Rohan’s Autism journey is one of the more inspiring stories I have come across in recent times. He is home-schooled and has many hobbies, which he pursues with passion. His mom, Preeti Dixit, is a wonderful writer and has created an amazing home-school curriculum for Rohan, which takes into consideration well rounded progress and not just academics. Let’s get started then by chatting with Preeti.
Q) Would you like to briefly share your Autism journey with us?
Rohan was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism when he was four years old. We were really stunned by the diagnosis because he was very intelligent and could read and write at the age of two, even though he couldn’t speak until the age of five. He did, however, have severe sensory issues. He couldn’t bear loud sounds, he couldn’t tolerate rough textures, he was a very light sleeper and fussy eater. He also had difficulty with socialization. He didn’t play with children. He didn’t interact with adults. Playgrounds and social functions were a nightmare for him. At the time, we assumed that it was because he was born in America and had spent the first two years of his life there, so he wasn’t used to the Indian environment. It was only after his autism diagnosis that the actual reason became clear. It was a blessing that we found out about his autism because it helped us give him the support he needed and it made a huge difference in his symptoms.
Q) Please share details about your homeschooling journey.
Rohan was a brilliant student and went to a mainstream school until 4th grade. However, when it was time to go to 5th grade, the school called us and told us that they couldn’t provide him with the support he needed, and asked us to look for a special school for him. However, we found that special schools were reluctant to admit him because of his intelligence, so we decided to home-school him. It was a good decision for him because he loves to learn and is highly self-motivated. He does miss being around other children though, so I have to find different avenues for him to be able to interact with other children. Unlike his early years, he loves meeting people and interacting with them, so we try to visit friends and family as much as possible. His homeschooling includes all these activities. Academics is just one aspect of it. We also work on motor skills, functional skills, life skills, emotional regulation skills, self-regulation skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and social skills.
Q) Your advice to other Autism parents.
You are your child’s biggest supporter and advocate. Take the lead to help your child. Don’t become bogged down by the knowledge of your child’s diagnosis. Instead, use the knowledge to become a better parent to your child. Stop comparing your child with other children and your life with other’s lives. Focus on your child’s strengths and work on his or her weaknesses, and not the other way round. Most importantly, love and accept your child for who he or she is.
Now, let’s meet the star of the interview – Rohan
Q) How old are you Rohan?
I am 15.
Q) Tell us about your day? How do you spend it?
I home-school, play computer games, watch YouTube videos, read books, play cards and go out
Q) What are your favourite subjects?
My favorite subject is Science but I also like Geography.
Q) Do you like reading books? What’s your favourite book?
Yes. My favorite book is Geronimo Stilton.
Q) What are your hobbies?
I like racing car models, spotting super-cars on the road, playing cards, and visiting places.
Q) What are your interests?
I’m interested in cars, skyscrapers, and natural disasters.
Q) Do you like travelling?
Yes. I like to go out.
Q) Favourite vacation or recent vacation please?
I love visiting my grandparents in Pune.
Q) Please tell us more about your homeschooling. What subjects you study?
I like homeschooling. I study English, Maths, Science, Computers, History, Civics and Geography. I will also be studying Physics, Chemistry and Biology now.
Q) What is the best part of your day?
The evening when I go out.
Q) What is your favorite colour?
Q) What is your favorite thing?
My Ferrari 458 Italia car model.
Q) What is your least favorite thing?
Q) Is there anything you are afraid of?
Yes. I’m afraid of insects.
Q) What is your best memory?
Playing with my little cousin brother and making him smile.
Q) What is your worst memory?
Being hospitalized for two weeks.
Q) Would you like share your future plans?
I want to travel all over the world.
Rohan, I hope and pray that all your dreams, hopes and wishes are fulfilled. With the love and support of such wonderful parents, I am sure your dreams will all come true! God Bless You.
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