Deepika's karate moves will literally floor you!
19-year-old M Deepika Nagarajan can play the keyboard like a professional musician and is a blue belt in karate.
Her parents realized that Deepika had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, when she was less than two years old.
"Her vision was weak and speech was delayed", says mother Lakshmi. "Until Class 5, we enrolled her in a mainstream school, and later switched to a special school. Because she had some behaviour problems, mainstream schools would not accept her."
Deepika's karate skills have won her medals at state level events
Deepika started learning karate at the age of nine and is also very skilled at yoga. Her future plans are to finish school and pursue a college degree.
Her mother says that attitudes have to change towards children with special needs in India.
"Children with autism and ADHD face barriers at multiple levels in India. Many schools and centres are not willing to accept such children. We have to become more supportive" - Lakhsmi, Deepika's mother
Lakshmi says that there is a need to orient schools towards their needs, even create a special syllabus and a separate school board if necessary.
Read the others profiled in our Children Who Inspire series:
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