When the SSC results were announced on Friday, Jaya Sudhakar started sobbing. Her autistic son, Siddhanth, 15, one of nine students in the state to benefit from the board’s concessions for autistic students this year, had scored 79%.
“He has done way beyond our expectations,” said Sudhakar. “I had my apprehensions, but everything turned out alright.”
Of the nine students who availed of the concessions put in place for the first time, six passed, said board officials. The concessions included using a writer, a computer, choosing lower-level maths, dropping two languages and appearing for exams in vocational subjects.
“After we got the first application from an autistic student, we directed all eight divisions [in the state] to ensure that such students could avail of the concessions,” said S Dhekane, the board’s secretary.
Autistic people usually face difficulties in social communication, emotional expression and may display obsessive behaviour traits. Many are unable to complete their schooling.
“The measures have helped my son,” said Sudhakar, whose son studied at S Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya in Borivli. “The board has been very supportive, as has the school.” Siddhanth will now apply to a junior college and plans to take up arts.