Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dedicating Peace to Special Children - Radhika Ram Narayan

As part of the ongoing Peace Day celebrations (21st Sep - 5th Oct), Shri Ram Chandra Mission and the Heartfulness team extends its hands of compassion to special children and their care givers. Today, we, the Heartfulness team - Trichy, invited children with autism, studying at Maharishi Vidhya Mandhir to our Vadugapati ashram.

Various  competitions were organized for these kids in order to encourage them to display their talents. The participants were not just kids with autism and but also kids with impaired hearing. It was heart warming to see these innocent kids participate enthusiastically in dance and fancy dress competitions.

While the kids were engaged in these competitions, their parents and their school staff participated in the introductory session of Heartfulness meditation. This was followed by an orientation programme on Brighter Minds.

Few Facts About Autism
Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. As a result, people with autism fail to develop essential skills like communication and social interaction. Such children have trouble understanding other people's thoughts and feelings. Moreover, they find it hard to express themselves in the usual way: words, gestures, facial expressions and touch. Often, they don't respond to the people, objects, or the environment around them. They may however develop an attachment to certain objects, show unusual behavior towards people, turn aggressive, or exhibit self-destructive behavior. They may get too attached to the primary care giver.

Symptoms of Autism
Symptoms of autism reveal themselves within the first three years of life.  Autism is more common in boys than in girls.  The normal baby at the age of 2 to 3 months gazes at faces, tries to grasp our fingers, responds to voice stimulus. But children with autism don't always respond this way. By the time they are 8 to 10 months old, their lack of response to the all the usual stimulus becomes very obvious; unless the people around them are in denial. By the time they are toddlers, they prefer to be alone and don't indulge in the usual social responses that keeps normal toddlers occupied.

Why Heartfulness for the Parents of Special Children
Becoming a parent is a profound experience and the event is a moment of happiness and gives a
person a sense of completion. However, when parents realise that all is not right with their child, this sense of completion is tinged with sadness. They often become disheartened. The purpose of introducing the Heartfulness relaxation technique to these parents is to help them find and feel the peace within their hearts, and to help them extend that sense of peace and calm into all the areas of their lives. Once they shed the burden of stress, they are fully equipped to take care of their kids with more compassion, empathy, and patience.

Special children are really special and deserve to be handled like fragile treasures. What they need more than medication is tender loving care, garnished with oodles of empathy and understanding.

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