Headline, November 14 2021/ " ' AUTISM - UPBRINGING - STUDENTS ' "



It all started when Mugdha Kalra realised she didn't want to live in what she called an "autism village", an existence where she only interacted with children with special needs, their parents, therapists, and doctors.

That had been her life ever since her son, Madhav, was diagnosed with autism, a condition which affects how people communicate and interact with the world.

Madhav was three years old when his grandmother first noticed that he averted his gaze while talking. Slowly, he stopped talking much, choosing non-verbal cues instead.

His speech is need-based, his mother explained. "He'd say 'no' when he doesn't want to eat something, but many times he would choose to not speak at all," she said.

"Like he'd take my hand to his stomach when he is in pain and make a sound like 'aaooaa'. As a parent I had to develop an understanding of that."

Madhav would have several meltdowns in those early years. "He would cry uncontrollably," Ms Kalra said.

So, she started keeping a diary of the triggers, like too much noise or colour which would "lead to high levels of excitement". She also reached out to a community of parents with autistic children, which helped her find her feet. But she came to realise that she wanted much more for her son.

"The single most important thing in every parent's mind - what after we die?" she said. "I want this world to be as much mine and his as everybody else's. That's when I started taking him out, meeting people. That's the only way he can live his life."

But people had questions, especially children. Madhav is noticeably different and that, Ms Kalra said, could make others uncomfortable - "like when he is stimming (slang for self-stimulating behaviour which can include movements like rocking or head banging) - or repeats an action like rubbing his fingers against each other to calm himself down".

Madhav is 11 but his brain still works like that of a six-year-old, making him childlike. He doesn't speak much and likes to keep to himself.

He used to go to a school for children with special needs, but as learning shifted online due to the Covid pandemic, he struggled. So, his parents decided to opt for home-schooling.

There's still a lot of stigma around autism in Indian society, making it difficult for people with the condition to integrate with others. And a lack of awareness has perpetuated the neglect.

Madhav's cousins would ask Ms Kalra, why won't he play with them? Or why would he cover his ears with his hands? They called Madhav rude because he never made eye contact or listened to them, Ms Kalra said.

The questions were endless. So Ms Kalra decided to take a different approach. 

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Parents, Students, Teachers and Disabilities, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Divya Arya [BBC].

With respectful dedication to all the beautiful and budding autistic students of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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