KOCHI: Beyond the Blue by Gopika Kapoor is a wonderful expression of the challenges faced by a parent of a child with autism, coupled with insights on how to overcome these challenges. Being a parent of a child with autism, I can relate to a lot of her experiences and many of these are very similar to the ones I faced in my own journey of special needs. You start seeing the world through Vir’s eyes in this book, the narration is simple yet powerful.
Gopika covers everything right from the initial diagnosis, the fears a parent faces in the initial journey, the slow acceptance of reality to the enjoyment and relish of this journey with her son. While she details her inspiring journey, she shares strategies at every point to help the readers (parents of neuro-diverse kids).
These represent her experiences as a mum and as a therapist. She starts this journey by talking about the five stages of grief that every parent goes through from the initial denial of autism till the acceptance of the condition. What is unique here, is how she explains that acceptance comes in the form of openly talking about the condition to others!
In these chapters, she brings out strong messages on the importance of self-care for the parent and conveys the importance of creating a support circle that includes other parents in the similar journey.
She then describes the “school journey” with Vir, where she talks about her anxieties as a parent from the beginning of the journey, her conflicts on the decision to home school, to her relief of Vir’s acceptance in a local school for the right to education for him. She simultaneously offers some great strategies for parents to be able to work harmoniously with school; this is important as the school journey is one of the most painful and tough journeys for every parent and equally for the neuro diverse child. She explains the various issues Vir faced too in this incredibly hard journey and how those slowly resolved to bring out a thriving- and cognitively- growing Vir.
Suja Shyamsundar is a member of the Special Child Assistance Network (SCAN).
Beyond the blue is priced at Rs 499 (paperback), Rs 175 (Kindle)
Available at Amazon.in