For the last three decades, Snehalaya has taken care of more than 500 children, all of whom have suffered some kind of trauma in their young lives.
While food, hygiene, shelter, sleep, and safety are universally acknowledged as the basic requirements for children to survive and thrive, it is they are equally in need of attachment, affection, attention, physical contact, and stimulation. If these needs are not met in their early years of life, it has lasting affects on their development: physical, cognitive, social, emotional and moral. The trauma in their early years affects them deeply, no matter how well they are taken care of later in a childcare institution. Their schooling, relationships, personality and grasp of everything else suffers in one way or another. They think, feel and act differently. This all happens automatically, our psychologist calls this a 'default mode response'.
We observe this every day at Snehalaya and while we aim to provide our children with the best we can, these problems are still visible in every area. Any remedial/developmental intervention modules are worthless until we know where our children are in each domain. To help identify our childrens' current development status, we recently undertook a psychological assessment program. Testing used standardised tools used by psychologists, led by our Head Counselor Mrs Vandana Sontakke who also administrated and is currently interpreting the results.
Our psychologist's team assessed childrens' IQ (4th std onwards), personality (7th std onwards), and aptitude (8th-12th std ), while also observing their basic academic skills - reading, writing, and calculations. We were able to use our Balbhavan Team's tested and successful basic skill assessment they use with slum children. The results of these tests will enable us to assess the levels of our children's reading, writing and basic maths.
These assessments will be used to develop an intervention module for each child's development moving forwards.