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Parents and families are the biggest support for children. We need to create a nurturing environment where every child can grow as a nice human being attaining to its fullest innate potential.

We at Muskaan strive to support the parents/families in many ways. We recognize that it is not only the individual, but the whole family needs to work together to attend and fulfill the needs of a family member with ID.

Maximum capacity of a group home is at present 15 residents above the age of 20. Parents have to provide the funds for running expenses. Desirous candidates need to go through a rigorous process of admission aimed at developing a thorough understanding of the candidate and family.

Parents training programs are important forums at Muskaan which help the parents/families in understanding the nature of intellectual disability and its impact on the person. It covers several areas of development highlighting the ways of facilitating fuller development of various abilities.  We create platforms and opportunities where parents can share amongst themselves and learn from each other experience as well as draw strength from the peer group. Within these parent groups, parents learn that their problems are not unique and together they can create better opportunities for the benefit of their children. Many mothers volunteer within Muskaan and willingly support other parents by sharing their own learning experiences.

Muskaan also provides counselling support to the parents as well as facilitate the process of obtaining disability certificate, legal guardianship and other benefits of the govt schemes.

Our lives as parents can improve only when our children can have a quality life and that can happen only when we develop unconditional acceptance and work towards providing nurturing environment and necessary growth opportunities. Few tips for the parents/families to keep in mind which are based on learning experiences of parents and professionals:

  • Enable your child to learn simple daily living skills that can enable them to become self-reliant

  • Simplify tasks so that he/she can learn better. Break them into smaller and simpler steps

  • Appreciate every small achievement to encourage further learning and initiative.

  • Be patient. Perseverance on your part will be extremely important for his progress.

  • Give as many successful experiences as possible. Use your judgement, pick up the skills,which he is ready to learn and teach him that skill in smaller steps. Keep encouraging him to work. Acknowledge his attempt and hard work.

  • Take care of his/her feelings and emotions.You may see certain undesirable behaviour that may take time to go away. He/she may keep doing things that you tell him not to do. A caring attitude, discipline, firmness and patience will bring change in behaviour.

  • Treat your child just like any other child. He needs to beloved, recognized, praised, respected and encouraged to learn various tasks needed for everyday life.

  • Overcome your embarrassment. It can be extremely harmful to you as well as your child. Your negative emotions should not be directed towards your child. It will impact his progress.

  • Respect and value your child. The way you treat your child, others will follow the same. Others may be in considerate at times. But you focus your energy on your child and keep up the zeal. We may not be able to change others but we can definitely try to change our own attitude and behaviour.

  • Take your child with you whenever possible. It can be going to market, to meet friends or to any other social situation etc. It is only when you take him to public places that he/she will be able to learn social behaviour.

  • Though raising a child may be a demanding situation, don’t forget to look after yourself. Live a normal life like going out, meeting friends, attending social functions, entertainment and engagement with one’s own interests and hobbies.

  • Promote the integration of children with disabilities in regular schools and demand for a teacher who can work with your child. Be a vocal advocate for your child through proper communication and negotiation skills,and defend your child’s right to a proper education.

  • Find out the skills your child is learning at school. Find ways to apply those skills at home.For example, if the teacher is going over a lesson about money, take your child to the market and help him count the money to pay for your groceries.

  • Find opportunities in your community for social activities,such as festivals and other celebrations, recreation centres, sports etc. These will help your child build social skills while having fun.

  • Talk to other parents whose children have intellectual disability. Parents can share practical advice and can provide emotional support to one another.

  • Be a proud parent of his accomplishments. Admire the beauty of his/her purity, simplicity and innocence. Those with intellectual disabilities have a special light within them - let it shine.

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