Physical Education is an essential Value Addition to Early Intervention programs in the development of motor and social skills in children with intellectual and multiple disabilities. The Early Intervention years are known as the “Golden Age “of motor development. During these years important skills like running, jumping, throwing and catching are developed. As a part of Physical Education, MNC organizes the Annual sports Day every February. This year it was organized on the 21st, 23rd and 25th of Feb, partially virtually and some events physically at the centre. Jivikam children who were physically attending the classes participated in the competitions conducted at the centre. The EIC children performed the activities at home with the help of the parents and the judges seated at MNC, watched them virtually, timed them and declared the winners.
Each group birth to 2, 2 to 4 and 4 to 6 was allotted time on turns and the child was given the opportunity to take part in the activities at the home environment. The parents and siblings were responsible for joining the Google meet and arranging the event as a special educator would, on the sports meet day, and all of us at MNC and other well wishers, invitees who joined the Google meet watched it. It was a novel and new idea of conducting the sports meet over the internet and we had our apprehensions if the family and the child will be able to perform the activity. But all credit to the parents who not only arranged for the materials of the contest but also gave the child a briefing earlier so that on line performance was done wasting time.
List of games as per age group :
Birth to 2 years
2 – 4 Years
4 – 6 years
Jivikam group (above 6 years)
The Chief Guest was Mr. S Gurumoorthy, Rehabilitation Officer (Therapeutics), Department of Therapeutics, NIEPMD. Mr. Gurumoorthy is well known therapist for developing aids/appliances for children with locomotor disability, with materials available at home. His innovative techniques and ideas have helped the CwSNs in the rural areas. He said that children with special needs benefit a lot physically from sports activities and it is a must for them. We have to device activities that will help both the fine motor and gross motor skills of the children and to see that every child at MNC is given a chance to participate even from their home surrounding is very heart warming. He suggested that children from Jivikam may be introduced to regular games like foot ball, shuttle which may improve their attention too.
The celebration came to an end with everyone participating in the virtual national anthem. Certificates to all children were distributed a few days later in the classes.