Different but Not Less


Posted on 7 months ago

Urooj has shared the story of her lovely boy Shaheer with us. “Different but Not Less” Shaheer is my youngest kid, he was diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder at the age of two and a half. At that time he had no eye contact, no language, repetitive behaviors and used to walk on his tip toes. He was unable to cope with any change in his routine and if it happened he used to cry for hours and hours due to which we used to land in hospital ER quite often, he had extreme fear for change of environment and people other than whom he was living with. His fear affected our daily life badly, going to do grocery or shopping mall was a daunting task, we as a family were outcast in family gatherings. As parents we were frustrated, exhausted and with no clue of what to do. I once went to the pediatrician complaining “WHY HE DOESN’T SPEAK?” and I got the regular reply “BOYS LEARN TALKING LATE”. After much anticipation we got him diagnosed. I was told he will never speak, won’t be able to go to school, he will have no emotions ultimately there is no future for these kids, and he is CURSED. After all those predictions with a heavy heart I accepted my son’s condition and started taking him to therapies. I was told he is just like a blank hard drive, work on him but there can’t be any guarantee of improvement, and I worked very closely with my son’s therapists and changed my life style according to my son’s additional needs. His whole day was structured providing him with lots of opportunities to interact. I started working on his cognitive abilities and language development, my biggest task was to desensitize him to new environments and people. I started taking him to places with a target of 5 minutes and gradually increased the time, at start he used to cry a lot with people staring us and judging our parenting skills. I started using a lot of visual support so that he can understand what is expected of him. Gradually after a year or so Shaheer started to communicate, he started to point at things, gave us a meaningful smile, his fearful eyes started to twinkle, his anxieties were manageable. With Allah’s help my son was responding very well to interventions and I saw light at the end of tunnel. Shaheer will now turn 8 this June he is going to a mainstream school, enjoys late night outings and every other family gatherings which once used to give me shivers .He says “I LOVE YOU MAMA” frequently. He is the first one to worry if I am upset. In the end I would like to say your belief in your child is the key to success, no one can decide what your child can do. Being a parent you just have to believe, accept and love your kid unconditionally. #AutismAwareness #TeamEveryone #AllEqual