Shashikala M S has been involved with early education and Montessori philosophy of learning for over a decade.
She has a PG diploma in Special Education (Autism) from Karnataka Parents Association for Mentally Retarded citizens.
She regularly updates her skills and knowledge through several workshops and certification courses: Structured Teaching for Children with Autism, TEACH, Inclusive Education, and Art for Special Education.
She continues to learn from children – on and off the autism spectrum and from subject matter experts in the fields of Montessori, Greenspan/ Floor time, Perceptual Enrichment Program, Rapid Prompting Method and anything else that is effective to help children be happy and learn.
With a Master’s degree in Mass Communication, Shashi started as a journalist with the Indian Express Group; worked with The Economic Times before moving to techno-commercial communication and editorial services for 15 years. She gave up her journalism five years back to pursue a full-time career in child development and early education.
Sowmya Srikumar is a psychiatric social worker and counselor who has been working in the area of child and adult Mental Health for over two decades. She educates and counsels individuals, parents and families to cope with childhood developmental disorders and mental illness. She also does life skills training for adolescents who are suffering from chronic physical illness.
She is particularly interested in developing strategies to improve cognitive functioning of differently-abled children.
During her sojourn with the paediatric department, St. Johns Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, she has used the FAMILY CENTERED CARE APPROACH widely, especially with families having children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and also with families who had a child admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. The approach helped the parents to become resilient and it improved the emotional and social health of the children, but sadly, it did not help with their learning and cognitive difficulties. This lacuna motivated her to focus on developing strategies for improving cognitive functioning of differently-abled children.
An avid reader, Sowmya continues to upgrade her skills with online courses offered by universities in Europe and USA. She has done her MPHIL programme from the National Institute of mental health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. She also has a diploma in Counselling and has trained students of Social Work to develop Counselling Skills.
As a person who believes in the epithet that "Learning is continuous…" She is eager to learn from and for children.
Jyothsna Shastry is a trained special educator and has worked as one for 7 years. She is a certified professional in the management of children with autism and mental retardation; gender, diversity and social transformation.
A trained classical musician, Jyothsna’s special interest is music therapy for children with autism and other developmental disorders. She has 6+ years of experience as a music therapist in a Bangalore-based special education academy. She loves to teach children clay modelling, art & craft, cookery, theatre and dance.
Besides being a passionate musician, she loves animals, enjoys bead work and reading fiction.