GURUGRAM: Diagnosed with autism at three, Gurugram boy Ansh Batra took the disability in his stride as he pursued his hobby, painting. His mother, Anshul, described the moment her son was diagnosed with the condition as the turning point in her life. She said she took a two-year course thereafter, to get a proper sense of the condition her son was battling, and it helped her immensely in her quest to bring out the artist in her son. Now 12, Ansh’s artworks have been already been showcased at various exhibitions and festivals and have won him acclaim.
Just to illustrate the measure of success that his artworks have brought him, Ansh has bagged an order of 23 abstract paintings from Japanese tech giant Hitachi. One of his paintings also won an award at the Times of India Art Festival this year. For his mother, the 12-year journey of seeing her son grow up has been difficult but is full moments that filled her with pride. She said she gave up her job after coming to realise that her son was different from normal children.
“Things were going smoothly till the time he was diagnosed with autism. His neurological milestone was fine — from crawling to smiling and other things. All seemed well with him till one fine day when I had this feeling that something was different about my son. Out of the ten times I took his name, he would respond twice or thrice. Sensing something was wrong, I decided to spend more time with him,” his mother told this newspaper.
When he was two, his mother and father, Jayant, consulted a child specialist who advised them to visit a psychologist. After observing him for around 10 minutes, the psychologist diagnosed Ansh with ADHT (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), his mother said.“I started reading about this disease online. My life wasn’t the same thereafter. We spoke to many people about his condition and even sent him to playschool. However, it wasn’t until he started visiting a regular school that we were told he is different. We were told he wasn’t mingling with his peers,” Anshul said.
“We then consulted another specialist who diagnosed him with PDDNOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). We were advised to spend a lot of time with him. It was the turning point in our parenthood,” his mother said. When he was three, she signed up for a 3-month standard parent-child programme on autism. “I observed huge growth in him during that span. I felt motivated and decided to pursue a 2-year course to know more about the disease,” she said.
“I decided to introduce him to different sports such as cycling and swimming. He did very well and even won two medals,” she said. Realising he was fascinated by water, Anshul introduced her to the world of art. “I hired an art teacher for him. I encouraged his teacher to guide him with abstract art,” she said. On Mental Health Day this year, Garage Society, a Hong Kong-based organisation, organised an exhibition where Ansh’s artworks were showcased.
“The positivity that he exudes is infectious,” Anmol Agrawal from the Society told this newspaper.
Brush with fame and adulation at 12
Ansh has bagged an order for 23 abstract paintings from Japanese tech major Hitachi. His artworks could be ordered from all over the country. The price range for his paintings starts at Rs 3,000 and goes up to Rs 30,000, depending on the size of the canvas.