My Brand New Ears
After my first MNRI (Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration) camp in 2010, I went to the Science Museum in Tampa. I saw a hurricane exhibit which was very noisy. I exclaimed that I had brand new ears!
But Diwali firecrackers and balloon pops in other celebrations continue to be a challenge. Even now, I use ear plugs during Diwali and birthday parties. Recently, I visited an inclusive living community in Chennai. I think that these inclusive living communities should find ways to deal with these issues. While neurotypicals enjoy bursting crackers, many autistics find the noise annoying and stressful. These noises bother me even after six MNRI camps and 10 years of Bharatanatyam. I wonder how other autistic kids and adults feel.
The Daily Mile
I vividly recall my walks in Weston, Florida. I have been going on daily walks since the age of 5. I used to walk everyday morning and evening with my mother. I remember doing math poems and stories on my walks.
This year, I enjoyed long walks were in London, Bergen, and Bengaluru. In London, I was going on long walks by myself every day because my mother had to look after my nephew. Some days, I even went to have bubble tea with my mother. This year, we also had many scenic walks in Bergen. Now, I am enjoying walks in an apartment complex in Bengaluru. While I don’t like the sound of fireworks, I enjoyed going on a walk and watching fireworks with my mama and mami yesterday night!
Homeschooling, Sleep, and Movement
In my kindergarten in public school, students had to sit at the desk most of the day doing work that was not very interesting to me. After I started homeschooling, I could start my day with a morning walk. I got a lot of movement throughout the day. When I was young, I did not sleep well at night, and I was not able to concentrate the whole day. Sleep disturbance was one reason that I preferred homeschool. If I did not sleep well, I could at least move around, take breaks, and work at my own pace. In addition to walks, I also played twister, riding on the scooter, and other movement games in the porch. I also used to do little activities like setting the table to take a break from desk work. I think lack of sleep could be one of the biggest reasons why schools don’t work for autistic children.
I started sleeping better after I started the HANDLE (Holistic Approach to NeuroDevelopment and Learning Efficiency) program. My sleep continued to improve with MNRI (Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration). One of the biggest gifts of natya is that now I sleep well at night.
The Gift of Movement
In October 2022, I started Bharatanatyam classes with Mr. Ujwal Jagadeesh, a senior artiste and a senior faculty at the Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning, Bengaluru. I have had a guru in Chennai for many years but needed one in Bengaluru as I may spend more time in Bengaluru in the future. Ujwal anna talks about the gift of movement. Moving different parts of the body is a precious gift. Natya teaches us to use every part of our body. Movement makes me feel cheerful, joyous, and happy! I am surprised that my coding experience is in Chennai and my dance experience seems to be moving to Bangalore. That seemed odd to me.