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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Rohithparithi showed signs of prodigious intellect from an early age.
Nineteen-year-old Rohithparithi Ramakrishnan can tell you the day of any past or future date in a matter of seconds. This Abu Dhabi-based Indian autistic teenager has an exceptional talent and is gifted with a powerful memory.
He was spot on with the Al Khaleej Today reporter when asked 10 such posers of years and dates: 09/09/2009, when the day Dubai Metro was launched, he replied within seconds 'Wednesday'. Then 27/10/2000, Rohithparithi's birthday, and he was quick: 'Friday'. And 02/12/2021, the UAE National Day, is a 'Thursday'.
Rohithparithi showed signs of prodigious intellect from an early age. He recollected family events with year, date, guest list, their vehicles and colour. The Tamil Nadu native remembers even dates of shooting and movie release of actor Rajinikanth.
Born weighing about 1kg, Rohithparithi was kept in an incubator for months and underwent multiple surgeries. He was diagnosed as autistic before turning two years.
"He is a miracle baby," Malini, his mother, said. "He was deemed unfit for normal school as he was hyperactive. Our doctor suggested putting him in special schools.
We soon realised he had unique talents. He used to hum songs that he listened on TV. He never committed mistakes in mathematics, which Tejaswaryalaxmi, his younger sister and a normal child, made. To develop his hidden interests further, I did courses in Special Education and Parental Behaviour Support from a Dubai-based university. Previously, I had done bachelor in education too. We put him into home schooling.
"We also got great help from special educator Veena Sivakumar and family. In 2018, he cleared Class 10 exam held by National Institute of Open Schooling, an autonomous organisation under the Indian government. I also taught him moral studies and UAE's rules and regulations," the proud mother said.
Shining amidst normal children
Rohithparithi has also won electronic keyboard competitions held by various groups and associations and, that too, in general category. "He can reproduce any kind of music after hearing it twice or thrice. He remembers and chants more than 40 shlokas in Sanskrit from (Hindu religious text) Bhagavad Gita."
Even as Rohithparithi doesn't really realise his achievements, he makes notes in his diary, which like his trophy cabinet is filled with fascinating stories.
Rohithparithi has also participated in Special Olympics Mena Games 2018. His volunteering works include 2019 Special Olympics World Games, World Energy Congress and more.
A busy daily schedule to keep
Rohithparithi is now multi-tasker with a busy schedule as he takes part in events held by Sedra Foundation, Goals UAE, Dubai Ensemble Choir, associations, malls, concerts and other engage in other works like gardening.
His father, Ganesh, has a word of advice for other parents. "Each child is different and unique. When they grow only you will know. We should never isolate these children. We should include them in as many activities as possible and open all gates. Only through exposure will they gain experience," he said lauding the efforts of the UAE leadership in supporting people of determination.
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