Just yesterday, I was ruing the fact that letters and handwritten cards are almost non-existent these days. We seem to be afflicted by a strange sort of alienation in which we prefer to send bulk texts to all/many on our mobile contacts list or on our email addresses list.
So this morning when I reached my workplace, I was curious about a huge envelope on my table. I opened it to find a jumbo size ‘Happy New Year’ card with the words ‘I Love U Aunty’ written inside.
I confess to becoming misty eyed and emotional.
The card is from the daughter of a junior colleague of mine.Her name is Shraddha.She is a specially abled child. We share a very deep and unique bond.She has a Labrador dog called “Poochie’. Both the dog and his little mistress are inseparable.Her father had read her John Grogan’s book ” Marley & Me”. After that,she wanted a Marley of her own.Sometime back when we started connecting and becoming friends, Shraddha gave me the book.Her book …..to seal our friendship.
Shraddha is autistic.There is a perception that because individuals with autism have challenges in the area of communication and social skills, they are not interested in having friends. This is not so.
Autism is just another way of being.That is what I believe in.It is as ‘being’ as you and me ,who are not autistic, are.
“Everybody has a heart that can be touched by something.”( Naoki Higashida “The Reason I jump:The voice of a thirteen year old boy with autism” ). I am glad that I have touched Shraddha’s heart. I always describe her as the girl with a smile that can make the cherry tree blossom all the year around 🙂
And do you know guys, ” I myself am opaque, for some reason. Their eyes cannot see me. Yes, that’s it: The world is autistic with respect to me.( Anne Nesbet ” The Cabinet of Earths”)”. But it is an autistic child who actually sees/can see me 🙂
For Shraddha, I will play this song. I wish that I could get each and every special child in the world to listen to it! The lyrics are what I wish for each one of them…http://youtu.be/xGoFPowb7Lo