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A Parent's Perspective

There is a popular Chinese proverb that goes: ‘The wind never ceases to blow even if the trees want to rest’. We like to think of our daughter Aishwarya as the ‘whirlwind’ that has revolutionized our lives!

Our experience with Aishy has proved that even though dealing with autistic children may often prove difficult and frustrating, all people with autism can and will show tremendous improvement with the right kind of support, kindness and understanding.

We believe that training is more important than teaching with regard to autistic children. We often picture ourselves as tandem bicycle riders towing another bicycle beside us!

Most parents of special children are haunted by the unanswered question – “AFTER US, WHAT?”

Our aim is to make Aishy self sufficient to the extent possible, and also to organize a trust under the guidance of like-minded well-wishers and experts so that special children like Aishy can live with dignity even after our own lifetime.

Our message to all parents of autistic children is for them to find out by relentless trial and error what their children are good at, and give them a worthwhile hobby that will be as a welcome change from the monotony of daily routine. Nothing quite compares with trying to find the spark in them through some activity that they excel in!

NO can becomes YES

Our daughter is now 28 years old and looks stunning and unless one talks to her it is difficult to make out that she is autistic. Even a neurologist asked who is the patient when we trooped in to his clinic till she blurted out! We have to battle out convulsions as well. Loves to walk in the beach or park. Does Yoga exercises to keep fit and attends group sessions thrice a week under a yoga master who is a good motivator and well wisher.

We emphasise training in household duties to become self-sufficient rather than make them go out for earning. These autistic persons have practically no money concept and can get easily duped and misled to perform unwanted actions.

Autistic persons in general can excel in a specific subject and one has to find out what it is. Our daughter named Aishwarya is a big performer in assembling complex jigsaw puzzles. It is her hobby now. We have trained her to cut vegetables, cook in micro-oven, usage of washing machine and vacuum cleaner.

Handling gadgets is easy for autistic person provided operations are not complex. Simple functional rotary switch or touch screen with visual aids help them perform standard operations. More visual and less verbal promptings can work.

Autistic persons look for perfection which does not exist in this world. We have to FOCUS on them giving up our priorities. If you do this then NO could become YES and chances of working together a schedule brightens. We are willing to share our experiences. Mother of Aishwarya also studied special education and worked on early intervention programmes in a leading centre.

But currently there is no answer for What, When and Why on causes Autism. Let us co-exist and face the world - Parents should be in tight bond while coping with stress in upbringing of an autistic person. Look forward for more and more positive exchanges!

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