February 9, 2016

Exemplary Mother of a Genius

Images from Google
It’s been a sometime I have blogged; some days the students come regularly for counseling, and by the end of the day I feel tired to touch the system, so I prefer to get moving actively attending to my daughter, wanting to know if she requires help in doing her home work; and then taking charge of the kitchen to make some healthy meals. 


Sitting for too long and listening continuously can be very tiresome. But I am glad to take these sessions and feel fulfilled for having done meaningful work. In this process I miss writing a blog post, reading and commenting. 

Today I am relaxed a bit as there was only one student and he delayed in coming; so I took this opportunity to make a post and while thinking of what I must be posting. I found an inspiring story which I read for the first time:

It is said that one day Thomas Edison, the great scientist came home from school, and gave a paper to his mother, stating that the teacher has given  this paper to give it only to her. His mothers eyes were filled with tears when she read the letter, loudly to him: Your son is a genius and this school doesn't have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.


After many years Edison’s mother died and he became one the greatest inventors of the century. One day when he was looking through the old family things, suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it up. On the paper was written, your son is addled (mentally ill). We won’t let him come to school any more.

It is said that Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary:”Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.

Emmanuel ready for school.
I was truly touched by this message as it reminded me of my son; for a moment all my experiences of finding an appropriate school flooded my memories. I have made so many rounds in our city, trying to find a school for my son; changed so many schools and it was very challenging task to find a school that could help my son.

In our system of education there was hardly any space to accommodate children with special needs. Very few schools offer space and genuinely care about these children; most of the time these children are not even admitted.  There are some special schools; but they are low on funds and it’s a challenge for them to address children with different types of needs.  

What I found very interesting was a lot of it depended on my own beliefs and the beliefs of our family. Initially I felt he must be in a normal school, hence I put him in a play school when he was only 3 and half, he was very happy and responded very well, playing with other children, but only he could not articulate.  In the next academic year, he was sent to the next class, unfortunately it was not of much help, as Emmanuel went to school, but could not participate much in the class.

Maria Dorothy & Emmanuel both ready for school.
I needed to look, for another option, so I found a special school and was very happy that Emmanuel could be sent to this school, within three weeks, Emmanuel started imitating the behaviours of severely retarded children, so I had to rethink again, and find ways to help him out, while searching for a school, I managed to find another school within a kilometres distance, and I spoke to the principal and put Emmanuel there, as he was tall, the teacher put him in class 1 and started teaching him like other children. 

For some days he went, after a few days he was not interested. Again I tried a different school, and I went from one school to another, getting frustrated, I shared my concern with a rehabilitation psychologist, who counselled me saying that he needs special education, So I found a special educator for Emmanuel, who visited him three times a week.

Emmanuel a happy child 
Being an affectionate child, he responded very well to the teacher, who came regularly and taught him, in order to enable him to socialize, I sent for 2 hours every day to a regular school, and employed a special educator every alternate day.  I tried this for a year and felt that this was helpful, at the same time, it was very expensive.

I observed what the special educator was teaching, and tried it in his absence, and I found that Emmanuel was responding, gradually, I took more responsibility and started to teach him personally. I quit my regular full day’s job and so that I can find more time to be with him, rescheduled my time and explore different ways to equip him to manage himself and learn.

I changed the way I thought, and my perspectives changed. I was  willing to take risk by not sending him to school, but at the same time ensure that he has the opportunity to learn everything about life, my search and experiments continued till he turned 7 years old.  After which he became the victim of bronchial Pneumonia and left me forever.

Images from Google
The story of Edison has a very powerful message for parents; who have the capacity to bring the best out of children; by the way they treat them. No doubt Edison chose to work hard, learnt never to give up and believed in himself to become a genius.
 Have a great day!

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