Precautionary measures for people of determination
Ministry of Community Development has set a series of additional precautionary measures to deal with people of determination in light of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, to help parents and caregivers of this group to overcome the challenges surrounding them, and to support them morally to continue their daily life in safety and security.
Through the Welfare and Rehabilitation Department for People of Determination, the ministry issued a series of procedural instructions and steps that allow parents to help their children with intellectual disabilities cope with the reality of staying at home. The instructions include:
- explaining to the child in a simplified way the current situation and the reason for staying at home
- not to over-expose the child to daily news about the virus so as not to raise his or her stress
- trying to organise the child's schedule with entertainment, study, play, house work, reading stories, television, and maintaining sleep times
- encouraging the child to participate in simple household tasks
- communicating with the child’s class mates, peers, friends and teachers
- assigning daily tasks such as arranging the bed and bringing food and encouraging their effort in the same.
A set of 7 strategies has also been developed to support people with autism specifically during their time in home quarantine. They are:
- to help them understand what is going on around them in a simplified way
- give them the opportunity to express what is on their minds
- follow appropriate calming skills with them
- maintain as much as possible the daily routine activities they are accustomed to
- try to build new routine activities gradually to adapt to the current reality
- encourage communication with others remotely
- observe any change in behaviour.
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The Kheta platform
The Kheta platform is expected to facilitate educational and rehabilitation services to the people of determination with an aim to improve the quality of such services as per the pillars of the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination. The platform will be implemented around the start of the academic year 2020-21.
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The 'Rest assured' initiative
The ‘Rest assured’ initiative is aimed to support people of determination, their parents and their staff by educating the community members about the comprehensive response to their demands for safety and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ‘Rest assured’ initiative consists of five core programmes with multiple objectives and methods to respond to the demands of the people of determination.
The core programme one provides a home psychological aid kit to support people of determination during a crisis. It helps parents and family members detect if children are getting affected by the crisis and identify children who need therapeutic intervention either by parents or specialists.
The core programme two includes a series of social stories that contain simple visual answers to many questions that address children's imaginations, which, if not clarified on time, may lead to distorted and inaccurate concepts of the pandemic.
The core programme three involves a training programme for staff who are working with the people of determination to detect their behaviour and direct their parents to get right advice. It also aims to raise the level of psychological resilience of parents.
Additionally, the ministry has prepared a home-schooling guide for students with intellectual disabilities and autism.
The core programme five involves disseminating awareness-related information such as methods of sterilising things according to each individual’s disability. Information is available in sign language for those who face hearing issues, through instant text translation and voice description for those with visual impairment and through social stories for those with intellectual disabilities and autism.