Jan. 30, 2020, 1:59 p.m.

Autism from My perspective - 6 Things that Helped My Son the Most

My name is Madhavi Adimulam.  My older son Varun has Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  He was diagnosed with Autism when he was around 2.5 years old. He is 21 years old now.  It was quite a roller coaster journey. In this short article I would like to list the 6 most important things that we did which helped him the most.

1.  Early Intervention - In early intervention time is invaluable. Time lost cannot be recovered. We started his Speech, Occupational Therapy and Behaviour Therapy in a matter of days he after was diagnosed. We didn't waste any time.

2. Started Auditory Integration and Music Therapy – Varun was non-verbal until he turned 7. We decided to try Auditory Integration Therapy (iLs) and that really helped him to start speaking. We also started Music Therapy immediately after he finished his Auditory Integration Therapy.  It’s been 13 years there’s no looking back.  He loves music.  I think that Music has completely transformed him and had made him what he is today.

3. Educated Ourselves - We ordered a lot of books on Autism and started learning about how to support him.  It seemed like any amount of knowledge was less to understand the dynamics. We attended every possible training programme we set our eyes on or we were informed about. Knowledge helps understand all the Whats and Whys. With improved awareness we can complement the work done at school & therapy.

4.  Look at Strengths - We started looking at his strengths and not just his shortcomings. Like any typically developing kid he had so many strengths along with the challenges that came along with his diagnosis.

5. Celebrate Small Wins without comparing - We celebrated every small thing he achieved at therapy or school or home.  We started to focus on every single gain whether it was small or big.  We decided we will never compare his wins or achievements with any other kids including his own siblings.

6. Love Unconditionally - He is perfect the way he is. We don’t want to change him even a bit. He is more than his Autism Diagnosis.  Autism doesn’t define him. He is our bundle of joy and we love him unconditionally.