One Thought that will Pull You Out of Every Struggle

Nasty allegations fly back and forth. It’s all a play of words. No one willing to listen to the other, no one willing to understand the other’s perspective.


I watch helplessly.


The allegations hang heavily in the air, like suspended swords.


Both sides are dear to me.


The nastiness of it all hurts me.


The back and forth allegations seem meaningless. I zone out slowly…


Zone out into the reality of having lost Sudha.


Sudha and Ranganathan are parents that I have worked with, in the capacity of their special education consultant for the past 7 years.


A wonderful dedicated family working tirelessly for the benefit of their 20-year-old son, Prasad.


I remember Sudha’s ever smiling face, her chalta hai attitude and her exuberance.


I remember her zest for life, her clarity and her intelligence.


Sudha left without saying goodbye. She passed away after complications arising from a freaky bike accident.


Death is the reality of life.


3 months ago, I lost my dad.


3 weeks ago, we lost Sudha.


Nowadays, I find myself weighing everything against this reality. If I’m struggling with something, I ask myself, “how important is this?” Or even, “would this be important if it were the last day of my life?”


I can’t tell you how quickly these questions put things back into perspective.


15-16 years ago, I had the good fortune of interacting with Dr Vijay Shankar. We called him Babaji.


Babaji practiced and taught Advaita, or the Non Dualism Philosophy.


This Philosophy was also practiced by the Famous Master, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Author of the famous work, ‘I Am That’.


In the course of several interactions with Babaji, I repeatedly asked him to bless my son Mohit.


At that time, I was still reeling under the burden and grief of dealing with Autism. I had lost myself. I did not know who I was.


One day Babaji put his hand on my head and said, “Beta, life toh hai, na.” (Child, you still have life, right?)


I wondered what kind of blessing that was. I did not understand the magnitude of his blessing.


Today I do.


I watch Mohit struggling with the side effects of anti-epileptic drugs. I see tremors, loss of balance and slowness in movement. I continue to pursue neurologists to help me find solutions. I continue to study the latest findings related to newer treatments, I continue to talk to people who struggle with the issues that I do.


And more than anything else, I continue to pray.


What struggles are you going through in life?


You have only 2 choices-

  1. Determine if it is really important.
    Weigh it against the touch stone of the temporariness of life.
    Would this be important on the last day of your life?
    If it is not important, let it go. Let it be.
  2. If it is important, then go after it with a vengeance.
    Leave no stone unturned.
    Do your best. And don’t give up.


I met with a spirited group of moms recently. I like to call them ‘Moms on a Mission’. Each of our kids is on the Autism Spectrum. We decided to go with number 2- for remediating the difficulties that our kids experience. We want to give it our best shot. Now.


Here are examples of 2 templates that I would like to share with you. Each ‘Mom on a Mission’ has filled this out.


The first template looks at strengths and learning styles in order to throw light on future employability options for teenagers and young adults.


Autism Assessment and improvement tips


Here is another template: click to download the Challenge Assessment and Remediation Form


This form has been designed by Dr Steve Gutstein, Founder of RDIConnect.


It seems like it was just yesterday that Mohit was a little boy prancing all around the place. Today he is a young adult.


Life flies by. Let’s not take it lightly. Take this time to think about your child’s future.


Do it quickly.


Do it now.


I would like to dedicate this project to Sudha.


Sudha, I wish that it did not have to take your passing to shake us out of complacency. I wish there was another way. I long to see you smile, to hear your voice…


Many times life has knocked me down. Down but not out. And this is one such time. Eventually, I will emerge.


I will continue with my struggle. I will continue to work for Mohit, Prasad and each and every student of mine.


And I am determined to emerge victorious.


Afterall, Life toh hai, na?

Kamini Lakhani

Kamini Lakhani is the founder and director of SAI Connections. She has been providing services in the field of autism for more than 20 years and is the authorized director of Professional Training for RDI in India and the Middle East. She is also the mother of a young adult with autism.


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