor Skills: Children develop gross motor skills by squatting, jumping, or otherwise moving their bodies.
● Dramatic Play Skills: Children use sensory materials to engage in dramatic play.
● Scientific Reasoning Skills: Children learn about cause and effect when manipulating sensory materials.
● Self-Control Skills: Children develop self-control as they learn to respect the rules and boundaries for sensory play.

There are many kinds of sensory play activities out there that can help your child in numerous ways. So go ahead, try them and have a wonderful time by engaging your kids in some of the creative sensory plays. By making sure the activities are fun and varied children will have the opportunity to develop these important skills and let them be in control of their own experiences and actions.

Vaakya – Innovation for the special ones!

Vaakya – Innovation for the special ones!

Ordering food- just tap and it’s delivered in an hour…
Want to go shopping? Open the app and buy anything and everything.
Technology has made our lives so easy that everything is just a click away.
Our country is developing with technology and so are our people. From battlefield grenades to a mop used for home chores; every little innovation is a vouchsafe of technology.

On 11th May, 1998 India executed the successful Shakti, the Pokhran nuclear test and the first indigenous aircraft “Hansa-3” was test flown to Bangalore on this day. Not only this, we also performed successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day.

To honour our technological advancements, we celebrate National Technology Day on the 11th of May since 1999. Every year, this day, the Technology Development Board of India awards individuals with national awards for their contribution to indigenous technology.

While technology helps people share their views with everyone, there also exist millions of people who can’t voice their opinions because of speech impairment. To help such individuals, we have designed Vaakya, an augmentative and alternative communication mobile application for a smartphone.

Vaakya is a picture-based app which provides the users the flexibility of customization according to their special needs and the benefit of using Vaakya is that you don’t require an internet connection to operate it.

So this technology day, benefit a life and make it a bit easier for someone by sharing Vaakya with them.

Download the app here- http://bit.ly/2lLag23

Happy Technology Day!

Laughter: the best medicine

Laughter: the best medicine

Ever wondered how the world would be if nobody knew how to laugh?
Imagine out of the blue, one morning waking up to be a person who doesn’t knows what laughter is.
Nobody would crack jokes, nor anyone will laugh on them.
Nobody would know what comedy shows are and sarcasm won’t be fun anymore.
How do you think that life would be?
Creepy, terrifying and moreover, lifeless.

If we analyze the word laugh it sounds a lot similar to life…it not only brings joy to all but it also comes with some serious health benefits.
A powerful antidote to stress, depression, pain, conflict and even heartbreak, laughter is a proven doctor recommended medicine that holds the power to curb any disease.

Talking in medical terms, a good laugh is chocked full of mental, emotional and physical benefits. Making us feel happy and relaxed, a hearty laughter allows us to live longer, be healthier and provides an edge when battling ailments like mental illness.
Also it helps combat stress by increasing blood flow throughout the body and also boosts our immune system, heightens threshold for pain and assists in facilitating better breathing.

Along with our medical health, laughing helps improving our emotional health as well. And researchers have also proven that laughing in company enhances social bonding and stimulates positivity around.

So if you’re feeling blue, just remember to rejuvenate your soul with this fun & priceless medicine. Although you won’t find a free medine elsewhere than a good hearty laugh.

Moreover always keep in mind what the great Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Keep Laughing pals!! Happy Laughter Day 😀

Tackling Depression: Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Tackling Depression: Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Depression: It might not have a significant presence in our lives, but it is possible that someone around us, near us, has been suffering from depression for long enough without us even noticing.
Surprising, yes, but it could happen!
The questions we all have in mind: What is depression? How does it manifest itself? What has made it one of the most severe mental problems in the world?

Imagine having a heachache, a strong one… one that people dismiss as just a heachache, and not something to make a fuss about.
Imagine feeling empty all the time; no one to share your feelings with, nobody to talk to.
Imagine being amidst a sea of people, yet feeling all alone.
Imagine for once that nobody cares whether you exist or not.
That feeling is depression… and it isn’t pretty, especially since most of us don’t even talk about it, or so much as acknowledge its presence.

Depression could be of different types and it could affect people for different reasons, but it is often the parents of children with special needs who are its most common victims. They don’t suffer because they have a special child. They suffer because our society does not treat them as normal. And the only thing that can reduce their suffering is acceptance. It won’t cost us anything to extend a hand of help.

At Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), we treat every child like our own – with compassion, respect and care. As a result, parents feel assured that their child is loved and well looked after at this home away from home. Not just children, we care equally for parents as well.

In her article on coping with depression, Director, MBCN, Dr. Vandana Sharma lends some useful advice to parents of children with special needs.

Read on for insightful excerpts:

“They need to see this vulnerability and work to adopt effective coping skills to deal efficiently with the situation. It will ultimately benefit their special children also. They can deal with children more effectively and patiently if they themselves are at mental peace.”

Setting Limits on Expectations
There are limits to what one person can do. You shouldn’t expect yourself to think about your child all the time. And your child with a disability shouldn’t expect to be the center of attention all the time or the center of your life all the time. It is often easy to have the child with disabilities set the schedule and tone for all family life. You have limits and your child has limits; learn to recognize both and give yourself a chance to examine the situation before responding in anger or fatigue or with frustration. You are not SUPERPARENT.

Having Fun With Your Child
When every activity becomes ‘a therapy session,’ a lot of pleasure can be lost that would otherwise be shared by you and our child. You are the one who lives with your child, and you are the one who is being asked to do just one more thing. If you cannot do something tonight, or every day, okay. That is your decision. Having fun with your child with cerebral palsy can be a radical idea when you are surrounded by people telling you what to do or what should be happening next.

You are not your child’s therapist or teacher. You are Mommy or Daddy. Therapy and educational activities at home are certainly beneficial but you and your child need time to just fool around, tickle, giggle, tell stories and just hang out. These times are one of the most important parts of your child’s “education” and the love and social skills learned by them will stand in good stead for the future as they will contribute greatly to the self-esteem of your child – and your own self-esteem as a parent.

Taking Time Off or Having a Life
As a parent you need time to yourself, with your spouse or partner and with other family members, and just time without kids around. Many parents describe the first time they went to the grocery store alone after their child was born as a tremendous feeling of freedom — even though they were doing a chore, and even though they didn’t talk to anyone but the checkout clerk. There are many parts of your life and each deserves as much attention and nurturing as does your special needs child. At one point I realized that I had no social life and, even though it meant spending money for a respite worker, the time taken to build friendships has probably helped me be a better parent to my child. And even if it has taken time and energy away from my child, I now have ‘a life’ and can talk about more than my son and his disability.

Being the Expert-In-Charge
You know your child better than anyone else as you have spent the most time and lived the longest with this child with a disability, longer than anyone else. You know what works and what doesn’t; you have the big picture and history of your child and can utilize this in any situation. Support personnel come and go but you are the expert with the experience and first-hand knowledge of your child.

As the expert you have the right to be in charge of your child’s educational, social and medical and other decisions, at least until your child can do this for him or herself. Professionals do not live the consequences of their decisions, so while you want their opinions, remember that they are only ‘informed’ opinions and not facts. They shouldn’t tell you are wrong, that you will regret it, that you are selfish, or that you are not looking far enough ahead. Nor should they make you feel guilty or pressure you into a decision.

As suggested by Dr. Vandana Sharma herself, do not forget that someone around you might be a sufferer too. Look out, it isn’t that tough. It could be a friend, a cousin, or even your neighbour from next door.

Let’s start by asking the simplest yet most important question: How are you?
#LetsTalk!

Know the Signs of Autism

Know the Signs of Autism

In order to cure any problem, it is important to first actually know that there is a problem.
Unlike most other mental problems, Autism is not a disease that could be easily treated with medicine. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social impairments, cognitive impairments, communication difficulties and repetitive behaviour.

As a parent, nobody wishes for their little one to have any problem but sometimes, in the rush of our lives we often miss out many important things that could actually mean a lot. Such happens in the case of Autism and catching it ideally by the age of eighteen months can make a huge difference and starting early treatment can reduce the disorder’s effects and help your child learn, grow, and thrive.

Autism appears in infancy or early childhood, but can only be diagnosed by a professional until the child is over twenty four months or two years. However, there are signs that could indicate that the child is on the spectrum as early as six months of age.
Every child is unique, so is their rate of development. Hence, the signs and the severity of the symptoms can vary from child to child.

One important thing that parents should look out for is that autism isn’t recognized by the presence of strange behaviour, but from lack of normal behavior. Also some children with autism may appear normal before age 1 or 2 and suddenly “regress” afterwards losing any language or social skills they had previously gained. This is called the regressive type of autism.

Following are some early signs of Autism you must look out for and if your child exhibits any of the following then do not delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation—

● No smile or warm joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
● No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
● No babbling by 12 months
● No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
● No words by 16 months
● Doesn’t make noises to get your attention
● Never initiates or respond to cuddling or reach out to be picked up
● No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
● Loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
● No response to their name (the child may appear deaf)
● No demonstration of interest at anything
● Loss of/avoiding eye contact
● Always wants to be alone
● Difficulty in understanding
● Never expresses own feelings or understands other people’s feelings
● Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
● Gets upset by minor changes
● Has obsessive interests
● Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins in circles
● Has unusual reactions (over or under-sensitivity) to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
● Has low to no social skills
● Avoids or resists physical contact
● Demonstrates little safety or danger awareness
● Reverses pronouns (e.g., says “you” instead of “I”)
● Gives unrelated answers to questions

Children with autism may also show some other type of signs which may appear normal but come under ASD symptoms.

● Having unusual interests and behaviors
● Extreme anxiety or having unusual phobias
● Playing with toys the same way every time
● Getting upset over minor changes
● Having obsessive tendencies
● Wanting to keep their things at the same place
● Hyperactivity (very active)
● Impulsivity (acting without thinking)
● Short attention span
● Aggression
● Causing self injury
● Meltdowns
● Unusual eating and sleeping habits
● Unusual mood or emotional reactions
● Lack of fear or more fear than expected
● Having unusual sleeping habits

Moving Above Down Syndrome

Moving Above Down Syndrome

What is Down Syndrome?

Does your child have physical growth delays? Do they display intellectual disabilities? If yes, they might be suffering from Down Syndrome – a genetic disorder that is caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21.

Named after John Langdon Down, who fully described the syndrome in 1866, Down Syndrome has no cure. Here’s a short video to explain the condition in greater detail.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nguLcSzN7mM
Video Credits: UDSFoundation

How to identify Down Syndrome?

Now that you know what Down Syndrome is, how do you identify if someone is suffering from this condition? Some physical attributes help in easy identification of people affected with Down Syndrome, so look out for these signs if your child or someone you know is displaying abnormal behaviour.

Those affected with Down Syndrome nearly always have physical and intellectual disabilities. As adults, their mental abilities are typically similar to those of an 8 or 9 year old. They also typically have poor immune function and generally reach developmental milestones at a later age. Apart from the above, people with Down Syndrome may have some or all of these physical characteristics: a small chin, slanted eyes, poor muscle tone, a single crease of the palm, and a protruding tongue due to a small mouth and relatively large tongue. Growth in height is slower, resulting in adults who tend to have short stature — the average height for men is 154 cm (5 ft 1 in) and for women is 142 cm (4 ft 8 in).

Are people with Down Syndrome any different?

Apart from the obvious identifiable traits, people with Down Syndrome are as normal as us. They can grow up to go to college, get married, work and live a fun and happy life. They want to make friends, go to parties and be included in classrooms or the workplace. With the right education and support, individuals with Down Syndrome can often write their own success stories.

People with Down Syndrome are no different than individuals who don’t suffer from the condition, but society often neglects the former, alienating them from the necessary support and encouragement required to excel in anything. Our neglect often stems from our ignorance and lack of knowledge, which is why many organisations around the world are working towards this cause. Each year, 21st March is celebrated globally as ‘World Down Syndrome Day’ with the objective of raising awareness and building empathy around the condition. So, if you have a child suffering from Down Syndrome or know anyone who does, make sure you support them and help them reach their true potential.