parentsaathi Story

30th Floor! 30th Floor!

Biscayne Bay Marriott, June 26 -27, 2007

I have been fascinated by tall buildings for a long time. Thank you Dhairya Pal for your creative representation that conveys my fascination for tall buildings.

One day, I went to the Biscayne Bay Marriott. I was really wanting a high floor. When we got a room on the 30th floor, I was very excited. We dashed up the elevator. Then I slid the plastic card key into the slot. I opened the door and rushed into the room. I relaxed in the room and went to sleep.

I woke up in a good mood. I had been looking forward to this day for three weeks. Suddenly, I heard my dad exclaim that we had lost power. Then I freaked out. I wondered how we would get down from such a high floor. The 30th floor did not seem so wonderful anymore.

My mom said it was ok. We can take breaks and then walk down slowly if the power did not come back. But I insisted that we had to use the elevator. Then she reassured me that we had enough food so we can wait. But I was not happy with that option and continued to be upset about the situation.

Finally, we got the power back. We packed our bags and went down the elevator. In August, we went to a hotel in Chicago. I would still have liked to go to the 20th floor. But my dad reminded me of Biscayne Bay and said that the maximum we could go was the 12th floor!

Bawling in Biscayne Bay

While the Biscayne Bay experience did not work as expected, it gave us a fun play. We have enacted Bawling in Biscayne Bay many times over the years. Of course, I did not actually bawl. I was only upset. But we were creating a series of stories including Anxious in Atlanta, Growling in Grandpa’s House. Meltdowns in Minneapolis, Tantrums at Twilight, and Wailing in Washington. So we called it Bawling in Biscayne Bay.

My mom and I used to enact this scenario many times. My mom would enact Ananth. She would flail her arms and ask to go to the highest floor in an excited voice. I would enact the hotel receptionist in that story and say that the 30th floor was available. Then, Ananth (played by mom) would get even more excited and exclaim “Let us go” in an excited voice. I also would enact my dad noticing the power cut. Then Ananth would start bawling. Then Mom also acted mom and reassured Ananth there was food so we could wait in the room.

Prestige Lakeside, February 2021

While I no longer insist on staying on the 30th floor, my interest in tall buildings continue. So I was very excited to learn that my mama and mami were buying a home in Prestige Lakeside Habitat. I was even more excited to learn that some towers had 30 floors.

Prestige Lakeside Habitat is an unusual complex. It has a mix of 24 tall towers and 271 huge villas. It has a variety from one bedroom apartments to 4 bedroom villas. The towers in Prestige Lakeside Habitat vary between 19 and 30 floors. They divide the towers and villas into parcels. I was very surprised that this complex had a mix of tall towers and big villas. I have never seen any complex with a mix of tall towers and big villas. Ten of the towers in Prestige Lakeside Habitat have 30 floors.

I am fascinated by apartment complexes and study them with great interest. I go to the website and find out all about the apartments in Prestige Lakeside Habitat. I am now so interested in tall buildings that my mama and mami take me around the towers. My mama and mami also have become interested in walking around the towers.

Explorations: My Journey to Blogging

  1. Ackerman A. 2016. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces. JADD Publishing

My writing teacher Ms. Idania Cater, suggested this book. I have not used it for more than two years. Now, it is time to use it for writing my blog!

  1. I am using Obsidian ( to record my thoughts daily. I build my blog post gradually during the week.
  2. Theater and writing: Since I had the opportunity to participate in RASA Day 2022 (, my mother and I talked about theater and the role of setting and props. Now, I can see why the Urban Setting Thesaurus suggested by my teacher is important. Writers must paint a vivid picture of the setting with words!

Ananth Raghunandan

parentsaathi Story

Autism isn’t a choice, acceptance is

As they say “Change begins in self…”

Can we see the change in self; change in people; change all around? May be one day we can..

When I go to the park or get down to go somewhere. I rarely see kids with different abilities (that is the way I want to call disability) coming out and enjoying like other kids. (not referring to Corona times).

This makes me think. We as parents have to first accept our kids then only we can expect others to do the same. We as parents should first change our beliefs and overcome our fear of accepting our kids of who they are and how they are then only we can expect others to do the same.

Lets start to see our own kids with full of respect and pride. Others will sense it too and follow us…. Lets bring them out and show the world and that is how inclusion will happen naturally.


Making LIFESMART Parenting Choices by Dr. DASARATHA RAMA

Engaging the Flow of Life -1

We started Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) in 2004. RDI was one of our most significant LIFESMART choices. RDI set the stage for:

  • L: Learning daily
  • I: Discovering and nurturing interests
  • F: Family interactions
  • E: Community engagement

Engaging the Flow of Life

Engaging the flow of daily life is the main gift that (RDI) has given us. While parenting a neurodivergent child, parents often use tools such as visual schedules and social stories to prepare the child for novelty and change. It is not possible to have social stories for every scenario. Nor is it possible to organize the day completely by schedules. Coping with change and uncertainty is extremely important.

Thus, it is important to ask:

Can neurodivergent children deal with uncertainty, change, and novelty as neurotypicals do?

In our experience, it is possible for neurodivergent children to learn how to cope with uncertainty, change, and novelty. We have never used a visual schedule. We have an organized flow of activities for the day but not a schedule. We have not used social stories. RDI set us on the path to engaging the flow of life.

Now, we are realizing the benefits more fully as Ananth’s language processing, working memory, initiative capacity, executive functioning etc. have grown significantly after MNRI (Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration) and a decade of Bharatanatyam.

Two days before we started for India in July 2022, Ananth went for dinner and a show with his brother, sister-in-law, and cousin in London.

Then, we went on an overnight trip to Manchester with his brother, sister-in-law, and their 9 month old son.

Then, 2.5 hours in an immigration queue when we arrived in India.

More chaos awaited us at home. There was no water because of a motor problem. I asked Ananth whether he wanted to come with me to grandma’s house (it is not being used right now). We went and cleaned the house. Came back for dinner. Then, his cousin called and invited us over for the night. Another plan change but instead of being upset, Ananth was very excited about seeing his cousin’s family.

The next day, water supply was restored but there was no water in his bathroom. He went downstairs and talked to the security himself. We are seeing a sudden growth in such every day problem-solving in the last few months.

This process of engaging the flow of life with greater ease started with RDI.

Seeing the Path Ahead —>

Each Sunday post will discuss one LIFESMART choice that we made. I will discuss the short-term and long-term effects of this choice.

This week’s post introduced one choice with long-term effects. Our choice of Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) had a significant impact on our homeschooling journey. I continue to use lessons from RDI daily. Ten lessons that I learned from RDI include

  1. Declarative and nonverbal language tools
  2. Just Noticeable Differences (JND)
  3. Regulation, Challenge Re-organization (RCR)
  4. Coping with uncertainty, novelty, and change
  5. Experience sharing
  6. Dynamic thinking
  7. Co-regulation
  8. Restoring guided participation
  9. Social referencing
  10. Episodic memory

These are ten key lessons we use even today. We are back to our RDI days and doing random explorations daily because Ananth’s language processing capacity is so much higher and he has a lot of initiative now. So practicing the RDI lessons with these emerging capacities will help us get more from these experiences. Everyone may not be able to do RDI. There is much more publicly available information. We are including small pieces in our work along with lessons from other sources. So get started, do what you can! Every little counts. Learn more about RDI here.

Join the conversation!

In each Sunday post, I will share one important parenting decision that I made and describe the short-term and long-term impacts of these decisions. Join the LIFESMART conversation on Facebook group for discussion of these topics here. Each blog post is intended to spark a discussion on finding your path forward as a parent!

How are you preparing your child to handle novelty, uncertainty, and change?