It’s magical to see the transformation a new born goes through. It’s divine. We sure were mesmerized to see our son blossom. To our surprise we kept observing kind of odd behavior from him when he was about 18 months old. Initially we thought this was part of process of transformation. When looked up online to understand things better one word kept showing up in every article we read – “Autism”. This sure shocked us and rocked our world. When we approached our behavioral pediatrician, we were told our son was in the spectrum. We felt as if the new world that started to blossom was taking a different unexpected turn. Sure enough, by the grace of God we accepted our situation and started to understand our focus and plan of action.
As we began our journey towards healing we started to observe 2 things in families who had kids with special needs – lack of awareness and lack of acceptance. We also observed so called “educated” people being cautious of their social status being negatively impacted because of their kid with special needs. This was very hurtful to see. We have been vocal about our journey from the very beginning. It is what it is. We had to deal with the deck of cards we were dealt with. Our son does deserve the best life. We will do all we can in our power and might to empower him. Neethu quit her job (this was a no brainer) and devoted all her resources towards our champion. Bottomline we took charge.
With the help of various therapists – speech, behavior, social skills etc. we started to see our son making progress and celebrating them. Slowly our journey caught the attention of our immediate family and friends. We started to see their level of awareness and acceptance improve from our journey. Yes. We were judged often. Most families didn’t want their kids to hang out with our champ. It was very hard. We became mentally tough.
Before we knew the progress of our journey with our champion boy started to spread. We kept getting calls from various families from around the world. Total strangers messaging us in Facebook seeking our time to discuss their situation. Outside of her job as a behavior therapist, Neethu graciously makes time and guides families in any way she can free of cost.
During this phase we observed families in 3 categories especially in India.
- Families who were financially very well off but lacked any interest to help their kid.
- Families where moms were made to feel guilty.
- Families though they could afford the services but kept bargaining the price and failed to see the bigger prize.
Neethu’s commitment and passion to empower kids with special needs led her to become a certified nutritionist and a registered behavior therapist. I have heard many positive and heartwarming feedback from parents of kids Neethu had a chance to work with.
Keeping in mind of “Paying it forward”, Neethu is in touch with many families all over the world educating them about
- Our journey,
- Importance of nutrition and detoxification,
- Power of positive belief and expectation,
- Being mentally tough,
- Importance to have an open mind and heart to know various treatment options,
- Importance of early intervention.
Neethu is part of many moms group of special needs. One day while browsing through her emails, she saw a family in need of an aid for their child. Not having any formal training, she went ahead and replied to the email anyways as she has enormous experience sitting through sessions with our son. She was hired within 2 days by the agency. They formally trained her, and she got her certification also as “Registered Behavior Therapist”. That’s how her journey started as being Behavior Aid for kids with special needs. She loves being called “Miss Neethu” by her kids. Her passion of working with parents and kids is beyond words. She can sense the child (their behavior and their needs) as soon as she walked into the classroom. Neethu is divinely blessed with heart, love, compassion and passion to work with kids with special needs. Every classroom she has been in, she has always walked out with a happy heart. The teachers loved working with her and having her as an aid. So far Neethu has worked with 5 kids directly and many kids globally. Her dream is to open a special needs center under which she can have speech therapy, occupational therapy and ABA all under one roof.
Neethu is an amazing role model and example for families who have kids with special needs. We understand every situation is unique, different and has its own set of challenges to overcome. Key is acceptance, awareness and timely action.