SOCIAL SKILLS (Acceptance and Inclusion- 7 ) by Jaya Sudhakar and Siddhanth Palaparti
Art and craftwork in primary school offered a lot of scope for Siddhanth to learn new techniques and vocabulary from his classmates. The students were allowed to change places during these classes and this flexibility opened up many avenues for Siddhanth to mingle with more classmates in a fun way.The craft and drawing notebooks would be kept in the school cupboard itself and parents would have access to it only during the Open House.
So in one such meeting, the Class Magazine was also kept on display. It was a group project made by the students all by themselves.They were supposed to discuss with each other and create it with minimum involvement by the class teacher. It was aimed to foster the imagination, creativity and team work of the students.This activity had been undertaken in the last two periods of two consecutive days in the previous week.
Unfortunately, Siddhanth missed it as he was absent on those two days. So in the Open House meeting, I thought it would be a good idea for Siddhanth and me to go through the project.This would give us a fair idea of how the class magazine looked and keep us prepared for the next time around.
The magazine was created in a drawing notebook. It was filled with stories, poems, riddles, art and craft work – handwritten and beautifully illustrated by the students. Each page carried the name of the creator/ group of creators. As Siddhanth and I flipped through the pages, to our utter surprise we came across an artwork pasted neatly with the caption, ‘Art by Siddhanth’.
On enquiring, Siddhanth’s class teacher Indrayani madam revealed that his classmates had come to her asking what they should do to include Siddhanth’s work in the magazine as he was not around. Then the genial teacher had suggested to them that they could possibly cut a picture from his drawing notebook kept in the classroom cupboard and use it.
The class magazine project was one of those few school activities which happened organically at short notice and which Siddhanth missed participating in. Under the circumstances the tender affection shown by Siddhanth’s friends and his teacher remains an indelible memory in our heart, brightening up our days with its enduring fragrance.
Author Jaya Sudhakar
Jaya Sudhakar has done her Masters in Physics and was employed as an Asst.Manager in a PSU. Her son’s diagnosis urged her to seek voluntary retirement from service . She is actively involved with Forum for Autism, Nayi Disha and The Spectrum Autism. Friends,tending to plants, reading, writing, music, movies, travelling and a little bit of spirituality are her perennial energy boosters.
Typing of story in Word and Creative graphics done by CreativeSaathi Siddhanth Palaparti, Jaya’s son
Siddhanth is a budding graphic designer, coder and music lover. He has graduated in computer applications and completed several certificate courses. His work trajectory includes internships, freelancing and voluntary work for social causes. He derives immense happiness from remembering birthdays and wishing everyone for it. Swimming, travelling and playing music on the keyboard are his other passions.