Autism is a neurological disorder. According to statistics, in a count of every 150 children, one child suffers through autism. Dealing with autism is not easy, neither for the child nor for the parent. While these special students do not get opportunity in the mainstream education, there are many special schools which provide these students with the basic training of day to day life. To know what the life of these children and parents are, we visited one such special school in Vashi – Sunshine School. Meet Dixit Shetty who is undergoing occupational therapy at this school. Dixit cannot speak but can vent out expressions. While his father Sunil Shetty has accepted his son’s behavior, he is forced to see the pain his child goes through due to this disorder. In the same school, there is another student Sahil Wangde who comes in the afternoon batch. For hours he sits staring at one thing, doing nothing. But his mother is too happy having him. She says he is a special child which perhaps makes her a special parent. He picks up an orange color ball and gives it to her mother though he struggles to understand which color is orange. Sahil’s mother says that when she got to know that her child has autism she simply accepted to live with it without any complaint. It’s difficult to say if these children can earn their livelihood on their own, all they need is parental love and understanding from the society and not compassion or pity. Here they are trained for various activities and it’s surprising enough to see them performing acts of painting and drawing as their psychomotor domain is incidentally underdeveloped. The principal of the school shares here experience as her own child suffers from autism. These gifts are simply unacceptable gifts but still few have to live with it. One must salute these parents who have accepted the disability with open arms and have clutched the destiny of these innocents for all their life. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Shilpa Suryawanshi for NMTV news.


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