This was the conversation going on between a teacher & her student. To be precise, this was indeed a conversation between a teacher & a 10 year old student, Sanath. You might be wondering why such a simple question was asked to a 10 year old. In fact boys of this age can answer a lot more difficult ones than this one. If you are thinking right, yes, Sanath is not a normal kid. I witnessed this above conversation at ‘Apoorva center for AUTISM’. Sanath is one among the 22 children who come here every day for special kind of schooling. This is the school meant only for citizens with Autism.
A teacher with students
I and my friend, Deepa, were interested to give some sort of support to the less talked society, where things were pretty different from normalcy. We wanted to create awareness among the people in certain areas, out of which Autism was one of the common point we agreed upon. We being like-minded thought of bringing fun and joy to “Differently able Children” who are autistic by birth. We would like to invite more friends to be volunteers in this cause. With this intention in mind, as a baby step we happened to be at the “Apoorva centre for Autism” on Saturday (4th Feb 2010).
Some of the beautiful drawings & paintings done by these kids.
Autism is a neural disorder in kids. It causes them to experience this world entirely different from the way most other kids normally do. They cannot express themselves to others thru words. They cannot eat, they cannot walk properly, they cannot play, they cannot feel, and they cannot. They just cannot.
‘My son is 18 years old. He is here for 15 years now’ Lakshmi madam, who is the caretaker of this noble institution, told this to us. She gave up her banking job to look after her son. He was 3 years when they noticed his disorder. We felt her pain looking at her moist eyes as she narrated her story. Her elder son works for a reputed firm in US after having done MBA.
We came across lot of other kids who had different behaviors. Some were happy on seeing strange people walking up to them & trying to be friendly with them. Some resisted, some shied away, and some not even tried to have an eye contact as in case of Sanath.
We saw a boy crying as we walked through the class rooms. Curious to know what might be the reason behind his cry, we asked his teacher. ‘Today is his mathematics class; he doesn’t like numbers’ was the answer we got. We saw him crying almost all the time we were there.
Another boy had some strange marks all over his Cheeks, hands, legs & even his head. He used to hurt himself every two to three seconds. He will bite his fingers; punch his own face, his head with his own hands.
These kids mostly prefer to be alone, sometimes they don’t respond no matter how much loud you talk & sometimes they get afraid of even a little noise. They don’t have a real fear of dangers. Sometimes they show their extreme distress for simple or no apparent reason. They find it extremely vulnerable to interact with other people or even with kids too. They never like to see any sort of change in day to day routine.
Autism doesn’t have any particular symptoms related to health, as per doctors. Kids’ behavior is the only way to figure out the disorder. Usually AUTISM in kids can be detected when they are around 18 months old. Worst part is that there is no treatment for this disorder. Early detection, Doctors’, therapists & the special teaching alone can bring any difference to these citizens.
I & Deepa were amazed on looking at the dedicated teachers of Apoorva center for AUTISM. Let me tell you, it is tougher than teaching the normal kids. They have to deal with these kids with lot of patience. No words to explain their noble efforts. Interesting part is most of the teachers were parents of Autistic children. May be, it may have helped them to understand better.
Be a part of this cause by being present at the Apoorva center of Autism on their annual day celebrations this Feb 14th 2010 & experience a different feel which leaves a lasting impression on you, as it did for us. :-)
For more details regarding Autism and the Apoorva center for Autism, please do visit the following websites.
Apoorva center for Autism
C/o Lions club of Sarakki
J.P Nagar. 2nd Phase, Bangalore
080- 57710445 / 92431 95154