#Personal Stories

Society Blamed Me For My Son’s Autism

autistic child
Yojna Atolia opened up with SheThePeople.TV about her journey of raising an autistic child. What all struggles did she go through? What mission is she working on? Here’s her story.

I was 25 when my first child Taru was born. I was on cloud nine and looking forward to my motherhood journey. Everything was smooth until the day he got a seizure attack. He was just one year old at that time. We took him to a doctor who revealed, ‘He suffers from autism. His social, cognitive and motor development will be very slow’. I had been a psychology student and could understand the gravity of the problem. I was shattered and didn’t know what to do then.

A lot of people told me a lot of things. ‘It is because of your past deeds’, one said. As suggested by some close ones, I also took him to religious places to cure him of this problem but nothing worked. ‘I have to move on. Let’s focus on what I can do and leave the rest on destiny’, I told myself. I decided to accept him the way he was and started working on his development.

Taru was soon joined by his siblings Sasha and Aradhya. Meanwhile, I kept researching about autism and tried my best to give Taru the happy childhood he deserved. He started going to a school meant for children with special needs. I would also accompany him to the school and spend time with the children there arming myself with more knowledge about autism and related issues.

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But I soon realised that sending these children to a special school wasn’t enough. They needed an evening intervention as well because the parents were clueless about how to handle their kids for the rest of the day. In 2019, I decided to open an evening school for children with special needs. It is called ‘Happiness’ where I work on their social and behavioural skills. I also counsel parents in distress and teach them how to live happily. ‘You are a blessing in disguise’, they tell me but I think it is my responsibility to empower these kids and parents and work in the direction of easing their struggles.

My hard work has borne fruit. Taru has become quite independent and can do most of his daily tasks himself with minimum supervision. I don’t have to worry much about him but there is something I have learnt from my journey. You can’t keep dwelling in the past. You need to live in the moment and think about making your future brighter.”

Watch the full story here