How Early Intervention Helped Atharva
Created by Tejashri Saurkar Updated on Sep 03, 2019
The birth of a child is always a source of tremendous joy and bliss for the parents and the family, and so when Atharva was born, our happiness knew no bounds. As we started exploring and enjoying the joy of parenthood, our little angel transitioned from an infant into a toddler.
However, it was around 18 -20 months when Atharva started exhibiting certain traits like:
- No eye contact
- Reluctance at social interaction
- Lack of speech
- Cranky behavior
- Lining up toys
- Absence of pretend play
How Early Diagnosis & Acceptance Helped
While other children his age had started showing signs of speech, meaningful play and ability to relate to others, Atharva was unable to do the same. This worried us and we went for an assessment to a Clinical Psychologist. The examination confirmed that Atharva had autism and although it was not a disease, it was a condition that could not be treated.
At the same time we were told, there was enough and more potential for him to be independent, with the help of different therapies. The news came as a shock and was hard to process. It was something we were unable to accept. As we questioned the psychologist about the reasons, she told us that it would be helpful for us to come out of the ‘denial mode’ and instead focus on the required intervention.
How Intervention Paved the Way Forward
We gathered ourselves and decided to start with the necessary occupational and speech therapy. After around 6-7 months of occupational therapy, we found that it helped in...
Curbing his hyperactivity
Building his sitting tolerance, especially in a classroom setting. Earlier he was unable to sit in one place or focus on what was happening.
The intensive speech therapy at home also helped Atharva immensely and soon he was able to identify objects and utter words like ‘grapes’. This further motivated us to put more efforts in building his skills. He soon started recognizing and reading all alphabets and words as well. [Read More - Tips to Expand Toddler's Language Skills]
Building a Supportive Ecosystem
Besides the intervention, we also worked on two main aspects
Working on a day to day issues in school through specific and clear expectation setting with the school. This is an ongoing process and we are taking one issue at a time and resolving it in the best manner possible.
Creating a conducive ecosystem for him by educating his teachers, principals, bus attendants, parents and most importantly other students and garnering support from them. We realized that this could happen only when other people around him understood his differences and accepted them while making it easy for him to function in his day to day activities.
I and my husband have been and continue exchanging thoughts and ideas about how we can better Atharva’s learning curve. Today, Atharva is in 12th std. He is very social and active. He aspires to be a part of the hospitality industry and tourism or media. Looking back I feel that the early and timely intervention was the key to Atharva’s development and progress.
My suggestion to all the parents, especially mothers is to keep a close watch on the developmental milestones of your children and in case, you find something amiss please consult a developmental Pediatrician at the earliest.