Speech Therapy to Assist Sunera Workshop Participants
It saddens one, to hear them trying to formulate words correctly, failing again
and again, failing to tell their stories which are bound to remain secrets forever. In an attempt
to rectify this situation, Sunera has introduced speech therapy for the workshop participants who
are in need of it.
The pilot project is at the Dehiwala workshop, employing Thisamedinie Wijerathne and Suranga
Premarathna, graduates of the Language and Speech Therapy Degree course at the University of
Kelaniya, to give therapy and training to the children as well as parents.
Since the problems vary with each participant, therapists have to pay attention to each case
individually and give ‘homework’ to parents to continue with therapeutic activities at home.
Due to the learning disability that plagues the children coupled with other disorders, the speech
therapists have to raise their understanding on social pragmatism along with the usual therapeutic
activities. Speech Therapist Suranga said, “Participants of the ages 26, 27 years still think that
they are kids, due to various disorders. So, while continuing with speech therapy, we focused on
improving their sense of social pragmatism as well, since it affects their speech patterns.”
It has not been an easy ride, said Suranga, explaining that the children, especially the ones with
autism and attention deficiency, get distracted easily, making it difficult for the therapist to
get his attention focused on the activity again.
Suranga explained that since this is a pilot project, they started off by focusing on short term
goals. The short term goal would be to get a child with hearing disabilities to properly articulate
bilabial sounds within six months. The next stage would be to work towards the long term goal,
which would be to enable them to make sentences of 3- 5 words. The long term goals would contribute
to enhancing their level of expression. Currently, most of the participants use one word sentences
when answering questions. The victory would be to get them to reply ‘by bus’ when someone asks how
they came in the morning, without simply saying ‘bus’..
Introducing Art Therapy
We have introduced art therapy to all our workshops as a way of supplementing our
regular activities in the performing arts.
Our trainers have received basic training on this subject, and with funding from Friends and Sunera
Foundation, we have been able to carry out this activity successfully.
Sunera Performs at Raigam Tele Awards
Amidst all glitter and glamour of actors and actresses, they too had a chance to
It was a gala awards night held at Waters Edge on 17th May to recognise the outstanding
contributions made by those from various fields connected to the teledrama industry, and a dance
troupe from Sunera Dehiwala performing arts workshop was invited by Raigam Marketing to perform a
pooja dance at the ceremony.
The event turned out to be an unforgettable one for our Sunera participants for one simple reason.
Besides having had the chance to be a part of a such a spectacular event, along with popular TV
stars, to have earned appreciation in return for their talents with a big second round of
‘applause’ from the stars was indeed of particular importance to them. The dance act was
choreographed by Udan Wijeyamuni and Beshmika Krishani.
Our Poson Dansala
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