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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This seminar has been arranged in the hope that more awareness is created among the youth about Autism and to  kindle the interest of some of you at least  to contribute in some way or the other towards this cause  .I cannot guess how many of you are going to  become special educators or psychologists working in this field .However , I think I can be quite sure that majority of you hope to one day be parents  .Today more and more couples are planning their babies  and very rarely do they just happen to come by!!  I hope what we all   have to say goes some way in trying to change the focus in planned parenting from just financial stability which is the main   criteria today to awareness about the other possibilities and the responsibilities that go with bringing a life into the world .

It has been a year and a half since I first heard the word Autism and today it has become a part of my life .However I wish I had heard of this 5 years earlier when I was planning to have my baby .Let alone Autism , I  was not really thinking or was aware of any other challenges that my baby would face .Not that it would have changed any thing for me but certainly I could have been more aware and alert about all the possibilities and hopefully more prepared for. Four years ago  like any other expectant parent I was quite sure that my bundle of joy would be perfect but in the very ordinary sense .Now I  know he is perfect in the extraordinary sense. However I did go on an emotional roller coaster in the beginning as I was so unprepared for this reality and in doing so I feel I lost some precious time that could have been spent in dealing with the actual issues .

So as future parents I hope that you will not plan when you want your baby only based on your income and bank balance  . Make sure that you will have enough time to spend with your children whether or not they could   have special needs .Make sure you are emotionally ready to deal with  any possibility .

As a parent I feel there is a lot  that needs to be done for this cause and for the reasons of brevity I am listing them down as follows to form the acronym AUTISM   :

A wareness   about the syndrome especially with paediatricians ,   schools , teachers and generally  public awareness of high risk categories and symptoms  .

U nderstanding  of the issues faced by  these children and their  families  and treating the children and the issues  with respect ,care and concern.

T raining of more professionals in various areas such as psychology , special education , speech pathology , sensory integration , occupational therapy , life care  etc. with the special needs of Autistic individuals in mind .

 I nstitutions  that offer  services in the above areas

S upport for the families and professionals working with Autistic individuals .

M oney  the catalyst to actually move forward   

 [One of my early  awareness speeches to college going youth in the years 1999-2000]

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