The Surge of the Super Special Entrepreneurs

A new trend is emerging in the “Special” family community. I feel privileged and happy to see this happen. Parents now want to “Be the change” they wish to see for their children…

It started many years back when my friend and special parent “C” started an ABA based therapy centre in Delhi. Though she let go of the reins because of personal commitments the centre is thriving, has helped many children and parents from all over Delhi and has spawned many branches in the national capital.

Another friend “G” unhappy with the jingoistic and exclusive attitude of many “inclusive” schools, and the lack of adequate resources/ performance standards  in less expensive schools, opened a school for children on the spectrum, providing inputs from the best specialists in the city, and the best resourcing, at a fraction of the cost that the most exclusive schools were charging.

Yet another daughty parent “S” brought NACD to India from Utah making it one of the very few international chapters in the world, to do this she tirelessly worked to arrange to get the founder of NACD Bob Doman to come to New Delhi to meet with parents,educators and doctors , hold seminars.

Another parent “M” decided to start a sunday leisure group for children with autism and special needs to play football, do aerobics and other fun activities

Over and above this I have been delighted to see  two new schools sprout up, in the last 6 months, sponsored by parents who wanted to provide world class facilities to special children…Another parent is talking about setting up a daycare type program with a slant at socialisation. These parents may not have the expertise in themselves but they know what they want for our children and are willing to invest in it.

We also have parents pioneering therapies like “Yoga for Special Needs”

Photo - Mimi

The best part about this is that unlike institutions sponsored by the government, adherance to performance norms is going to be a guiding criteria for these startups to be self sustaining. The other thing we are going to see is that unlike clinics set up by treatment providers, where the high charges for services are based on including a profit…it is unlikely that parent sponsored initiatives will have profitability as a guiding criteria…if it were to be so then by that very basis they would be unlikely to obtain the very essence  which would lead to their success i.e. the involvement/synergy and support of other parents…

Parents nowadays are willing to dream of a structure for their children and then they get their bricks and shovels…

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5 Responses to The Surge of the Super Special Entrepreneurs

  1. fantastic article..Harshita.. I’d like to share a little something about my adventures in ‘S’ land. I’ve been meaning to do this a long time, so here goes

    Its been about a year now that we’ve worked together… 🙂 & how time flies..its been a pleasure see S flourish & enjoy his practise……

    When we started, S could’nt stay still for more than a few seconds, he was extremely hyperactive and very distracted by his environment..his back & leg muscles were very tight, his neck & shoulders so tight & strained..very rigid & constricted physically & emotionally. He had to keep jumping and throwing himslef against walls or the floor..his breathing was extremely shallow too, which enhanced the body rigidity…his balance was very poor & just ‘standing’ in one place or bending forward was very disturbing (maybe scary) for him…
    As his teacher I had to do the asanas ‘for him’…physically moving him into postures…while he stayed completely diassociated mentally from his body or me…
    He refused to open his mouth.. preferred to participate in mantra chanting thorugh ‘clapping’ or listening to me… hardly opened his mouth or made ‘clear’ sounds

    For the 1st 6 onths, we could only manage to do ‘mantra’ chanting for spells of 3-5 minutes at a time.. with a lot of breaks for allowing movement and no other activitiy was possible then…..

    With patience, consistent work together & mainly… as I see it.. ‘explaining & constant communicating with S as to why we’re doing what & how it will help HIM…

    I have seen S’s body awareness change drastically, seen his body relax, his muscles & joints are so much more flexiible and relaxed… this child who couldnt sit or stand or more than a few minutes is now stretching and folding beautifully, doing (with complete awareness & FOCUS on self), by ‘observing & imitating’

    These are his WOW’s!!!!!

    Breathing practises- 80-100 Kapal Bhati, forceful breaths…
    Standing poses like- mountain pose, triangle
    Balancing poses- tree pose, nataraj asana
    Sitting poses- different types of forward bends, partner boat stretches
    Spinal twists- sitting & lying down
    backward bends- bow pose, cobra pose
    Inversions- shoulder stand
    Standing forward bends against the wall
    Chanting & verbalising beautifully ‘complicated long mantras’…
    opening hi mouth wide for ‘aa’ ‘oo’ ‘sounds….

    I love this kid for the committment he has towards himself….. really really awesome…

    mainly I’d like to highlight why I so trust the system I follow & know it works…. because we DO NOT focus on ‘performance’ or right/ wrong behaviours… we do not look at the individuals ‘ability/ disability’

    we work with a child & communicate with his inner being with complete trust/ faith & belief that he/ she is completely connected to their ‘higher self’ & both the ‘teacher’ & ‘students’ higher self are One!!!!!!… & there, there is no disability at all….. all we need is lots of LOVE! & PATIENCE… PATIENCE, PATIENCE

  2. also… more than ‘performance’ on asanas, pranayams etc…. what the yoga brings about is the changes we see in ‘other areas’ of life (this is not just special kids.. everyone)…

    He had an addiction to the curtains & blinds… to breaking/snatching interesting plugs & wires.. to eating or eating anything thats almost GONE…..

    Being calmer, relaxed, more in tune with your body, self awareness, self control, improved observation, listening…reduced ‘challenging behaviours’, verbalising expression instead of bottling up… expressing of ‘feelings’ & emotions… being more OK with ‘self’….

    I love this ‘dude’ for what he;s acheived for himself!!! congrats to you Harshita for your patience, belief & trust in this wonderful human being

  3. I have missed out other notables like Pordac and the work they are doing towards inclusion in the J D Tytler school, Roma and her special children’s club Freesia…there are others too….

  4. and Sanjay Tiwari with his gluten free cafe…Cafe Amaltas, His wonderful wife Kusum who is running a weaving business employing special needs kids

  5. balaji says:

    Great post harshita, I think the next step is to find employment for our wonderful children, I know already some good souls are creating such opportunities.

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