HOW ATTITUDE HELPS TO FIND A WAY....
Hi everyone!! The title sounds different.....isn't it??? Since long I wanted to share with the parents about the most important factor that can make or break the child....!!! This is applicable to all parents..so before reading this article please...please.... please... remove the word 'special' from your mind.
Understanding the needs of the child & expecting the best of child's potential are the fundamental aspects to qualify as parents.
I have come across many parents & had different experiences with each one of them. There are few parents I admire a lot. When I think of them, a smile appears on my face automatically. I feel abundance of positive energy within. I can't mention about all but would like to share stories of few of them.
In India we have female street vendors. They go door to door & sell vessels in exchange of cloths. People buy vessels & give old clothes in exchange. They belong to a very low socioeconomic class.
It was beginning of my practice. I have an open space at the entrance of my hospital. At present we don't allow vendors to enter our premise but those were the different days... A young woman around 25-27 with a little, cute smiling girl around 5 came to sell the vessels. Her name was Kamu and the little one was named Rani (means 'a queen'). When I saw the girl I couldn't resist talking to them. Rani was a child with Down's syndrome but I found her so much active & agile. I saw spark in her eyes. She was practically doing everything a child of her age was expected to do. Rani was able to talk, she was toilet trained & I could see that. She was able to clean herself & dress on her own. When Kamu took out the vessels to show us, Rani was helping her to take them out & put them back. She was able to count. Kamu was talking in her rural native language and so was Rani. The message she gave that day cannot not be translated in any language better than her own words. I was surprised watching Rani. I asked Kamu, "How did you manage?" Her answer was,
"Madam we are poor, illiterate people. We don't know much but within few months of Rani's birth I could understand only one thing that she is GOD'S child & that too full of innocence. Madam she was born a bit earlier so before GOD could give her the cunningness & shrewdness, she came down just with mere innocence...!!! Madam GOD created me with all the abilities but then also I am selling vessels.If I will keep Rani all the time with me & can make her like me, she will at least earn her bread on her own..!!" I could follow them for few years & could see Rani learning the skills to deal with people, bargaining & protecting herself from the nonsense...!! HATS OFF TO KAMU....!!!!
One more similar story but here the mother was preparing dry snacks on order. She did the same. She taught everything to her daughter & made her independent.
A learned lady named Bela came for the first time before 9-10 years. Her son was 5 then. She did her B.A; B.Ed & got married to a man based at Navsari. Aayush, her son was diagnosed having Down's syndrome when he was around 2. The husband sacked both of them out of the house. Bela, a lady with self-respect & a strong mind never wanted to go to her parents' place. As everything happened suddenly she could not take an immediate decision & went to her friend's place to stay for a day. Next day morning Bela found her mother-in-law, Sarojben waiting for her in the drawing room of her friend's house. Before Bela could say anything Sarojben said," Take all your belongings, take Aayush & come with me. You have your own house & you don't need to stay at somebody else's place." Bela was still under shock & surprise but when she came to know what Sarojben did, she literally fell down at her feet. When Sarojben came to know about that incidence, she came to her son & sacked him out of the house. The house papers were on Sarojben's name. Sarojben even warned her son not to enter in that house & not to interfere in any matter without the consent of Bela.
Sarojben took the responsibility of Aayush & encouraged Bela to do a job. Bela accepted part time job & started her own tuition classes. Both the ladies followed the training programme designed for Aayush meticulously. They never missed their appointment. Every time I met them I saluted both the ladies...but felt like bowing down to Sarojben. Aayush was self dependent for his routine since young age. Two strong ladies made Aayush very confident. As Bela was teaching other students Aayush started learning many things with them & got a very good inclusive environment. Sarojben's stand for Bela & Aayush made the neighbours & family members supportive.
Aayush was very good at art & one of the relatives agreed to absorb Aayush as an employee in their printing press. They shifted to their native before a year or so. GREAT LADY SAROJBEN.....SALUTES TO SAROJBEN & BELA...!!!
I met Ansuya at Ahmedabad. Palak was 2 then. Aalok, Ansuya's son was 12 or may be 13. Ansuya was a simple graduate and was working as a clerk in post office. Aalok was born after 5 years of her marriage. Ansuya's unmarried sister –in-law was staying with them. The day Aalok was diagnosed having Down's syndrome; Ansuya's In-laws stopped talking to Ansuya & Aalok. Ansuya's husband being a weak & subdued person, preferred to keep mum.
Ansuya decided to fight single handed. She started searching for guidance. She needed a day care centre as well to leave Aalok during her office hours. To earn for her & Aalok was compulsory. She was not in a position to leave the job. Fortunately she got one training centre. It was a private centre run by a very loving & caring lady but her fees were a bit high. Ansuya decided to manage anyhow. She took license for L.I.C agent. She started getting up at 4 a.m. Daily between 4-6 am, she used to fill up forms & do other paper work of LIC From 6-9 am preparing food for all, washing clothes & utensils, getting ready, helping Aalok to get ready became her routine. Sharp at 9:30 they used to catch a bus for Aalok's training centre. After dropping Aalok at centre it was time for Ansuya to meet few clients for LIC and reach office at 11 am. At 5 o'clock in the evening, Ansuya used to take Aalok from the centre & back home at 5:45-6:00 pm. She inculcated a habit in Aalok to sleep between 6-8pm; meanwhile she dealt with her evening course. At 8:00 after dinner she used to sit with Aalok & used to do the revision of learnt things, explaining the newer things and so on till 10:30/11:00. Ansuya trained Aalok in a way that when I last met Ansuya, Aalok used to travel by bus alone. Of course that was his daily route but he was well versed with the options to be implemented in case of an emergency like missing the bus, catching a wrong bus etc. Aalok was able to purchase things from a super market or a vendor, counter check the bills, could communicate with others effectively. He was not able to speak with clarity but was smart enough to communicate. Self-help & self-care abilities were achieved way before. When I last asked about him, he was working as a care taker at one day care centre. IN HINDU RELIGION ANSUYA IS A NAME OF A GODDESS...THIS ANSUYA PROVED HER NAME...!!!!
Chetna...!!! Those who know me at present know Chetna as well. If you meet her, you will feel her inner strengths within few minutes. I didn't know her name till last August. When we were at WDSD 2015 in Chennai, my friend talked about Chetna. My friend wanted to know if I could help Chetna in any way.
Chetna was married to a man who had terminal stage cancer & Chetna never knew that. Chetna was 18 & stayed in hospital with that man for one and a half year. There was nothing that would have compelled Chetna to stay with him...but she was a lady with commitment & perseverance. That man died, Chetna, a poor young lady of 20 passed through all those pain & agony she never thought of. After some time her parents convinced Chetna to remarry & she agreed. Her new husband initially took good care of her & she could smile...but that lasted very short. Within few months of their marriage Chetna's husband started ill-treating Chetna. Ruthless domestic violence, finding faults every now & often, using abusive language started. Chetna was sacked out of the house when she was 8 months pregnant. Bulbul...a sweet, cute, charming little angel was born. Bulbul is a girl with Down's syndrome.Chetna's younger brother was recently married when Chetna's husband closed the doors for Chetna. Her brother's wife Heena denied to stay with Chetna & Bulbul. Heena went to her parents' house. Chetna never wanted to disturb anyone. Chetna was already under tremendous pain & agony. The feeling of being unwanted added to it.
I was not sure how I would be able to help Chetna because they were at Gandhinagar a town 350 km away from me. But I told my friend to think about it. I was sincerely trying to contact few people at Gandhinagar & Ahmedabad when suddenly I got a phone call. That was Chetna..I heard her voice for the first time but she was not able to speak...tears, pain & helplessness had stolen her voice. I don't know how but I told her to come down to Navsari with all her belongings. On my word she left everything and came down.
Now I know Chetna better than before. Chetna....a symbol of energy, commitment, perseverance, determination & self-confidence. As I came to know more about her I started admiring her more & more.
I always wondered what made her took this decision to shift to Navsari??
She attended one of my seminars at Ahmedabad on 26th April, 2015 (she still remembers). That day the basic things she understood were,' Bulbul is a child who will learn things slowly. She will need more time to teach her even the basic things. She cannot waste a single minute. If she will continue staying with her husband, the minutes she'll spend after him will be deducted from Bulbul & she cannot afford that.' She decided to take divorce & filed a case. She started implementing whatever she learned in the seminar. She offered free services to a nearby kinder garden so that Bulbul can learn in an inclusive environment. She went to slums and similar areas & found special need children. She motivated parents & made them understand their children. She was taken as a committee member & things were improving. She felt confident about her capabilities. She had discovered the power within. But suddenly her brother started forcing her to get married again. When she called me both of them were in a very bad shape.
Now in Navsari, totally new town with new people, new language but Chetna & Bulbul are doing excellent. After initial turmoil Bulbul loves her school & her classmates. Bulbul attends both typical & special schools. Chetna has adopted the basic methods to teach Bulbul. Bulbul is very sharp & fast in learning & implementing things. Her speech is clear, her observation & awareness helps her learn many things from the surrounding. She is toilet trained since long. She is 6 and is able to do practically everything expected from a child of her age except for writing. Meaningful writing is yet to develop. Chetna talks a lot with her. Many parents are connected with each other through social media. They ask Chetna the secret of Bulbul's development & Chetna's answer," I don't know Down's syndrome in detail but I know one thing that I don't need to remember it all the time that my child is having Down's syndrome. I don't see her differently & so I don't think people must be seeing her differently. If at all people are seeing her differently I am not aware because I don't know how to look at a child differently....!!!!!"
Simpler things can change lives....! When we start weaning a child we offer our local, easy to digest & gut friendly food rather than some fancy item.
All the mothers I mentioned here could do it with least information & in worst conditions. I know you all want to do much more than what Kamu, Bela or Ansuya did. I am sure you will be able to do. My best wishes are always there.
Remember few things & that will save your time & energy.
Internet is a boon to mankind. Lots of information that too at your finger tips.....but too much is equally harmful as too less.
Watch your search...see that you don't get entangled into a self created web. Too many things will confuse you & at the end you will feel tired without doing much...!!!!
GO SLOW BUT TANGIBLY
We Indians are fond of tea. Most of us add lemon grass, ginger & mint leaves to add flavour & fragrance....!!!
How many of us drink tea without filtering...????
ENJOY THE TASTE..THROW THE WASTE
The internet information is very useful but I urge to the internet users that filter the information according to your need & necessity. The lemon grass & mint adds flavour to the tea but to drink that flavoured tea, we filter it & throw away the waste.
|WE TOOK THE CRUX, NOW NO NEED TO EAT THIS....WE CAN'T|
Similarly let us all use all the information judiciously to create a harmonious balance around us & our children. This will automatically add all the flavours in our life.
When we brought up Palak we knew nothing. When I started working with parents, I googled most of the information from internet, checked the authenticity & implemented as per the need.
You all are doing a fabulous job searching every minute detail & acting accordingly. I appreciate your concern, love, care & efforts. Thus I feel & wish that your hard work for your children need to give you appropriate & optimum results.
IF 40 PEOPLE WORK FOR 400 DAYS, THEY CAN BUILD A 10 STORIED BUILDING. CAN 400 PEOPLE DO THE SAME IN 40 DAYS?????
CAN 4000 PEOPLE DO IT IN 4 DAYS???
LET THINGS HAPPEN AT IT'S OWN PACE