“Rapunzel at the Hair Saloon”

“मन – day की बात SpecialSaathi के साथ”

“Rapunzel at the Hair Saloon”
Date: 29/01/2023 Author- Hetal Rathod

Myself Dr Hetal Rathod and my daughter’s name is Aadhya Rathod 6years old, I want to share our amazing experience with all of you.
Since many months we were trying to convince Aadhya for cutting her hair but she was not willing to do this because she is very much influence by the character Rapunzel (Tangled). She wants to grow her hair like Rapunzel 70Ft.
But we are facing issues that she doesn’t like to tie her hair, and it was very difficult to comb her hair due to tangled. So many times, we talk with her and explain her that small hair is very beneficial for her and she will look more beautiful.
Initially she was hesitated but she agreed to go with it.
Yesterday I saw her video of one girl went to saloon for manicure, pedicure and haircut. So, after watching this video she was agreed to do it on Sunday.
So today in the evening we went to the saloon where she explained hair dresser about what type of cut (On her Grandpa’s Birthday during videocall she had Bob Cut hair) the same hair cut she wants.
We took her favourite doll Chutki as a translon object with us while visiting hair cut saloon.
During her hair cut she co-operates very well. She also started talking with hair dresser. (about his name, his wife’s name, his baby’s name age schooling etc because she is chatterbox)
After finishing hair cut hair dresser told her that she can clip her hair on the sideways and she can leave open her hair. So, I told Aadhya that she can have hair clip like one of her classmates. But she corrected me that “I Won’t copy her but I will be Myself Aadhya”. So, every member at the hair cut saloon appreciates her reply and praised her.
Every day I was teaching her that do not compare your self to anyone. You should be yourself.
Today she corrected me on the same.
I am really proud of her.

Artwork by Aadhya Rathod

Thanks Everyone,
Hetal Rathod

My Rapunzel After Hair Cut

Author Hetal Rathod

Artwork by Dhrov Tikoo

Creative representation for this blog is done by our talented CreativeSaathi associate Dhrov Tikoo



Hi today’s blog is quite insightful and detailed to understand how to better your child’s whole body and mind development

In order to be a part of an accurate personality development of your child , you don’t have to dig very deep into the pediatric world but have a fair idea about how the child develops in different domains like socially , physically , cognitively , orally , how they use big muscles , small muscles , how they play and do game

Lets go ahead and talk in more details

Every child is having a pace of developing when they come to life . Please remember don’t mistake one’s holistic development and growth as a competition . Every child gains weight differently from other child even during an infant stage. Parents should be patient and mindful of learning about milestones. There is no rule that all children in this world should say the syllable baba when it comes to language milestone

I would suggest read books , researches , published articles on child development to aware yourself with variations that can take place and are pretty normal

Every child’s development are dependent on many factors – genes , environment , diet , social environment , family history , birth history etc

Now lets shift our focus on what milestones to look forward to and explore more f you have a growing child or plan for one

Gross motor milestones – these are the skills that are age appropriate where the child is mainly suing the big muscles of body like should , calfes , thighs , back , abdominals for e/g playing with ball , kick a ball , swimming , running fast , changing direction while running etc

Fine motor milestones – these are the skills where child is learning to use and manipulate small muscles of body like fingers , hands for e.g holding a toys , shaking a toy , holding a crayon , doing puzzles , gripping a glass , etc

Self help milestone – these are age appropriate maneuvers of maintaining and managing oneself like eating , dressing , combing , toileting , etc

Cognitive milestone- these are skills that help a child to motor plan , comprehend , attend to a task , remember and retention of things , be oriented to place time and situation , executive functions , problem solve , ready to learn , focus and attend etc

Language milestones– focus on speech , oral skills , comprehension , body language , forming worsds and then sentences , spellings , memory related to language skills , communicating non verbally , story narration and telling , communicating needs , request , suggestions , comments , protests yes or no , I don’t know etc

Social milestone – these are placing importance on skills on socialisation and interaction like starting conversation , turn taking , negotiating , advocating , listening and attending , taking criticism , making friendships , keeping emotions in check

Creative Expression milestone – starting to draw shapes , figures , lines , explore with different drawing and painting tools , folding and manipulating paper to make crafts

Other milestones would be advanced play behavior , self regulation , emotional intelligence

Well we must keep in mind that right from a neonate to an adolescent , there a number of skills are developed that help in our survival and every person connected with childhood development should seek awareness and knowledge about these.

Once you have an intent to be aware about milestones you will be able to trace out at what pace the child is lagging or progressing and you can direct your parenting style accordingly

It is also important to be clear that children can have learning difference about these milestones that is they can have delay , they can be emergent but if we project proper therapies and enthusiasm , the milestones can be achieved fully or partially

Always remember it could be a delay but not completely absent , if a milestone chart says that swimming can occur till 5 years , your child might be lagging and so could achieve it by 8 years

You need to get in touch with good professional who help and guide and give you an outlook to respect your child’s growing capacity

So now your question would be where can you find these developmental milestones charts . Also note you can find charts for body weight , height , chest circumference and head circumference but don’t get blinded that you underestimate your child’s growth all the time if they don’t meet the criteria

This is harsh but my dear nobody criticizes you if you sugar and cholesterol levels are not within normal and you have diabetes. What you say .. this is part of life

So lets see where can you get these charts to understand your child’s development




Well CDC is your go to thing

See the link below to gain the insight

CDC’s Milestone Tracker App | CDC

I hope you felt I was talking sense about the growth and development of the children of our world

Also you as parent should be equally aware so that you can raise better concerns with your child’s therapist or pediatrician

Don’t be google smart but CDC smart


Creative Effort and Pediatric Physiotherapist – Heena Sahi

Artwork by Nikhil Thotam

Creative representation for this blog on milestones is done by supertalented CreativeSaathi associate Nikhil Thotam


Robbers in Ramana Thatha’s Ashram

A Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) Exploration

In December, I narrated the story about the white peacock. This month, I chose the story of robbers in Ramana thatha’s (thatha is grandpa in Tamil) ashram. Ramana Maharshi is referred to as Ramana thatha by my teachers.

I started creating a few lessons for the 100-Days of Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) Lab with my Bharatanatyam teacher Sri Ujwal Jagadeesh of the Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning. That experience led me to narrate my first story in December. TAHD was developed by Dr. Ambika Kameshwar Founder, Director of RASA India.

Theater arts tools
This post shows how all five TAHD tools (movement and dance, music and rhythm, storytelling, dance, and arts and crafts) can be used to explore the story. Watch the video and think about ways to use the five theater arts tools.

Here are some ideas for parents to use the five tools.

TAHD Tool 1. Movement and Dance
In this story, I used karthari mukha hand gesture to show the eyes. The hand gesture was also used to show robbers searching the ashram. Parents can imitate the gestures with their child.

TAHD Tool 2. Music and Rhythm
In the beginning, the hand gestures were shown with music. Parents can imitate the gestures to music with their child. I am including a video of the music and hand gestures only by my teacher. You can read about my teacher here.

TAHD Tool 3. Storytelling
I narrated the story of robbers in Ramana Maharshi’s ashram. The parents can listen to the story with their child. They can also retell the story in their own words for multiple days.

TAHD Tool 4. Drama
It is easy for parents and child to act the story like a drama. For example, one person can be Ramana Maharshi and another one can be a robber.

TAHD Tool 5. Arts and crafts
Thanks to Morpheus Nag and Shubh Pathak for the creative representative in Ramana Thatha’s ashram. Thanks to Morpheus for his depiction of the ashram and to Shubh for the picture of the robber. Parents can explore drawings of people and events in the story.

Artwork by Shubh Pathak and Morpheus Nag

I recorded my first video on The White Peacock on my birthday. You can read the post here.

Thanks to Shilpi Mayank-Awasthi for encouraging me to blog. Blogging has opened up opportunities for presenting my stories with artwork from the wonderful team of CreativeSaathis. Thus, I can include art and crafts ideas for exploring the story in my blog posts too.

Dear parents, Please use these stories and blog posts created by a team of neurodivergent storytellers and artists with your child. Let us know your thoughts and suggestions!

Author Ananth Raghunandan

bloggersaathi Junior

“Special like stars….” – the journey of Sitaara crafts

An interview with the Founders Sitaara crafts – Tarini Kashyap, 14 and Muskaan Surie, 16

Sitaara Crafts, a platform for children with disability to showcase their crafts, took shape on 17 January, 2022 exactly an year back with the launch of its Instagram page by Tarini Kashyap, 14 years, and Muskaan Surie, 16 years, both kids with special needs. Read on to know more about the genesis, achievements, heartbreaks, and the road ahead for Sitaara. We hope you will share their story widely.

Q: So how did Sitaara come about?
Tarini: I had been asking my parents for some time to help me start an initiative as I was bored in COVID. I wanted to do something for other kids with disability. My mom agreed to support me, and she suggested the name “Sitaara” because it means star, or starlight, and my own name is so much like it. She chose the name “Sitaara” simply because it implies that all children with special needs are special like stars. My younger brother, Aadyant, 11 years, designed our logo. My great grandmother was born on 17 January, and we decided to launch on the auspicious day of her birth anniversary. We were soon joined by Muskaan. Muskaan and I were excited to get our stickers and visiting cards printed!

Q: Thank you. That’s interesting. Now may I ask Muskaan to tell us what all Sitaara showcases? What are your bestsellers and how did this evolve?
Muskaan: We try making crafts from waste or recycled materials. We want to make cloth totes fashionable for people. I have decorated so many white tote bags which have been a great hit on different festivals. My mom has scraps of cloth which we repurpose into small totes which people have loved to carry their books in!
Tarini: We also make jute coiled coasters on cut outs of old cardboard. These have been our bestsellers too. Also, when we receive an order, we use only recycled packaging – my mom has a ton of old Amazon and Myntra packets which we decorate and paint on to make them look different. We also make newspaper bags and paint them for our exhibitions.

Q: Wonderful. So tell us about your experience selling on Instagram, and also exhibitions. What challenges did you face?
Tarini: Selling through Instagram has been a wonderful experience. It is exciting to get orders. We have shipped to 20 states and 2 UTs in only the last one year. We use speed post which is economical and reliable. We have had hardly any cases when a packet did not reach, and even then, it comes back to us. On the challenges through social media, there are cases where people have canceled orders after we shipped, and 1-2 rare cases when they were not satisfied with the quality. So, we now try as much as possible to take advance payments because we now have a fair idea of shipping costs to almost all states! For the cases they were unhappy, we simply refunded. We want all our customers to be happy.
Muskaan: Our first exhibit was in October at my house society grounds. I felt so excited when our totes were picked up so fast, it was like they were flying off the table! At exhibitions we get to interact with people and tell them about us. But then exhibitions can get tiring and you need to stand for long so we try and choose wisely which ones Sitaara will take part in, and our moms help us decide.

Q: Your experience in both selling through IG and directly sounds awesome, that too at such a young age. Tell us what you think your biggest achievement is, so far?
Tarini: I think the fact that we have such a large and satisfied clientele all over India already.
Muskaan: That we got more than 150 orders, many of them repeat orders, in our very first year.

Q: Do you have other children collaborators too? How does one collaborate?
Muskaan: We have another young adult named Sunny who is hearing impaired. Bhaiya makes beautiful rakhis, origami products, and envelopes. We have a classmate Harshita who makes amazing hand-made rakhis and painted dupattas. We are open to more children and young adults with disability joining hands with us. They can simply send us pictures of their work, which we upload. When there is a sale, we arrange to collect and deliver the products. We then pay them either immediately or month end.

Q: So how is the work divided between you two?
Tarini: I take care of the social media marketing, I enjoy interacting with customers online. Where I have a doubt about what to reply, I ask mom.
Muskaan: I supply most of the products, the totes, which mom helps get stitched and then I paint them, or readymade totes which I love to paint. I have also created and decorated bookmarks, tags and envelopes. Tarini too creates things whenever she feels like, but her main job is marketing and for me it’s design, so our jobs are cut out.

Q: That’s super. We wish you both great luck as you move ahead. Any exciting plans for 2023?
Tarini: Thank you. We are excitedly looking at opportunities for exhibitions, and also keep trying for a collaboration and doing hands on work with some of the bigger NGOs. We would love to go there, spend time with people with disability, and help them.
Muskaan: We are so excited to get an opportunity to showcase Sitaara on ‘Satviki’, the SpecialSaathi online shop. I think they are doing great work reaching a wider audience of those who want to support children like us. We hope we will be able to bring our products to more people who will enjoy them.

Thank you Muskaan and Tarini. Wish you all the best as you try and reach further for the stars. God Bless!

Muskaan with her mum Divya Surie and Tarini with her mum Rashi Grover Kashyap.

Sitaara’s first exhibit – October 2022 Sitaara visiting cards

By Rashi Grover & Divya Surie

The featured artwork for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Nikhil Thotam.


Life is art, paint your dreams

Sarvagya’s first participation in an art exhibition

मन – day की बात SpecialSaathi के साथ

Hello Shilpi Ma’am.

Firstly, thank you for giving me this opportunity to write for ‘Special Saathi’. It’s an honour to be associated with your platform.

I am excited to share my experience of attending today my son’s first participation in the art exhibition organised by Kalaaakar Foundation.I would begin by sharing a bit about my son.

Art exhibition video

My son, Sarvagya is 8 years old. He got diagnosed at the age of 3 years. He was struggling with almost all autism related issues at that time. Holding pencil properly was a big struggle too. I could never imagine in my dreams he would ever draw or paint.

Around 3 years back, he started showing some interest in sketching. He used to make simple drawings like TV, AC, tree, basic shapes like circle, square, rectangle, etc. (with marker pens on my walls..!! ) . Gradually, he started copying pictures from various resources like books, newspaper, etc. Though, at that time, his sketching was really poor, but he was showing keen interest in it.

By God’s grace, I was able to identify his interest. Sketching & painting has been my hobby too since school days. His interest rekindled my passion. But since I am not a professional, I didn’t have the requisite skills to help him. However, I didn’t want to let go this opportunity. So, started doing various trials.

I started by asking him what he wanted to draw. Once he said ‘Kanha ji’. Together, we searched Kanha ji pictures on google and finalised one of them. I took a screenshot of that picture and then we together decided upon a point from where to start drawing. I zoomed the picture from that part, we discussed the curves and lines. Gradually, he started observing deeply and with consistent practice, there was a significant improvement in his drawing skills, specially in relation to symmetry in drawings.

Similarly, regarding coloring, he was not coloring in flow, he used to color in any direction/flow he wanted. I gave him the mantra “jaisa curve, waisa color” and for the first few drawings, I used to keep repeating this every one or two minutes. Gradually, it clicked and he picked up coloring.

I can never forget the day I got his first painting framed. When I showed him his framed painting, he was silent for a few seconds. After that, for the next 2-3 days, literally the whole day, he sat on the couch holding his painting close to his heart with his eyes closed. Being a hyperactive child, I had never seen him like this before. That day, I understood practically how art works like therapy.

That day and today, Sarvagya has come a long way.

An art exhibition was organised at Pearey Lal Bhawan, ITO, New Delhi on Jan 07-09, 2023 where artworks of a large number of distinguished artists were displayed. Sarvagya’s four paintings were also displayed here. My son couldn’t express but as a mother I could feel his sense of achievement & happiness on seeing his paintings displayed amongst artworks of distinguished artists. I believe he was one of the youngest participating artists. This was his first participation in a formal art exhibition. That ways, it’s a huge achievement and moral booster for both of us.

This exhibition was not only an achievement for him but has boosted my confidence too that as a parent of a special needs child, I and my son are not helpless, we can dream just like anyone else and achieve them too. Honestly, this was like a dream come true for me. A child who once struggled in holding a pencil, his fingers now dance with paints and brush to create beautiful masterpieces.

Though he’s not yet creating original paintings, he copies them from various resources, however, I am confident that with consistent efforts , a day will come when he will achieve that level of creativity too.

Today, I have realised that being a special parent, our journey is very difficult and unpredictable. However, with our hard work and consistent approach, there is nothing which our children can’t achieve.

CA Shivani Lohia

Author Shivani Lohia

Shivani Lohia is a Chartered Accountant by profession and mother to 8 years old child on the autism spectrum. The cause of autism awareness is very close to her heart and she strongly believes in equal education for all & strongly advocates inclusion. She has been homeschooling her son since he was 5 years old.

Creative representation of this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Shubh Pathak.