World Autism Day: Stitching, painting: Children with special needs unleash their artistic side
Besides traditional form of arts, many individuals, who were diagnosed with autism have today made their mark in digital and music fields
A lifelong neurological condition could not deter the spirit of children suffering from autism to live up to their full potential and showcase their skills in fields like painting, drawing, stitching, and playing music.
As the World Autism Day is observed on April 2 every year, several Ludhiana based children suffering autism and their families came forward to share their inspirational stories with HT.
Sunita Birla, a special educator, who has been teaching kids with intellectual disabilities for last 18 years said, “Children diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face difficulty in communicating properly, in many cases they even loose speech. But this doesn’t imply that they cannot become self-reliant independents. All it takes is patience and will to teach, and educate them. In mainstream schools, teacher can teach 50 students at a time but with children with such special needs require one to one session. Education begins right from training them to do day-to-day chores like using toilet, bathing, brushing teeth etc. And then gradually to train them as per their interest.”
22-year-old Amrit from Ludhiana’s Haibowal was diagnosed with autism when he was just three-year-old. It was only after joining special school, Amrit’s parents learnt how good he was at cooking and stitching.
“We were in denial state when we first got to know about Amrit’s condition. Though he has always been an amazing learner but had delayed development compared to his peers. However, we admitted him to a normal school, hoping for his condition to improve with time. But one day when his result came and concerned teachers showed us the marksheet which was too peculiarly done to believe that Amrit did it on his own, we knew the school was deceiving us. We came in terms with reality and shifted him to a special school. Those schools unleashed his hidden talents like cooking, stiching, embroidery etc. He can now stitch a tote bag from scratch in just fifteen minutes” said Amrit’s father Anmol Marria.
Similarly, Parampreet Singh, father of 19-year-old Bisman Singh, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of four, expressed importance of a good teacher in life of special kids.
“Hats-off to the teachers who put in endless efforts to make autistic children aware about their potential. These children have their own world and to teach them one need to be part of their eco-system. If it were not his teachers we would have never known about the creative side of our son,” he added.
Notably, Bisman’s painting have been displayed at several art exhibitions and have been bought by several dignitaries.
Besides traditional form of arts, many individuals, who were diagnosed with autism have today made their mark in digital and music fields.
One of them being Ashutosh Khosla, a 23-year-old pianist, who learnt playing keyboard while watching television.
Ashutosh’s mother Sona Khosla while listing skillset of his son said, “We were in a gulf country when Ashu (Ashutosh) was diagnosed with autism. Fortunately, there we had access to advanced gadgets like laptop and computers. And, with help of a special educator, he learnt operating laptop when he was just a kid. A long time back we bought him a toy piano, he ran his fingers on it efficiently while watching TV. It could be out of typing habit that he had since childhood we thought to ourselves, but one day he played a piece on his own. As we moved back to India, we arranged a piano teacher for him and now seven years later, today he can play over 250 songs.”
Dr Neelam Sodhi, co-founder of Ashirwad (NGO based special school), The North India Cerebral Palsy Association, sharing a piece of advise on said, “Parental acceptance is key to a better future. Awareness and belief in their child is important.”