Stories That Inspire
Ruthreash: Marching into the future
As a child in grade 2, Ruthreash repeatedly told us about how he wanted to join the army when he grew up. As parents, we wondered if we could help him achieve his dreams when he had a disability in his legs.
Through the Institute of Child Health in Egmore, Chennai, we came to know of SPASTN’s Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program. Here he goes through therapy and remedial education support so he can eventually catch up with mainstream schooling. Since then there’s been no looking back; the Padianallur CBR centre is his second home.
Ruthreash now uses his willpower to stand and walk with support, hoping even to play football with his friends. Today, he tells us and his teacher at SPASTN, “As my legs get better, I will join the army and march smartly like a soldier”.
- As narrated by Ruthreash’s mother
Jayapradeep: Channelling positivity
My son Jayapradeep initially went to a mainstream school. Given his behaviour issues, the school authorities suggested a special school for him. I took him to a therapy centre hoping it would help, but he would only get agitated, shout, run around or wet himself.
We discovered SPASTN in 2014 and that is when we realised Jayapradeep was autistic. Teachers at SPASTN told us that agitation was just his way of communicating trauma and anxiety. Jayapradeep was delighted to be at SPASTN. His teachers helped channel his energy into skating, swimming, and yoga. SPASTN is the best place for him because of their holistic approach to combining the 3Rs and extracurricular activities.
Knowing he was taken care of here at SpasTN, I gained the confidence to pursue a teacher education program in 2019. Today, I am a Special Education Teacher thanks to my son, who helped me find my passion in teaching.
- As narrated by Jayapradeep’s mother
Dinesh Kumar: Skill to win
Dinesh Kumar came to SPASTN in 2011. His family background was not very strong; a broken home and a disabled mother. Dinesh was a shy young man, but a determined and self-motivated student. He got through the SPASTN vocational training program and was placed through the work experience program in Copper Chimney, a fine dining restaurant. In just a year, Dinesh became a full-time employee and moved into the pizzeria division. Today, Dinesh can toss a pizza with much panache; he was awarded for Best Performance and Service.
Dinesh’s supervisor Srinivasan says, "Dinesh is a fine young man and a most dependable employee.”
Heena Kauser: Her mother’s strength
I am Jabeen Banu, my daughter Heena Kauser was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy and intellectual impairment. I walked out of my in-law's house when I did not get the support I need for Heena. Though I did not have a supportive family, I did find a supportive community in SPASTN’s Svastya Perumbakkam Community Rehabilitation Centre. SPASTN helped me understand Heena’s problems and how to deal with them. My husband works as a daily wager while I work as support staff at the SPASTN centre and also do tailoring to earn for Heena.
I bought Heena here at the age of one when she could do nothing but lie on the floor. Today, Heena at 10 is the source of my inner strength - she can reach, grasp, sit up with support and communicate her needs.
Jabez: Changing the perception
I am Jemmimah Rajesh, mother of an 11-year old son, Jabez who is autistic and Rufus who is 2-years old. With Jabez, it has been a huge learning curve every day for me, more so during the COVID lockdown. I discovered my son’s true potential during this period. An incident at home made us realize how autistic children are aware of what is happening around them. When Jabez and his little brother got locked accidentally in a room, we had to break open the door. My worry that the kids would get hurt was sorted when I saw Jabez holding back his little brother away from the door! SPASTN helped us and Jabez through a journey of discovery; holding a pencil, writing and counting till 10, independent toilet training and more. We have together busted the myth around autistic children - that they lack adaptive response and executive functions.
Shivani: Smiling through adversity
Shivani is 8-years old and lives in the Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. When the pandemic hit the world, it was a double blow to Shivani’s parents - a homemaker mother and a lorry driver father. Not only did the father lose his job, but they also found that their little girl was underweight, appeared lost and had delayed speech. At SPASTN’s Community Rehabilitation Centre, Thiruvallur, Shivani was found to have a mild intellectual disability. She soon found a new life through our Early Intervention program where she was trained, along with her mother in self-grooming skills. With a customized education plan, Shivani was trained in age-appropriate functional skills - literacy, numeracy, communication and more. With her obedient nature and self-determination, Shivani has worked her way into an inclusive school and is enjoying it!