A Mother’s Fight to Free her Child from Autism
Hello every one, here’s the fourth(4th) post of the blog series – The ‘Un’-common Tales of common people. This post is written by a close friend of mine, Gunjan Bhatla. She has shared her experience of how she overcame all the obstacles to free her son from Autism. Her story is inspirational and I am sure every parent going through a similar phase will find a ray of hope after reading her experience. I want to thank Gunjan for coming out and spread awareness about Autism and ADHD through her story.
Now, a little something about this blog series. I strongly believe that each one of us has a ‘voice’ that can make an impact, the ‘power’ to inspire others and the ‘experience’ that could help someone else. But not everyone has a platform to reach out to others and share their experiences with them. Hence, this series, where you will get to read the ‘Un’- common tales of common people who have the power to inspire and bring the change. This series is a small token of thanks to those people who have always supported me in my journey.
Read the first post of the series here – Take professional help!
Read the 2nd post of the series here – How to rediscover yourself after having a baby?!
And, read the 3rd of the series here – Appreciation Matters!
If you, too, have been a part of our blog’s journey and wish to be a part of this series, you can reach out to me on Instagram. No bloggers, please!
Now, let’s read Gunjan’s post.
When the doctor said, ‘Your child has suspected Autism’
I hope you all have heard the terms – Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Believe me, it’s Nerve-Wracking if you hear a doctor say, “Your child has a suspected Autism / ADHD”. WE HEARD THAT!
This all started when our child (Dhairya) was not even 2 years old. I don’t know how, but slowly and gradually my son got addicted to the gadget world. This need for a gadget reached the extreme stage and he was always in need of a mobile phone or the television, while he was awake.
He started giving alarming signals to us and we could easily identify the milestone delay(s).
The first challenge that we faced was his SPEECH DELAY. He used to just point out at the things that he wanted but never tried to utter a word. No eye contact and poor listening skills. He used to listen to us at his own wish. We really got tensed and out of curiosity, we decided to send him to the Play School; hoping the situation will improve.
You may also read – How to ensure that your child is growing right?
He was around 2 years old by then. After a couple of days, we started getting complaints from the school – “The KID is not even responding to his name“, he is busy in himself and at times tries to catch hold the mobile phone of the class teacher. This got us really scared.
Post taking the advice from the elders of our family, we decided to meet his pediatrician. And to our shock, he suspected Autism or ADHD in my child. He suggested us to go to a Child Psychiatric. This was turning out to be a nightmare for us. We met Dr. Satender Walia (Child Psychiatric) at BLK Hospital, Rajender Nagar, and she as well concluded that Dhairya is indeed showing some signs of Autism/ADHD. She suggested Occupational Therapy with Zero screen time. Though, she said that we can’t take the kid as Autistic. We were totally BLANK and were literally weeping after coming out of the hospital. WHY WE!!!!
Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviours. People with ADHD may also have trouble focusing their attention on a single task or sitting still for long periods of time. Both adults and children can have ADHD.
It was a total ZERO feeling for the next two days! It felt like everything was over for us. In the meanwhile, my sister came to our house and suggested that we should think positive and fight the situation we are in. We all decided to go to Vrindavan and take blessings from the GOD. Trust me, it actually helped us to calm our minds and think positively towards the solution.
You may also read – How to boost your baby’s brain development!
We both were ready to take up the challenge and save our child from this scare. The very next morning, we hid all the TV remotes and kept our mobile phones out of reach from our son’s hands. After reading ‘n’ number of online articles, we bought puzzles, doodles, books, etc as per his age bracket. Along with these activities, I was determined to give my 100% time to my child. We literally became a talking machine and used to constantly feed our child with rhymes, counting, or any other informative thing that we can think of.
In the initial stage, it was really tough, as Dhairya showed resistance and was pretty much disturbed, as the screen was taken away from him. It was as if life has been taken out of someone. Even his health went down and he became restless. But on the order side, we were firm and were ready for this resistance and carried on our efforts; knowing that this hardship would be good for our kid’s future.
You may also read – How to deal with Toddler Tantrums?
Positive Signs after a week – Fighting Autism!
Finally, after a week, we saw some positive signs, a ray of hope when Dhairya started recognizing numbers from one (1) to ten (10) and even tried uttering them. It was a real positive sign which proved that we were on the right track. We continued our effort(s) and gradually Dhairya started showing improvement. We even started getting positive feedback from his playschool.
After a gap of six months, we again went to the same Child Psychiatric (Dr. Walia). She was totally amazed to see the improvement in our kid. And straight away gave us a clean chit on Autism/ADHD.
She also applauded us for the early recognition of the symptom(s) in our kid, which helped us to overcome this in a short duration; as compared with the other cases wherein this gets detected at a later stage. However, she suggested joining some Occupational Therapy (OT) to further improve his condition and catch on the Milestones he has missed.
On her suggestion, we made Dhairya join an OT class in Moti Nagar (Inspiration – Dr. Bhagyashree Mudgil). He used to get sessions on hand-eye coordination, leg and eye coordination, balancing, gross, and fine motor skills. They helped him to grip Pencil and sketch/crayons colors. Most importantly, they made him channelize his energy towards the right and correct path. All these activities further enhanced his concentration level and brought stability in his mind.
You may also read – How to make young kids pay attention during online classes?
Later, we found out that there was a similar OT therapist (SMILE, Ashok Vihar) near our place. The therapist here focused on sharpening his memory by performing various activities like – solving puzzles, finding differences between two pictures, etc. Special focus was given to improve the Sequencing Skills through passing the hurdles as well. And we are still continuing with the same therapist to further enhance the basic and advanced skills.
Excess of everything is bad – Fighting Autism!
Believe me, it was really a tough fight filled with complete patience and devotion. In the end, I can only say GOD has literally given our child back to us and I am really thankful to him for that.
I must tell you still our hardship is not over, though the situation has improved a lot, the battle needs to be won yet!
My advice is to keep your toddlers away from these gadgets or at least have a control on their watch time. As the proverb goes – “Excess of everything is BAD!”
And in case if you get any alarming sign(s), delay in milestones, or some abnormal behavior; please do not ignore this. I would also like to state that Autism/ADHD is not just because of the screen time. The exact causes of these two are still unknown and multiple.
You may also read – How can you help your children with their emotional needs?
As a parent, it is your duty/responsibility to have a watch on your kid and proactively react, if in case you find something awkward. GOD forbid if anyone of you falls into this; please do not panic.
You and your child can overcome this situation; the key is to have patience and giving quality time to your kid.
Moreover, like in our case, it was a borderline situation, but we have read and seen cases wherein the parents and kids have fought out of this Autism/ADHD, even from an advanced stage.
Never lose HOPE!
I am Gunjan, pursuing a Ph.D. in Management. I have worked as an Assistant Professor for 5 years. Nowadays, I am a homemaker and a mom of 4.5 yrs super duper naughty son. In other words full time on toes mom. Recently, I have started my youtube channel (Mom-N-son Fun-N-learn) to share the experiences that I am gaining with my kid in this lovely journey called Motherhood.
Thank you, Gunjan for sharing your experience, I literally had tears in my eyes while reading your story. It’s true that a mother can do anything for her child and a mother’s strength is like no other. I am so glad that you noticed the early warning signs and milestone delay and took action immediately. I wish you all the strength and luck for your fight. And, blessings to the little one, Dhairya is such a brave kid.
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