23rd February, Mumbai: It is a well-known fact that art and creativity are effective therapeutic tools for kids with special needs. With Notion Press, India’s fastest-growing self-publishing company, renowned researcher Dr. Neena Rao has published her most recent book, Mindspaces, which explores the same topic.
Demonstrating feelings through creative pursuits is a beautiful opportunity for special-needs children to connect with their emotions. It’s also a proven process to reduce their anxiety and stress. The book explores the role of artistic expression as a powerful healing tool. Entries include a variety of artistic mediums; poetry, paintings, sketches, stories, etc., and bring together the thoughts, emotions, and perceptions of these young minds; children, and young adults with special needs.
The themes of these art pieces are a sincere expression of ideas that explore the heartfelt stories of children and young adults with special needs.
Dr. Rao has years of diverse national and international experience in academia, research, training, and implementing developmental projects. Her multidisciplinary training spans economics, history, natural resource management policies, and environmental governance. Her experience is diverse, having worked with diverse groups ranging from Native Americans, African Americans, and Latin Americans in the US, to the indigenous peoples of Nagaland, the Andaman Islands, and the interiors of AP and MP in India.
After learning that her son had Asperger’s Syndrome, Neena decided to leave her twenty-year career in education and development and found Margika, an NGO that promotes mental health awareness, inclusive education, and other services for children with special needs.
“My NGO, Margika, works towards creating an environment of multi-pronged care for those with mental and developmental disorders in India. Mindscapes is a very special book for me as it lets the reader dive into the mind of someone with special needs. The essays are written by the children themselves, as well as family members, siblings, and parents, to give the reader a glimpse into the world of families with special children,” says Dr. Rao, who previously worked as the Director of Projects & Partnerships; South Asia Coordinator; and an elected Member of the Governing Board of CapNet, UNDP – A Global Network for Water Resource Management.
Her book, Forest Ecology of India: Colonial Maharashtra, was published by Foundation Books, Cambridge, University Press, India. She has also published several papers in journals and books of national and international repute. Her most recent book is Trajectories of Marginalization, edited by Laurent Grayer and Christophe Jaffrelot and published by Harper Collins India and Hurst Publishers UK.
Mindscapes is launched and is available on Amazon, Flipkart, and other e-commerce sites for readers.