The Rodrigues family is setting a new way to see Autism and differently-abled children. With motivation and a lot of positivity, they are trying their best to make their children explore everything in life. This Autistic Pride Day on June 18, we came across their story.
Brydan (12) and Joanne (14) Rodrigues are autistic. Yet, their condition has never stopped them. They are writing their pages of achievements by always trying something new. Both of them have set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records in Skating in 2019. The credit for this goes to their parents.
The Rodrigues family originally hails from Mumbai. The family was based in Dubai but after the diagnosis of their children, they came to Mumbai for treatment. That was the start of a new journey for the Rodrigues family.
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Talking about her journey, Janice, the mother of Joanne and Brydan says, "The only thing in our mind was how exactly we can make our children relatively independent and happy individuals. Yes, we too had a trying time when friends and relatives would come to us and say why did God do this to you and what is the future. Aggression and meltdowns were a part and parcel of our lives, especially with two kids who are poles apart. But then things changed when we started looking at the world from our children's eyes."
According to the parents, the initial challenge for them was to regulate the excessive energy of the children. Swimming and skating had a positive influence on channelling their energy.
Both the parents, Bryne and Janice strongly believe that people should give exposure to their kids in a variety of activities. Bryne, the father says, "We strongly believe that we need to give maximum exposure to our children so that people around us also understand that a special condition doesn't hinder growth. Hence, advocating for our children is very important. Society should have total acceptance of all differences to include differently-abled children into the mainstream."
They emphasize that people need to see the ability, not the label. Consistency, Dedication and Preservance are the keys when it comes to better parenting. In a message to other parents, they say, "Believe in your kids and they will do wonders. Every child is different with varying abilities, see what best works for our children and motivate them accordingly."
With their efforts, they are trying their best to see the dawn in which specially-abled children will be treated as any other normal child in society.