Enabling the differently abled


attendants that are hired by parents at a monthly fee of Rs3,000 to facilitate their children.

“Not every parent can afford that. Second, being a mother of a teenage girl, I have reservations over having male attendants that are also required to carry disabled children, including girls, in their arms to take them to the washroom or help them get into the van,” she says, voicing her concerns.

The government schools for special children, she believes, are as ill-equipped as any other school being run in the public sector. “Children are given long breaks so teachers can spend their time gossiping. There is no female staff to change children’s pampers and mothers are called from homes to do that., What about mothers living at distant places?” she asks.

Fatima, a resident of North Karachi, couldn’t find a school for her visually impaired daughter, also affected by autism, for two years. Her problems, as well as of the child, were compounded since she had no understanding of how to handle her special baby.

“For a long time, I used to feed Tooba diluted food as she wasn’t able to chew or suck properly. Later, I hired a girl trained in special education who helped my child learn how to eat solid foods,” she says, adding that now her daughter was now in a private school where teachers could handle students with learning disabilities.

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