Frequently Asked Questions
Why is DEALL Eclectic in Nature?
The Communication DEALL program is a profile based intervention program. It caters to children with communication disorders such as PDD, ASD, SLI, DVD. The basic premise of the program is that these children have a range of deficits that affect many aspects of their development. Given the limited understanding of the cause and the possible medical management for these children, our intervention program focuses on providing each child the intervention that s/he needs. So, the intervention will address the child's strengths and limitations at that particular time. Therefore, the program, by nature is eclectic, wherein different methods are used to enhance each child's individual skills.
Is there an age limit for enrollment into the DEALL program?
Ideally enrollment in DEALL should take place by the age of 2½ years so that the child has the benefit of a maximum of 3 years of intervention in DEALL.
How long is the DEALL intervention required?
As a rule we recommend a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years of intervention. Our 'gold standard' for moving children out of the DEALL program is the achievement of age appropriate skills across all domains. It has been our experience that children who join the program early (by three years) are most likely to achieve the 'gold standard' within a year or two, while those who join the program later take a longer time or don't quite make it. Children who move out of the regular program but are in need of additional help are provided with individual therapy.
Why not only/more individual therapy?
Traditionally speech and occupational therapy are provided 'one on one'. Children are seen to make considerable gains during these one on one sessions. However, in our experience, unless they are supplemented by group intervention, the child has difficulty in generalizing the learnt skills. This means, the child may not be able to use these skills across different settings / situations and with different people. In turn, it will affect the ease /possibility of integration in to regular school.
Additionally, while framing the Communication DEALL model, we had to take into account the paucity of trained professionals in the country and the high costs of individual therapy. Group intervention became a viable option which has made it possible, for us, to cater to a large number of children at lower costs.
Is DEALL a special school?
Com -DEALL is not a special school. It is an early intervention centre for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.The Com DEALL Trust provides intervention programs in which children with developmental disorders, particularly those with autism spectrum disorders are trained according to their individual needs, by Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Therapists, Developmental Psychologists and Educators. Further, by providing training in small groups, children are facilitated to interact with peers and provided the much needed support to function in peer groups. Our goal is to enable as many children as possible to be integrated in a regular school set up, subsequent to Early Intervention (EI)
Does it follow a behavioral model?
No, our program is developed within a broad based developmental framework. Some behavioral techniques are used incidentally but we do not follow a behavioral model.
Will my child learn negative behavior from other children in the group?
Children often pick up negative behavior from peers. Children with special needs are no exception to this rule. However at DEALL, we have a high staff to student ratio (1:4) and all children are monitored closely to prevent/reduce acquisition of undesirable behavior.
What is the role of the family?
The family's role in intervention is as important as that of the therapists. Within the Com DEALL program we lay strong emphasis on empowering the parents. Good family participation as well as consistent follow-up at home are critical aspects of the intervention process. In the program, parents are frequently invited to sit in / participate and observe 'demonstration sessions'.
What is the rate of success?
Our initial success (integration) rate was about 30% after 2 years of intervention. However as we fine tune our program and enroll younger children our success rate is steadily increasing - with an average of about 60 to 70% after the second and third year. It is our constant endeavor to better this record.
Is there a need for additional therapy?
Additional therapy may not be required for a child enrolled at an early age and one that receives adequate support from the family. On the other hand, a child enrolled at 4 years and above, may need additional therapy. Also, additional therapy may be recommended for a child whose family cannot provide adequate support at home.
Do you prescribe medications?
We do not prescribe any medications at DEALL. Medications if any have to be prescribed by a qualified medical person only. However we need to know if the child is on medication.
Do you prescribe diets?
We do not prescribe any diets. But we do need to know if the child is on any kind of diet.
Will my child become completely normal?
There is no guarantee of 'normalcy'. Our early intervention program is aimed at enhancing the child's skills across several areas and reducing undesirable behavior. Several of our children have been able to maximize their potential and minimize their difficulties. Many of them have been integrated in regular schools and are functioning perfectly well. However many do not achieve age appropriate skills even after 3 years of intensive intervention and need to be enrolled in special schools.
Should regular/mainstream schooling also be introduced along with enrolment in the DEALL program?
We do not recommend mainstreaming of a child unless and until s/he is ready and his or her prerequisite learning skills are in place, that is, the child should be able to sit in a place, attend to and comply with simple instructions. Usually this happens within the first year at DEALL after which we strongly recommend part time/full time admission in to a supportive regular school. Many children attend regular school in the morning and DEALL in the afternoon, prior to moving out of DEALL, completely.
What after DEALL?
Ideally a child should be mainstreamed in a regular school after DEALL. However not all children succeed in DEALL. If after three years of intervention a child does not catch up with age appropriate skills we recommend that s/he is enrolled in the special stream. We do offer some amount of supportive services for those who have moved out of DEALL.