The Mumbai unit of Com DEALL was established in 2003 by Deepa Bhat Nair, a Speech and Language Pathologist with over 20 years of experience. It was the first of its kind to offer an intensive program for children with Autism with speech therapy, occupational therapy and pre-academic inputs all under one roof.
It all started with Arjun. He was 2.8 years old when Deepa first started working with him in one-on-one therapy. At the time, he couldn’t sit in a place for long, as if he had wheels not feet, his eye contact was fleeting, and he had no speech. Arjun had major meltdowns and temper tantrums. Deepa worked with him at her clinic in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, three times a week. He lived in Cuffe Parade and would travel almost every day to Dadar for occupational therapy and Parel for preschool inputs. After a year-and-a half’s intervention, Arjun had made substantial gains; clearly bright, he was speaking in short sentences and could sit for long periods of time, completing tasks independently. Yet, his mother, who had worked very hard with him, was not confident Arjun could survive in a classroom with 30 other children. He found it difficult to tolerate other children in his proximity, often pushing them for no apparent reason.They were not confident that Arjun would be able to communicate with children in group environments or adapt to the less structured environment of the classroom.
This is when a chance meeting with Deepa’s mentor, Dr.Prathibha Karanth (renowned Speech and Language Therapist, Founder of the Communication/Com DEALL program), led to the birth of Mumbai’s first Com DEALL unit. Aryan received group intervention at Com DEALL Mumbai for a year before he joined regular school. After joining school in the mornings, Arjun continued with intervention for a second year in the afternoons. Intensity of intervention was gradually tapered off in the second year. Arjun completed his class 12 Science from CBSE Board in 2018
Click here for the newspaper report on Arjun's performance
We started in small premises in Colaba with five children. By the second year, we had rented a larger space at Charni Road and our numbers grown sufficiently to warrant two batches of children. Over the years, we have worked with many outstation families as well; both within India and overseas too (Baroda, Ahemandabad, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Yemen, Australia, UK, Ireland, US AND Kenya).Our teams excel in developing home programs catering to the specific needs of the child and training families to carry forward the program in their homes.
We would like to acknowledge the wholehearted support of the Forum for Autism (parent support group), Rotary Club of Nariman Point, and the parents of children we work with, most of whom wish to remain annonymous. We have grown from strength to strength with their support and blessings. We are also able to offer part sponsorships to children who require our services but also need financial support.