Doctors declared him mentally challenged and said he couldn’t study beyond class 2nd. But, Akash is now a living challenge for the doctors.- he has passed Class 10 with 75% and is now studying in Class 12 with normal children and aspires to study engineering at IIT.
“If Akash achieves what he aspires for, he will become a hope for many mentally challenged children and their parents”, says his mother Mina Agarwal, whose efforts to raise her child are legendary.
“Doctors’ observations were final. They termed him as a patient of cerebral palsy and mental retardation. They said he would not be able to study beyond class 2nd as he wouldn’t be mentally fit to absorb mainstream education”, she said and added, “doctors’ observation can’t be defied. But, I never allowed it to sink in his brain and affect his personality”.
Akash was enrolled in a regular school. And as a little child, he too accepted the challenge. Today, he says” I want to show all those who said life had nothing normal for me; and that I am like any other child. My mother has given me a rebirth by helping me attain a normal life”.
Mina, a resident of Mahanagar diverted all her energies to change her son’s destiny. After much research, she pursued a diploma in developmental therapies for neurological disorders and applied all her skills to set things right for her only child. She, who has managed to win all battles for her son, says, “ Parents must act promptly and pursue treatment in the right direction after their child is diagnosed with any neurological disorder. Early intervention can ensure their kid a healthy and bright future”.
Prompted by her own experiences, she is now bringing colours back to the lives of those parents who lose all hope after their child is diagnosed with a neurological disorder through her organization- SAKSHAM.
Mina further elaborates, “I have been working in the field of special education for the past 22 years, 21 years of which have been professionally with children with developmental disabilities, specifically autism and related developmental and behavioral concerns, learning disabilities, speech and communication delays, language disorders, mental delays and related learning disabilities.”
SAKSHAM Center for Child Development, Lucknow (U.P.) is an early intervention center for the welfare of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple developmental facilities including specific learning difficulties. These are caused due to liaisons in the brain and central nervous system. The cause could also be due to several environmental factors which deprive the brain of oxygen before during or after birth. These are not contagious or progressive. They cannot be cured by drugs or surgery. Early detection and training is vital. This is done using the physio-occupational service and with the help of speech therapists, special educators and community based rehabilitation workers.
Given appropriate training, children can work productively and contribute positively to the family and community. Early intervention is of vital importance for infants who have been identified as having a neuro-motor problem. It has long been established that the earlier intervention begins, the better the outcome for the child. With this objective in mind, Saksham has introduced early intervention for a better tomorrow, followed by assessment, treatment and management accompanied by training for teachers and parents. A research division has also been established.
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