Mumbai, India — Forum for Autism (FFA) in India has formed a committee to keep an eye on schools with special needs children. According to the forum, there have been several incidents of teachers resorting to corporal punishment, as well as psychological abuse of children with special needs in the city last year.
FFA plans to address the issue by having the elected committee monitor schools that cater to children with autism.
The committee tasked to observe the schools will be made up of five volunteers: a parent of a child with special needs, a teacher from a special school, a developmental pediatrician, and a psychiatrist.
FFA met with parents of the children with special needs earlier this year to assess how the kids were doing in school.
The forum was appalled to find out that there were certain rules and regulations in some schools that integrate corporal punishment, which apply even to children with autism. FFA member Parul Kumtha told:
“While there is a large number of educators who abhor corporal punishment, we also met an equal number of teachers who believe that punishment is required to get children to follow instructions, which actually does more harm than help. Eventually, children become anxious and anxiety leads to other mental issues.”
Kumtha added that FFA has already reached out to professionals who could contribute in finding other methods of teaching and disciplining children with special needs, without having to resort to corporal punishment.
The original article by Shreya Bhandary on the mid-day news website can be found here
Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta