#SupportAutismAwareness- Ananya Bijesh’s family supports & believes in her musical journey
Throughout April, our feature #SupportAutismAwareness will bring interesting stories about families that have stood by their children with autism to empower them. Today, we are featuring the inspiring journey of 14-year-old Ananya Bijesh, a singer who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. Ananya’s family consisting of her parents and younger brother are her biggest support system. Read on to know more about their journey together.
14 year old Ananya Bijesh, who hails from Trivandrum, was diagnosed with autism when she was around two years old. Though her verbal communication skills were affected, Ananya’s developmental milestones were perfect while growing up. Her parents Anupama and Bijesh have stood by their daughter through all the tough times. Ananya’s younger brother Aaron is also supportive of her. Ananya is a trained singer and an expert in playing the keyboard as well. She has performed at various venues across Bengaluru and Kerala.
An early diagnoses
Bijesh worked with the Indian Air Force and during Ananya’s birth, he was posted at Mumbai. The couple were excited to have their first baby three years after marriage. When Ananya was born, she was a bundle of joy to her parents. From a very young age, Ananya used to hum songs from her favorite cartoons.
Ananya did not have any verbal communication skills even after she was two years old. But her developmental milestones were perfect. She did not make any eye contact either. So we took her to a hospital in Mumbai where they diagnosed her with autism. We were shocked and devastated. But I started learning more about autism which helped me- Anupama Bijesh, Ananya’s mother.
Soon, the parents introduced her to all sorts of therapies including occupational and speech. That is when Bijesh got transferred to Bengaluru. Anupama was admitted to the Spastics Society of Karnataka where she spent a few months.
Ananya’s musical journey
Anupama remembers that Ananya was musically-inclined since a very young age. But her parents decided to introduce her to computers, a skill they believed will help her in the future.
Ananya used to love hearing both cartoon and her favorite film songs as well. “In course of time, we realized that she had a passion for music. We used to play ‘karaoke’ to her and she sings along with it”, says Anupama.
Ananya also loved playing the key-board. She was trained under an expert while the family lived in Bengaluru. When the family moved down to Trivandrum, Ananya decided to pursue her key-board studies by downloading an app from which she learnt further.
She has been learning classical music under music teacher Mahendran Poduval since past two years. Ananya has performed at over 50 venues across Bengaluru and Kerala. She even sang for two musical albums! Currently, this youngster is studying at a special school in the city.
Anupama says, “Most of her time is spent with music. I feel as parents who have a child with disability, it is important to identify their talents and help them pursue it. Develop their skills and bring out the best”.
“It is very important to accept your child and support them. Ananya’s diagnoses was not easy for us as parents. But we let her thrive. Today, everyone knows us as Ananya’s parents and that gives us immense pride”, says Bijesh.
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