Posted by Sushmita Kar, Bengaluru
Mankind is unique – each individual with their abilities and perceptions. Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how the person relates to other people. We as a family were touched by autism when our only son was diagnosed years back.
Somewhere along the line in this autism journey, I have come to believe that Ashu is born with an innate understanding and that verbal communication isn’t a necessary attribute to lead a satisfying life.
A simple dot, a line could change its course, bend towards something and take a form, a shape. And it is intriguing when that shape, conveys a meaning to you at a whole different level, goose bumps are definite. I have come to learn that you should communicate in your own special way rather than what others expect.
Everything in life has various dimensions. Sometimes, you also have to learn to see it from the other side, to let go off your own opinion, without drawing immediate conclusions.
Triangle is the most stable of physical shapes they say. What if some of us actually thought in triangles? What if this was a much higher and clearer thought process? What if the autistic mind had already achieved this heightened processing? These are some of the questions repeatedly knocking in my head, trying to unravel one tiny piece of the puzzle at a time.
The pandemic and subsequent Lockdown, brought about unprecedented times, unprecedented feelings, unprecedented learnings. So when I enrolled my non-vocal autistic son, into an online photography workshop, little did I know that the learnings would be more than what meets the eye!
Ashu seemed to see the world around us in a completely different light, unlike mine or anyone else’s. During his photography journey, end of each day, we would sit down after dinner and view the photographs on his phone’s gallery. I was amazed, at times taken aback, by the photographs. They were so, so different than mine, even though we were seeing the ‘same’ thing at the ‘same’ time – however through different set of eyes. And that’s what brought about a whole new meaning for me. He would see triangles, where I didn’t see any. He typed about how the leaves in a tree looked like small triangles.
The answers to my questions about his autism began flooding in. I realized that he was communicating with the universe around him on a multi-dimensional level. I began to understand that my ability to see him as an intelligent, concrete yet playful learner, could be the key to better understand him and his communicating abilities. I could feel his universe expand in ways that were till then unknown. The world of abstracts opening up by way of concrete learning. All we as parents need to do is to facilitate, create environments, and the possibilities remain endless.
Ashu needs positive energy around. Nothing draining. Only good vibes. Like a glowworm he needs other glowworms to light up around and for him to glow and shine out too.
I had read these lines somewhere, could feel the meaning now more than ever. “Live in an environment of inspiration. All solutions lie in this field”.
So son, together we will illuminate our world, expanding our universe through our differences. Pandemic and beyond…
Do explore Ashu’s world of Visual Connectedness on his Insta @awesome_artist_ashu
Ashu – Anshuman Kar, is a fun loving non-vocal 23 year young adolescent living with autism. However, Ashu’s spirit is outstanding, challenges notwithstanding, he is a superhero inspiring his parents and everyone around him. Ardent lover of Coffee and Caps. Here is a link to an article covering Anshuman’s Art.
Sushmita – Ashu’s mom, dreams that someday soon her boy and everyone else like him will live and enjoy in a world where they will be accepted, appreciated and celebrated despite their differences.
Cover Image: Author
Story Images: Author
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