It is fine to be different yet no less than others. This is a lesson from my son Aadvik. This month we feature a blog post from Deepika, who talks about her son Aadvik and how play can be tailored to every child's need. And how Autism need not prevent any child from having fun. Aadvik Like any typical boy, he loves playing with his wooden toy cars, trucks, trains etc. He loves snow and beaches too. He is also a special chid and has autism. But autism doesn’t stop us from having fun in our lives. Like all parents we want the best for our child and expose him to all kinds of adventures in life.
I have observed he learns the best by fun activities and interactive play. Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. Play also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children. Aadu has learnt so much by playing. And this gives me a push to plan better for him.
I try to keep him off screen as much as I can, but he does watch some and loves baby TV. To keep him engaged appropriately and so that we put in some of that hard work needed for skill development via play, DIY toys for fine and gross motor skills are my favourites. Pencil poking box, colour identification and matching caps box, coloured ice cream sticks and cups, putting beads in a box with tongs, making tower with glasses and knocking it over with ball, (you could substitute wooden blocks or toys like Ninjaki instead of glasses) buttoning and unbuttoning a shirt are few of the activities that I have planned for him over time and most of them have been a hit.
When I buy toys I ensure they are age and need appropriate. The tool chair from shumee for instance, was so he could work on his fine motor skills. To my great joy, the sturdy wooden tool chair worked wonders and my son learnt how to operate screw driver and use a hammer. While there are other toys which advertise similar tools, this was the first time he used the tools appropriately. Like every parent, it brings me and my husband great joy when Aadu crosses a milestone.
I have learnt to innovate and buy innovative toys for the sake of my son. If I had a neuro typical child, I might not have paid so much attention and maybe missed out on a lot of the joys of play. But I have learnt that every childhood deserves playtime and playthings made from safe, eco-friendly natural materials like wood and lead free paints. All children deserve to play and grow to their full potential. There are so many fun activities that we can engage in with kids that also benefit them. Aadu enjoys the outdoors as much as he does the indoors. With the advent of summer, we will be having fun with lots of new activities like camping with tents, playing with stamp sets and water colours.
My son teaches me something new every day and I choose to remain positive about his future. I truly believe that faith and positivity can work miracles and I have seen amazing improvements with Aadu. My son has taught me that it is fine to be different, yet no less than others. Cheers to happiness always.