The World of Neuro diverse.
Last week Sivaa was taken to the Tripunithura Temple Festival on all the 8 days. Since its biggest temple festival in the world and the pride of Tripunthura, we the people who lives in that royal town never misses the festival. Earlier i used to take sivaa for less than an hour to show him the royal procession of 15 elephants called the ezhunnallippu with the figurine of deity held on the top of the center elephant. For the past three years i used to make Sivaa stand closer to the pancharimelam which is another major attraction of the festival accompanying the procession with instuments like chenda, kuzhal elataalam and kompu. Pancharimelam is a visual and an auditory treat and Nadappara kalasham is an epitome of it.
Unlike the past years, this time i could realize that he was enjoying the melam as he was trying to move his hands and legs to the the rhythm of the music. For any child its difficult to bear the heat and the crowd but i was happy that he has grown enough to adjust to the situations. The crowd inside the temple both morning and evening was unimaginable. But sivaa was very calm and silent and even enjoyed everything around him. I was also happy that this was the first time after many so years i was able to go on all the days and even late nights to watch the festival and have a good darshan. Seeing the positive change in sivaa everyone began to appreciate us. Some of them even said it all happened because of the exposure that we are giving him. Yes of course it all happened because of the social stimulation that he got through during these years. But I’m wondering as to whether it has really helped my son. On one hand he has become more manageable, more understanding and also to some extent helped me to identify his new interests and skills. But on the other end I’m seeing more of sleepless nights and proprioceptive dysfunctions. The last whole week he had a very disturbed sleep.
It is just like tightening one end of the rope wherein the other end is still on the loosen side. we all write and speak about the positive things that has happened to our child in the spectrum but we less discuss about the challenges because we are all living with a ray of hope that one day God shall forget to give us more challenges. Yes I like to tell you about his swimming, skating and of course his eating skills and many other things he enjoys but never about his fine motor skills nor his speech. Every parent to a special needs go through one or the other challenges every single day. But do you also know, every parent inspires the other in one or the other way. when i write about my achievement of taking sivaa to a social surrounding, I would be inspiring you but when i write about my child’s sleepless nights, you would be praying for me.
So autism as a spectrum should be accepted not according to the skills nor deficits and challenges it should be viewed as a whole, unique to each child. And I think it’s the child who should be accepted as such and not his condition and the rehabilitation should be done considering the whole family.
Finally coming to the topic whether social stimulation benefits, completely depends on each child and the circumstances that he is living.
Preetha Anoop Menon