As the first-born child, Roshan’s birth was very much awaited and welcomed by the families from both sides. He was a sensitive child, who did not liked to be touched and loud noises would cause him to throw up.
“I was puzzled and asked myself, what was wrong with him?,” his mother Dr Padmini said. Alarm bells were beginning to sound when Roshan’s speech and eye contact was limited.
“We continued to pray and hope but things did not change. We took him to a specialist who diagnosed him as suffering from oromotor dyspraxia and autism. “The news broke my heart. But, both sides of grandparents fuss over him and never see him anything other than an ordinary boy. His younger brother adores him and the two of them love spending time together watching Barneys where Roshan dances while his brother sings,” she said.
Through a friend, she learned about Taarana school for children with special needs and enrolled Roshan there. There has not been any turning back from then on. “When Roshan first was able to drink milo using straw, the entire class clapped. His teachers are friendly, he is close to them and even shares spicy sambal with,” she recalled.
“Over the years, Taarana has been like a second home for him. I never had refusal to go to school from him. But, when it is a school holiday, then I have trouble keeping him occupied as he misses school,” she added.
For families with children who have special needs, Dr Padmini’s advice is to stay strong and be with the child at every stage of his or her life. “My son taught me humility. I came from a background where everything was easy and achievable for me but I feel, ultimately….. it is all God’s will. I take pride in what my son does, it is not easy for him. I am a proud mummy of a special needs child,” she added.
She said simple tasks like eating out can be daunting for Roshan so she and her husband would rehearse the day before, get him familiar with his environment.
“Watching my son perform today, I was so happy and proud. It is not always like this but this is an ultimate joy for the parents here,” she said, talking about Roshan’s performance at the Taarana school’s annual concert on November 16, 2019.
But despite her busy schedule and taking care of her son, Dr Padmini always makes time for mothers and families whose children suffer from similar or other medical conditions.
“Do let me know if you know anyone who wants to talk or share their problem. I am always here to listen and help,” she said as she walked with Roshan to her car.