My child is much more than a diagnosis and if she cannot learn the way I teach, then I will teach the way she can learn

She sat alone amidst the flowers. She should have been like one of them; colourful, lovely, bubbly, bobbing her head with the wind, playing with the edge of her skirt. Instead, she just sat there and looked around. A little wistfully but very content. At least she was there amongst them all. So what if not with them all.

She sat playing with her shoe. But it was only one shoe. Where was the other? And why play with her shoe?

“ Aunty, she is refusing to put on her shoe”, said an older girl.

“ Mom, she asked me to eat my shoe. When I refused she took my other shoe away and said she would ask everyone not to play with me”.

“ No, Aunty, I did not, “ said the girl, paling a little.

“ Yes, Mom, she did, butted in the little one.

“ Enough of this, “ said the woman, “ my daughter does not lie. Why did you ask her of this absurd request? Why do you bully someone who is younger? Don’t they teach you to be kind in your school? She is not disturbing your game. If you cannot play with her, at least let her be? “

The woman, hurt, upset, enraged, protective, passionate, opened her mouth to go on some more when the older girl said, “ Don’t you think you’ve said enough for one day? “

And so it went on for some more time. Children gathered but said nothing. Parents stood around and listened but abstained from intervening. The woman and her daughter battled on. The young child had taught the woman an important lesson. That one must never give in; even if it meant being left isolated. The woman promised herself to train her daughter to handle life’s barbs without losing her confidence and self – worth.  They left with tears but with a determination to carry on. They probably had no friends but they had each other.  And that was enough.

Today the baby girl has blossomed into a teenager. She still walks alone and plays by herself. She is looked at with mocking eyes by her peers or avoided by the ones who perhaps are a tad more sensitive.  But she still greets them and looks at them squarely in the eyes. They cannot say anything further. She does not blame anyone. She does not blame herself either. This is her battle. She is willing to fight it out. One day she knows she will succeed.


Note to the reader: It was World Autism Day on April 2, 2014 and April is the Autism Month. This does not mean that that you have to be caring, loving, sensitive only one one designated day or in this month. A date or this month is only seeking to reinforce what should be a part of your life – accepting the different and appreciating them for this individuality. They are special not because they are not like you and me; they are special because they are not like you and me.

My child is much more than a diagnosis and if she cannot learn the way I teach, then I will teach the way she can learn.





This entry was posted in autism, Connections, Differences, Differently abled, Emotions, memories, Reflections, Right to dream, Right to live and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to My child is much more than a diagnosis and if she cannot learn the way I teach, then I will teach the way she can learn

  1. Sharmila Umesh says:

    Very well written Jayanti. I don’t understand the relationship between a child and an adult when it comes to learning. We adults always look at children how , when and what we can teach them but not what we can learn from them. For me, it was the best years of my life when I worked with them. For 3 years, I learnt everyday and every minute. In the beginning I would get ready and go with the intention of being a good or great teacher. But soon realised that I was actually learning from them, the journey just became more interesting. I dedicate my best part of my life to those children for teaching me and making me what I am today.

    • zaynti says:

      Hi Sharmila, Thank you for stopping by and giving the post your time. I appreciate your comments as well as this is an issue very close to my heart. I do not blame the children for their reactions ‘cos it is up to us adults to sensitise them and teach them the art of appreciation and encouragement. Like you felt, even my best memories and learnings have come from children. They are such an eye opener. Thank you for following the blog. I hope my future posts meet your expectation.

  2. Reblogged this on Birdsong & Beyond and commented:
    So! read it. Very well written. Direct and simple story, told straight . And so full of the emotions and sense of love, loneliness, despair, determination, bonding and bravery it conveys to the reader. Without really saying much in terms of the difficulties of the path to be trodden. I love the way u describe the teenage girl’s behavior- she still looks them in the eye…she does not blame them, she does not blame herself either. Powerful and really the essence of the unconditional love and acceptance of life that Autistic people show us. Though I felt the topic of Autism was not really tackled directly, but a powerful message of acceptance, and standing up for one’s child was conveyed. Can also apply to all parents and kids.

    • zaynti says:

      Thank you Kiran Chaturvedi for the time you gave to the post and to taking it in, processing it before reacting to it, then your comments and then the share. I purposely did not dwell on Autism as that is not the crux of my post. For me it is more about finding a natural environment of love and acceptance with all the ups and downs that come with growing up. The pain was ( and still is) of the realisation that I can possibly be everything to my child; but I cannot be a peer friend. I cannot give her that unadulterated joy of giggling over a silly joke or oohing over a dashing boy or just walking hand-in-hand in companionship. Appreciate your sharing it on different forums.

  3. First, I have re-blooged this cos i liked it that much. Heartfelt, simple, direct writing. Gets us to see the love, the loneliness, the bravery and the bonding of the mother and daughter. Also makes clear what it might feel- to others at least, watching, supporting- for someone to be ‘ different’ – ‘ amongst them, if not with them’. Also love the ending- with such a powerful picture of acceptance. ‘She still looks them squarely in the eye. She does not blame them. She does not blame herself’. How natural that sounds. And how much of a gift actually. To be able to do that. But do people around even realize?

    • zaynti says:

      What a valid point you make in your last sentence Kiran. People around us can be very blind, me inclusive. Thank you for sharing the post. let us hope our small steps will one day change the environment around our children.

  4. Bon says:

    I am speechless Zay…having been a teacher myself i do understand some children are different but the way you have expressed touched my heart.I could feel each and every emotion of mother and daughter and the title of the blog says it all….lets hope we all can make a difference and make this world happy place for them..

  5. Pingback: Autism is a Cat: 'If my child cannot learn the way I teach, then I will teach the way she can learn'

  6. This is so heartfelt, so poignant. Beautifully written,

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