Recognising the social difficulties that people with autism are faced with, Sethu in collaboration with the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) and the parent support-group TIES (Towards Inclusion Everywhere in Society) created a program called ‘DOST’ (Developing Opportunities for Special Teenagers), to assist teenagers with autism in overcoming their social inhibitions and difficulties.
The purpose of the program was to facilitate the social inclusion of students from the GIM with teenagers with autism from TIES. It was a yearly program that took place over 20 sessions, 3 - 5pm on Thursdays. Sessions consisted of various activities relating to art & craft, cooking, sports & games, music, going on field trips etc.
The GIM students had an opportunity to support the teens with all the above mentioned activities and make it interesting and fun, allowing each teen to participate in all activities to their own capacity.
Here is what one of the parents had to say about the program:
"As our children grow out of school, access to socialization reduces considerably & this programme was a great opportunity for them to do what their peers typically do in their normal course of life- indoors as well as outdoors. The greatest relief for parents is that their wards were enjoying themselves in a safe environment. These partners also have learnt from our children and are going to be the future citizens of the society who are going to be policy makers, lawyers etc. Therefore this has helped raise awareness regarding disabilities & create an inclusive society as a whole. It’s a win- win situation for all."