“Children with Autism are colorful, they are often very beautiful and like the rainbow they stand out” -Adele Devine.
We did not believe Adele till we met Rohan, one of our trainees we are very proud of.
Rohan was a boy who liked to be by himself, and unable to express his interest in anything. If things didn’t go his way he would get upset and wouldn’t speak anything. The only way he could express himself was through yelling. Symptoms like absence of speech, not maintaining eye contact and behaviors such as clapping without a prompt led to an early diagnosis of Autism in Rohan, when he was just three.
Rohan moved to Bengaluru from Kerala five years ago with his mother, sister, and grandparents. Rohan joined Diya a few years later, in July 2019.
As usual, Rohan kept to himself at Diya too. During the training, he would usually lose himself in his thoughts, but was never able to communicate them.
Trainers at Diya took the interventions one step at a time. They started the intervention with minor tasks such as how to sit in a classroom, sweeping, mopping, etc. Further he was taught to verbalize his thoughts in the classroom slowly. The disruption in training due to the pandemic did not affect Rohan much due to the strong support from his parents. In fact, it was made more interesting by online training on employability, cooking and such other daily life skills training.
With little help from his mother, Rohan communicates effectively. At home, he helps in daily chores such as sweeping, mopping, making the bed and arranging everything the way it should be. He has started to ask for the things he wants and responds to questions.
Rohan can now manage money in small denominations using a calculator. He also cooks simple breakfast and makes tea and coffee. His confidence level has risen as he can now operate TV and iPad without support.
With constant effort and commitment from parents and trainers in Diya, Rohan is slowly moving towards self dependence. Diya continues to support him with therapies.
Rohan’s evolution is as beautiful as a rainbow emerging in the presence of sunlight and rain. Rohan is testimony to the fact that successful coordination, cooperation and consistent, systematic training can enable anyone to stand on their own feet.