The erstwhile Com DEALL Head Office premises (2004 to 2014) at Bangalore
1st November 2000 marked the inauguration of the first Communication DEALL program.
The beginning of the program, no ordinary one, was a response to the need felt on the ground. A major catalyst in beginning the program on a trial basis was the increase in diagnosis of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This, coupled with several parental requests seeking Dr Prathibha Karanth’s help in providing intervention for their young children with autism. A survey (Ujwala Aluri, 1999-2000) of intervention / therapy services and facilities for children with ASD, guided by Dr Karanth, suggested a near total lack of concerted services for children with ASD / developmental disabilities, even in metropolitan cities like Bangalore. It was concluded that interdisciplinary intervention through a team approach under one roof was urgently needed to support children with Autism / Autism Spectrum Disorder.
On the other hand, it was also the outcome of:
(a) The understanding of the needs of children with developmental disabilities (through her background in Speech language pathology),
(b) Many years of clinical experience with adult aphasics (read more on this in the Program Manual written by Dr Karanth)
(c) And lastly, but definitely the most insightful and compelling – the decade long work with Tito Rajarishi Mukhophadyhay.
A combination of the above encouraged the beginning of an entirely indigenous program - Communication DEALL. The program was designed and geared to the socio-economic context of families in Bangalore. The Communication DEALL program was initially started at SRCISH, Bangalore as an experimental program with 12 children diagnosed with ASD and within the ages of 2 to 6 years. It aimed at integrating children with these disorders in regular school by providing them with intensive preschool intervention. The progress seen in the first batch of children enrolled in the Communication DEALL program ensured that the parents wouldn't let go. More than half of children enrolled were mainstreamed into regular schools post intervention/therapy. The success led to increased motivation to continue the program.
Com DEALL celebrates 14 years in 2014! During the 14 years of running the Communication DEALL program, hundreds of children have been enrolled and have benefited. Along with the ever increasing awareness of autism/ Autism Spectrum Disorder, the increased need for early intervention and the constantly changing scientific understanding of ASD/Autism; the program has also been continuously evolving. This has further enhanced its efficacy. A controlled study conducted scientifically; using evidence based practice has helped establish the program’s efficacy (Karanth, Shaista and Srikanth, 2010).
As of now, intensive early intervention is the most promising approach for alleviation of these disorders. Successful integration of these children can only be achieved with adequate preparation in the preschool years. Intervention/Therapy for developmental disabilities is long term in nature, and has to be provided on a continuous basis over prolonged periods.