The second Special Parent -Support Group meeting was held recently at the Spirit of the Earth, Mylapore, Chennai. In her opening remarks, Dr. Radhika Soundararajan, Director, Swami Dayananda Krupa Care said that adult developmental disabilities were totally different from childhood developmental disabilities. “It is also important to note that the milestones of a child with developmental disabilities are different from adults. For instance, such a child maybe first able to eat with a spoon only when he or she is 8 or 9 years old. Similarly, the age of attending a marriage quietly with parents and not shouting in public will be much higher for a child with developmental disabilities than a normal child.”
Nirmala from Tiruvanmiyur, Chennai and a single parent of a 20 year old with developmental disability said that every day was a new learning with her son, a person with autism. “My single biggest challenge has been to overcome anxiety as a mother of a person with autism. Autism is a complex disorder. I realise that because of his condition he is not able to express happiness or other feelings freely especially when he is with his peer group. A lot of his frustration is pent up inside.” Nirmala added it was difficult to manage her son during the summer months.
Sandeep ‘s aunt revealed how they made him active during the day so that he would sleep throughout the night. Sandeep now lives in the Swami Dayananda Krupa Care, Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. This is a facility which provides lifetime care for adults with developmental disabilities. AIM for Seva has been managing Swami Dayananda Krupa Care since 2010.
Sudarshan’s sister revealed how he did not talk till he was 9 years now. But she is now happy that he is observant of others and notices their body language. Like Sandeep, Sudarshan is also a resident of the Swami Dayananda Krupa Care.
“While physical growth and adolescent physiological changes of those with developmental disabilities normally may take place like any others, the social/emotional maturity takes a longer time,” Dr Radhika said. Sudarshan’s sister revealed that her sibling still has a mental maturity of a 9 year old.
The Special Parent-Support Group is held every alternate Friday at the Spirit of the Earth, Mylapore, Chennai. Timing: 10:30 am to 11:30 am. This is an open group. All are welcome (no fees will be charged). To register, please call 9500082142.