“She will never be normal like you and me”

The words echoed again and again for days and months….till the reality settled in my mind. But did I for once think that I will stop trying….trying to teach her to learn just like the others did? Will I stop providing her with the opportunities and platforms for learning various skills? Will I give up on trying to make her as NORMAL as possible?…No.

This was March1997, when PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) was not well known or heard of. People heard of Autism, specially classical cases, which my daughter did not fit in. Hence there was hope in a corner of my mind with traces of denial whih justified that she is not really autistic!!! She may become NORMAL one day!

More doctors we went to, more confused we were….this is when I met a wise speech and language therapist, who gave a valuable tip: “look for the child’s areas of concern and start working hard on them on daily basis”.

That day my focus shifted….I organized the day in such a way that I could work on various areas like speech, gross motor skills, social skills….EVERYDAY.

At the same time I felt the need to meet up friends and spend time with them and have fun in my own way. This raised a few eyebrows….how can she smile so much? goes to the gym, comes to parties, act in a play….does she even realize her misfortune???? Little did they know, that I was mastering the skill to do my best for my child. I did not feel guilty….I felt contented

As I look back today, it has been a long beautiful journey of 26 years for us both. Together we have learnt to get up every time we fell, with a new hope. She has completed her 12th from National Open School and is now working in a reputed school as an assistant librarian.

She can type and spell very well. She can swim and she likes humming kishore kumar songs.Very good with wordsearch she knows how to keep herself occupied. She speaks less and lesser when uncomfortable. She cries at times unable to explain why. She smiles when she is generally happy not knowing why. She doesn’t know why people stare, of course she doesn’t care!

She taught me how to value the present moment, not worry about tomorrow or regret the past. She taught me to acknowledge every little blessing, a kind gesture or a small achievement. With her innocence she has touched lives of many who have learnt to accept and appreciate differences.

She forces me to smile when I want to cry….when I fear leaving her behind….

She taught me to have faith….

I am blessed to have her as my daughter, She is our dear Medha.

So my dear young moms: here is the recipe for being a happy mom….no matter what!

  1. Trust your gut feeling, go ahead with what you feel is right among all the advice you get! A mistake cannot harm the child, you will never let it happen.
  2. Focus on strength and weakness of the child…not on the label. Read up and acquire knowledge.
  3. Work hard with your child on daily basis with breaks in between.
  4. Balance your hard work with doing something for yourself…exercise/ reading/ drawing/cooking and so on.
  5. Broaden your circle with friends/relatives, willing to understand and who can be a listener at times.

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