#SupportAutismAwareness- Roshan Sanjeev’s family proves how staying together can do wonders
2 April is celebrated as World Autism Awareness Day. Throughout this month, we will feature stories of inspiring families who have stood by their children with autism and believed in them. Today, we have 15-year-old Roshan Sanjeev and his parents Dr Asha and Dr Sanjeev who have stood by their son through all odds.
Roshan Sanjeev’s birth was a celebration to Dr Asha and her husband Dr Sanjeev. Being their second born, the couple had many expectations and dreamt of raising him to be a successful young individual. Roshan was diagnosed with autism when he was around five years old. The diagnoses with late because the family was in denial about his condition. But after so many years, Roshan is an empowered youngster who can do things on his own. He also excels in arts, sports and cooking. The family shows how staying together can help children with autism in many ways.
Diagnosis of disability
When Roshan was born, he was just like any other normal child. His developmental milestones were perfect. By the time he was two years old, he started being hyper active. Both his parents are doctors and they were pursuing their higher studies during that time.
When Roshan used to be hyper, we thought that it must be separation anxiety since I was studying at that time. We even put him in a normal school. When he was four years old, we took him to St. Johns Hospital in Bengaluru where after many tests, he was diagnosed with autism. It came as a shock to us. We were shattered. – Dr Asha Sanjeev, Roshan’s mother
But the family gathered all the broken pieces and decided to look at the brighter side of things.
Growing up with autism
Dr Asha says that diagnoses and early intervention for autism is ideal to support the child and help them become independent.
“When we came to know that he had a disability, we were searching in the dark for a cure. We did homeopathy, Ayurveda and even acupuncture to cure him of autism. More than as doctors, we looked at this whole thing as parents”, says Dr Asha, who is an ophthalmologist. Simultaneously, they also gave him speech and occupational therapies from experts. “Those were one of the bitter times in our lives. We did not have any awareness about autism unlike now”, she adds.
Roshan was admitted to a regular school, but had to discontinue due to many reasons. After that, many schools refused to accept him due to his disability. But the Principal at Bharati Tirtha Vidyalayam (BESBTV) opened doors for him whole-heartedly. Currently, he is pursuing class 8 at the school. After school, he is a special educator who gives tuition to him so that he gets individual attention in academics.
Roshan is great with languages. He can read and write English, Malayalam, Hindi and Sanskrit. He is a Carnatic music singer and has performed at various venues. Roshan is also learning to play the keyboard. He is also a cyclist who has won prizes for his exceptional skills in the sport.
But his passion is cooking. “He wants to become a chef when he grows up. He is deeply passionate about cooking and has great culinary skills too”, says Dr Asha.
Staying together as a family
Just like any other 15-year-old, Roshan has his teenage problems and shows tantrums to his parents. “Sometimes he gets hyper and aggressive. He is still under medication for all that”, says Dr Asha.
Roshan’s elder brother Tarun who is currently pursuing his higher education has always stood as a pillar of support to him. The family believes in staying together amidst all odds.
“Diagnoses of a disability of a child will be shocking to any parent. But it is important to come out of all that and help your child reach their excellence. Make them happy and teach them to be independent”, says Dr Asha.
Dr Sanjeev, who is a paediatrician, has always been the strongest pillar of the family, supporting Roshan always.
“We are trying to teach him to become independent. But diagnosis and early intervention of autism is very important. In spite of being doctors, both of us were in denial of that because we were Roshan’s parents first. We never knew this coming. Always stand by your child and teach him to be independent”, says Dr Sanjeev.
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