Special Olympics has changed our lives immensely. As parents of child with an intellectual disability, we intend to share our own experiences for the purpose of their welfare. Also we wish to bring to your notice how to socialize and obtain optimum benefits from their potentials. We would like to bring forward the manner that we socialized our eldest son Sahana Pradeepa Palliyaguru, who was born in 1986.
We learned of his intellectual disability through the doctors. Henceforth we had to pay special attention to him. There is a general view in the society that if parents are gifted with a child with an intellectual disability, they are scared to give birth to other children thinking that they also become same. But making that opinion a false one, we were fortunate to be gifted with three more children.
In Sri Lanka children are admitted to school at the age of 5. Likewise I admitted my child to a school with a special education unit. Being a teacher, his mother also got a transfer to the same school to give more attention him. We did a great sacrifice and we were totally devoted on behalf of him when compared to our other three children.
Our child obtained various capacities through school. He won the hearts and became popular among principal, staff and the other students. He became popular among school community because he was law abiding and he possessed leadership qualities. He was very friendly and supporting and he was well-mannered. He had a special talent for dancing every concert in the children included his dancing item.
He was clever at cricket and badminton. He played cricket and Bocce for Special Olympics Serendib team. He toured India with the Special Olympics cricket team in 2006 and 2009.
The reason behind his skills competencies are the experiences exposed by us. We didn’t corner him or felt him a different person. We took him to the family and social functions, trips and picnics, function held in his sisters and brothers in schools. Due to that he grasped many things without much effort here his Alma matters Pamburana Shariputhra M/V always come to our mind and we are so much great full to it.
About K P G Sirisena: Am KPG Sirisena from Southern Province a father of four children. My Eldest son Sahana Palliyaguru is a special child who play cricket and Bocce for Special Olympics Serendib team. He toured India with the Special Olympics cricket team in 2006 and 2009. Am also attached to Special Olympics Serendib as the family coordinator. My second son also attached to Special Olympics Serendib as National Coach. Am so proud of them. Special Olympics has changed our lives immensely.