5 Steps To Help You Secure Your Child’s Future

They share a warm camaraderie.


The cooking session is punctuated with peals of laughter and joyful smiles.


Prasad playfully pops a little jeera into his mouth and looks over at Pooja. She mischievously does the same thing! Together they cook up a cauliflower sabzi (vegetable) for dinner.


Pooja is a natural guide. She’s doesn’t talk too much, pauses at the right places, and gives Prasad plenty of time to solve little problems. What a brother-sister duo!


My mind wanders to Sudha. I can picture her smiling brightly and benevolently at her children.


When we lost Sudha in August 2015, I could have never imagined things would work out like this.


Sudha will always be missed. Nobody can take a mother’s place. But Pooja has struck a wonderful guiding role as Prasad’s older sister.


It reinforces my belief that somebody up there looks out for us. He has masterminded and orchestrated a plan that you and I can’t even incipiently fathom.


We tend to worry and overthink (including yours truly). It’s not unnatural. When you have a child with special needs, the number one thought at the back of your mind is , “what will happen to my child after me?” Don’t you feel it?


The thought keeps me up at nights.


I use a few reminders to keep myself grounded. You can use these too.


1. Worry Doesn’t Change Things


It gives something to you mind to do. But it doesn’t change anything, besides pushing you towards negativity.


Ask yourself – can I do anything about it now? If the answer is ‘no’, let it go. Then redirect yourself to something else that you can do immediately.


If the answer is ‘yes’ – then go do it.



2. Practice Gratitude


We have a lot to be thankful for. Even if you believe life gave you a raw deal, you still woke up this morning, safe and sound.


I write in a gratitude journal every day. It sets the tone for my day. Try it – it works wonders.



3. Maximize the ‘Now’


When you’re with your child, be fully with him. It works wonders – both for you and your child. And it’s meditative.


Remove the distracting phone, switch off the TV.


Even if you’re teaching concepts or working on some activity, be fully present. Don’t do things half heartedly. It doesn’t make you feel good. Besides, your child picks it up right away.


At times, Mohit paints and I watch. I enjoy watching him pick his colors, make those flamboyant strokes. It transports me to a peaceful world; a world where there are no agendas, where there is no right or wrong… a world where we both accept each other – just as we are.



4. Teach Essential Stuff


Take a bird’s eye view of life.


Your child needs self-help skills. But should you teach letters and numbers before he is toilet trained?


I see many young moms (all with good intentions) going from one therapy to another with their 6-year-olds who are not yet toilet trained.


I ask just one question: “It looks alright now. But can you imagine how this will look when your child is 15?” Bathing, brushing, grooming – all these need to be in place.


Teach your child to problem solve, to take changes in his stride, to adapt to situations. He may have a repertoire of a hundred words, but if a change in schedule leads to an aggressive episode what is your quality of life?


5. Communication Training is Essential


Give your child a voice.


Each child is different. If a child is non vocal- figure out how he can communicate. Make communication training a daily part of your routine with your child.

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You may understand what your child is trying to say. But do others around him understand?


6. Invest in yourself

Therapists come and go, but you are the constant in your child’s life. His first relationship is with you, the parent. Invest in this extremely important relationship.


Professionals are available to share their expertise and guide you. But you are the biggest guide for your own child.

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Dear Friend, you have only one moment – the now. Maximize the now by following these six steps. Do what needs to be done and leave the rest.


We had no idea that Sudha would leave so soon. It was a devastating blow to the family and all of us. But look at how Pooja has emerged as a wonderful guide for Prasad.


You and your child are taken care of. Just as I and my child are taken care of. We don’t know what the future holds in store.


All we have is ‘now.’


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The Importance of a Parent Training Program
For Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

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