Adhruth Yagyaraman

Born To Win…

Adhruth’s first year with BTS Of MN July 13, 2017

Filed under: Status,Videos — Yagya @ 8:11 AM
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This blog is my way of saying a Huge THANKS to Adhruth’s Therapy Team at Behavior Therapy Solutions of MN (BTS Of MN). This June, we have completed one year of In-home ABA Therapy for Adhruth. We were skeptical initially as it is not easy to have Therapist come over to our house and work with Adhruth when we are still at home. It was like having some strangers in the house, all through. BTS Team made it so easy for us to go through the entire experience.

Yes, Therapists have changed from the time we have started. Yes, schedules have changed in last minute a couple of times. Yes, Adhruth has slept before sessions and we have had couple of last minute cancellations. Yes, Supervisors have changed in this duration. One thing that has remained consistent in the last 12 months, is the improvements in Adhruth. Everything Adhruth does in this Video would not have been possible without the passion, dedication and commitment of his Therapy team. They are no more strangers who walk into our house. They are integral part of Adhruth’s Team.

There are few times, where as Parents we have given up on some activity, but this group has never given up on him. They know how to push Adhruth to get the best out of him. Most importantly, they know how street smart Adhruth is and are excited to find new ways of getting the task done.

One aspect that stood out for me was, how Adhruth was very comfortable in generalizing activity. In this video, though most activities happen at Home, it is interesting to see how he was able to carry out the same activity in his Speech Therapy sessions at Fraser.

This blog will be totally incomplete, without a very special mention to Camille, Adhruth’s  Treatment Supervisor. We always wonder, if there are times, when she does not think about the kids she works with. She is as excited as Parents to see Adhruth master new tasks, appreciate him and celebrate his achievements. The tremendous improvements in Adhruth in last 6 months would not have happened without this Team. Thanks BTS of MN.

 

Flow with the Flow… June 19, 2017

Filed under: Photo,Status — Yagya @ 6:01 AM

On this Father’s Day, we are excited to share that I am becoming a Father again :-). Yes, Subhashree is pregnant again and we are expecting the Second Boy by end of September. 6 years after Adhruth’s delivery, it was a surprise and we took it with mixed emotions. Here is my expression on what happened within a span of 24 hours from learning about the Pregnancy.

It is amazing to see how life brings in a bunch of experiences and learnings at a time when I just need it – not early, not late. Life has its own way and here is one such experience in my life.

On 2nd January 2017 I received an email from Megha with a line “Read The Surrender Experiment – by Michael Singer. I believe it’s just what you were waiting for J”. My first thought was “I am not waiting for any book. I hate reading books”. At the same time, I have learnt the Teacher have their own way and surrendering to the journey, started listening to the audio book. The book was about real life experiences of Michael A Singer, who started living life as a Hippi but ended up owning multi-million dollar company. Audio book was narrated by the author himself and that added authenticity to his experiences. Each chapter talked about his life’s experiences and how in every instance, he had a personal preference of doing something but life threw something unexpected and he decided to give up his personal preference to life’s flow of events and in return how miracles happened every time. On any given day, I could not hear more than a couple of chapters, for each experience was taking me deeper. At the end of some chapters, I would just pause the audio book, close my eyes and sit in a state of non-doing for the experience to settle down.

It was 24th January 2017 at 7:30 pm and I was at Adhruth’s swimming class, when a totally unexpected, unplanned, unprepared and unanticipated surprise came up. Subhashree called me and said that Urine test was positive for the pregnancy. We have discussed about having another kid but every time that topic comes up, we conclude that Adhruth needs so much of our time, attention, effort and help that we may not be able to do justice to another little one now.

As Adhruth was still in pool, I was busy googling to learn abortion rules in America. I did not even think it was possible for us to continue with pregnancy, given Adhurth’s conditions and how much time we spent for his health needs. The moment we reached home from Swimming, there was a grim of Silence. I was very clear in my mind that abortion is the best decision for our family.

Adhruth, completely unaware of what has going on, slept peacefully after being tired from Swimming. Neither of us could sleep. We hardly slept for couple of hours and were restless throughout.

In the morning, I was not able to concentrate on any of my routine. We wanted to meet a doctor and abort as soon as possible. Subhashree agreed with me that it was a more realistic option, keeping our emotions aside.

I gathered enough energy and got ready for work. My plan was to call and get an appointment on my way to work. I know, the more we live with this, there will be an emotional attached to the pregnancy that it becomes much more difficult decision later.

As I started the Car, of the 8000 songs in my phone, this random track of my Guru Mahatria played. The Album was “Flow with the Flow” and this specific track was “Flowing with the Flow”.  It was an instrumental track with Mahatria’s voice guiding

  • Knowing YOU have bigger plans for me, Flowing with the Flow…
  • With this Clarity – I am never alone. YOU are always there with me, within me, Flowing with the Flow…
  • With the realization, you will never give me an experience that is not needed for me, Flowing with the Flow…
  • Hearing you call, “Come…”, I am Flowing with the Flow…

I was so lost with what I was hearing and its randomness. I started the car only after 5 minutes. Still lost in the chain of thoughts, I reached Office. No surprises here, I was unable to concentrate on the work. After an hour, I called Subhashree.

Me: It’s me

Subhashree: Yeah

Me: Not sure why I called or what to talk. How are you

Subhashree: Hmmm.

Me: Did you eat breakfast

Subhashree: Not yet. How are you feeling. What are you thinking

Me: I don’t know how I am feeling. On one side, I am reading this book where Micky explains how he decided to flow with the flow and things have turned out great for him in his life. Then this morning, totally random “Flow with the Flow” track plays in the car. Though, these things are communicating a message to me, I realistically think now is not the right time for us to have another kid. What do you say

Subhashree: I am also confused and tensed. I have always shared everything with my mom and feeling very tight unable to talk to her. Shall I call her and talk

Me: No. Don’t do that now. That may make us guilty, if we decide to abort. Something in me says we should continue but a bigger voice is saying it is not possible and we should abort. So, you please be ready at 4 PM and I will come home and let’s leave immediately and talk to doctors.

Subhashree: Hmm. Ok. Let’s do that.

I reached home and I talked to a Nurse and they said typically they will talk to Subhashree in person first, about the process and give her 24 hours time think through about her decision to abort and if she sticks to that decision then can fix another appointment for abortion. Also, they said that though we can come in and talk to them that evening, earliest counselling is a week from now.

I sat in the recliner silently and after a couple of minutes suddenly said to Subhashree, “Lets go to the Temple”. She was confused. What? Every time when anyone in the home wants to go to the Temple, I have always taken them to the Temple, but never the initiation has come from me. “Seriously. Is that where you want to go now instead of Hospital”. I said, “I am confused beyond explanation and think it is better if we go to the Temple”.

It was a weekday and Hindu Temple of Minnesota opens at 5:30 pm and we were there at 5:45 pm. In fact, me, Subhashree and Adhruth were the only three in the Temple, other than the priests. Idols of all Gods from different parts of India are in individual sanctum sanctorum and usually we start from the left and go all around the temple, worshipping all deities. We started doing that and by the time we were in the middle, at Lord Vishnu’s idol and as we were walking there, we heard the Priest ask, “Any Vishnu Archana sponsors, please come”. After few seconds, he again called out “Any Vishnu Archana sponsors, please come”. I looked around again, there was nobody in the Temple other than us. I told Subhashree, I don’t know why he is asking when it is just us here and we did not plan to do any Archana, but since he is asking, let me pay for the Archana and let’s do it”. The other priest immediately said, “Time’s up, just grab the Archana bag and come and you can pay later”. I quickly ran and grabbed Archana bag and brought it to the priest.

Couple of hours back, I did not plan to be in the Temple and now I am here. Few minutes back, I did not plan for performing an Archana and here I am doing. With these running in my mind, I closed my eyes and stood in front of the alter of God, eyes closed and hands in Prayer position. There was a floodgate of Guru’s voice hitting me hard as if it was waiting for me to close my eyes.

  • Very first though I clearly remember was – Prayer is not something you do to HIM. Prayer is something HE does unto HIMSELF, through YOU. I have remembered many times when my Grand Father has said that, until Tirupathi Balaji decides to call you to his place, you can plan multiple times, but, it will not happen. HE needs to decide to give darshan to you and it will happen only then. He wanted me to be the instrument to do this Archana and I am only an instrument. There should be some reason for HIM to make this happen today.
  • Not every time a Man and Woman have an intercourse, a baby is formed, it needs a Spiritual intervention for a baby to be formed in the womb and that does not happen all times. There is something beyond us that is involved in this process.
  • Don’t think the baby is coming into this world by you. Time for a soul to be born has come and it is happening through you. Be glad you are picked up as the vehicle.
  • Don’t think you are taking care of Adhruth and meeting all his needs by your effort. Not even a Thumb can move if HE decides against it.

As these thoughts were running in my mind, another first time ever, I started crying in the Temple. Still, with my eyes closed, a flash showed me everything great that happened to me in the last few years when it was right time for me. I did not think I will come and live in USA for 4 years. This was needed for Adhruth’s health and HE decided to keep me here. In fact, everything related to my Visa status, job change, interviews, offers, happened in exactly precise time when I needed it, completely out my control.

In fact, I was thinking I was taking care of Adhruth and fulfilling all his medical needs but now I am realizing that HE was taking care of Adhruth every day and I am just a device through which HE is fulfilling Adhruth’s needs. Beyond comprehension, things have happened at the right time when I needed it and here now, I am thinking about bringing in my personal intelligence and preferences to disrupt LIFE’s existential flows. How dumb of me. As I read in Micky’s book, my personal preference was not this choice, but if Life’s miraculous flow is this, who am I to stop this. Why am I thinking about stopping it. I have heard my Guru say, “when Christ was about to be crucified, he said, My Lord, if death be your gift unto me, will I say a NO”, that is Prashadha buddhi. Even if Death is God’s gift, how about a new Life in this world. Is that not a reason for celebration.

I wiped the tears rolling down. Subhashree was confused what was happening to me as this is very new for her. I smiled at her and waited for the Archana to complete. After that, sat down in the Temple to just experience the new experience. Slowly, I told her, “I think, we should this pregnancy, without any hesitation. If something has happened naturally now that even when doctors have told it is not possible, certainly there is a Special power that is playing this game. I just want to go with the flow and don’t disturb. So, once we are out of the Temple, call your Parents first and share the happy news. They are going to be Grand Parents again”. Subhashree smiled and said “When they delayed appointment for a week, I knew something would happen, but not so quick. Though I said let’s go with previous decision, something in me was telling this will happen”.

Those moments made me realize, “In life, when GOD upsets your plan, BE HAPPY. Because, now HIS plans are going to be executed and HIS plans are always right”. I have decided to Flow with the Flow and surrender. In my Surrender, it is no more my responsibility. Yes, I will continue to do everything that I need to do, but it is HIS game now.

I smiled when the next thought that came to me was the Smallest prayer that my Guru has thought just by saying “Sambhalna” looking up. My lord, I have Surrendered to you and its now your game and I am ready as a player. Let’s play this game called LIFE in your way, my Lord. Now, I re-read Megha’s email on January 2nd and understood the meaning of the words “I believe it’s just what you were waiting for J”

Your ways are your ways, my Lord.

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A Father Learns… March 1, 2017

Filed under: Status — Yagya @ 7:48 AM

If there was a moment in my life, when I understood the meaning of the word “Responsibility”, it was on October 3rd 2010 at 8:30 AM. Adhruth was born at 7:42 AM that day and had to be admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) immediately. It was 8:30 and I was writing details in his admission form, and one of the questions was relationship with the Patient and for first time in my life, I started playing the role of a FATHER. Yes, I have heard from many that life after a kid will be different, but I never anticipated HOW different it would be.

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Adhruth is now 6 year old, energetic, bubbly, ever smiling, happy kid diagnosed with Autism. He is non-verbal yet, formula fed through G Tube in his stomach gives him 60% of his nutritional needs, takes a Growth Hormone injection every night, diagnosed with hearing loss and needed a surgery in his head to correct Chiari Decompression. But, all these doesn’t stop him from living a happy life.

Respect the Woman

The very first lesson Adhruth taught me immediately after he was born, is to value the woman in my life. I always knew Adhruth will get my name as his last name, because I am his father. I did not realize; it is the Mother who is given importance in the Hospital. For first 35 days after he was born, Adhruth was in the NICU and we did not finalize his name yet. Yes, it is illegal to know the gender of the baby during pregnancy in India and until the baby is born, we don’t name the baby. All through that 5 weeks, he was only called as “Baby of Subhashree” by everyone in the Hospital, all his Hospital records and discharge summary. I wondered and looked through everywhere to find my name, it was nowhere. It’s Subhashree, who carried him in the womb for 35 weeks and will carry him in her heart for rest of his life, and realized it’s due to give her that recognition. Immediately after his birth, Adhruth taught me to respect women.

Be Happy, Always Be Happy

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Adhruth

In all situations, Adhruth is very happy and energetic. There is never a dull moment in his life. He is not bothered about the environment, what others do, what others say or what they would think. He lives his life happily bindaas.  In his Special Education class room, Teachers and his friends will be involved in an activity and something will make Adhruth laugh. When he laughs, he really LAUGHS – He laughs his heart out, mouth open, lips to the widest point. His laugh is very contagious and soon his entire class including Teachers laugh with him.

There are days, when as parents, we think of his future and are worried, irritated or get into a swing of negativity. Adhruth understands our emotions, will come close to our face and keep his lips on our cheek acting as if he is kissing us, throw his arms around our neck and will start smiling and in a moment, it will turn into a huge laugh.  If there is one medicine that can make me forget all my worries, tiredness, negative emotions – it’s his laugh.

My Guru has taught me saying “Children don’t need a reason to be happy. They can laugh for no reason”. Here was Adhruth, my Teacher – showing me experientially how to live life that way. Its just me as a grown up, look for reasons and tie my happiness to a lot of materialistic things. I will live my life like Adhruth – happily bindaas. Great lesson to the father from Son.

Understanding the Society and Family

picture1During our weekend trips, we are used to feeding Adhruth through the G tube in public places. Initially we were very reluctant with lots of questions in our mind – what will others think about us? Will they think we are not encouraging Adhruth to eat orally? Will they think we have not done our part as Parents? Will they make fun of us? Will they tease Adhruth, because he is different? – all these questions would run in our mind. One instance changed it all for us and changed my perspective completely.

At Tulip festival in Iowa, we were feeding Adhruth through G tube in a Park. A stranger was constantly looking at us. Even before he could come, I was ready with my justification of Adhruth’s medical condition. But, this man walked straight, sat right next to me in the grass, put his arms on my shoulder as if giving a half hug and looking right into my eyes started talking.  “As Parents, both of you are doing an extremely great and an important job. It is not easy to go through what you guys are going through for your Son. I can understand your sacrifices to make this little boy’s life better. There is only one thing I can say right now, it will all pay off for your Son in years and when you look back after many years, you will feel good that you did what is right for him. Over years, he will be better and I can say that confidently. Look…”. He pointed his hands to a girl who may be 8 years old, was happily playing in the garden with her family. He then continued, “That’s my daughter. She was in tube feeding for over 5 years, but that is what helped her in her growth and now is doing great. I pray to God to give you enough Strength, as that is the only thing I can do for you. Your little guy will make you proud, one day”. Saying this he walked past us, not even looking at us again. We then continue to feed Adhruth, with a teary eyes and a resolute heart.

Everyone cannot put themselves in my shoes for them to understand what I go through. But, this anonymous stranger was able to understand us as he has been through our journey. He is part of our family – a family of Special Parents. Through Adhruth, we know there are great, caring, wonderful people around.

Adhruth doesn’t understand everything we speak to him, yet, but, what is very important for me is when we look into his eyes, smile and say “I love you, Adhruth”, there is an instant smile in his face and I know that is a different smile and his way of saying, “I love you too, Appa”. It doesn’t matter to me what else he learns, when he learns or when he can talk – Adhruth knows what is Love and can experientially demonstrate it. It is just a matter of time, with the power of love, and my Faith, everything else will follow through. Thank you Adhruth, my boy.

 

San Diego and Los Angeles trip… January 1, 2017

Filed under: Status — Yagya @ 6:17 AM

We usually plan for our vacation, way ahead of time. This time was an exception. We planned for a trip to San Diego and Los Angeles just little over a week before our trip. We wanted to go out somewhere warmer and take a few days’ reprieve from cold and the location was purely based on that.

Flight, hotel and car booking happened overnight . For the first time ever, I did book tickets before informing Work about the vacation. I took 2 days’ vacation (that will expire by end of this year) and combined with Christmas weekend. So, off we went.

Flight was around 6 PM and due to Holiday weekend travel plans we reached Airport ahead of time (almost by 4.15 PM we were there). For the first time in my travel, TSA allowed everyone to keep liquids and gel in the carryon and did not ask us to remove that. They allowed with shoes, belts and did not ask to take out anything. I thought it may be due to Holiday rush planning. Flight started at 6 PM and after 4 hrs travel and gaining 2 hours, we reached San Diego at 8 PM. Out of 4 hours travel, Adhruth was awake for around 3.5 hours and had dinner and enjoyed watching his iPad. He slept when it was time to land.

Car Rental was not inside the Airport arrival area and Shuttle took us to the Car Rental. From there, Residence Inn (where else will we stay) was hardly 15 mins. Settled in to the hotel and our room was partial Bay facing room. Good view to enjoy.

San Diego Sea World 

It was a beautiful 50F day but winds made it colddd.

I have seen Dolphin show in movies and it was our first real life experience. It is amazing to see the training given and how they respond. It was nothing less than being another human in understanding the instruction. Positive reinforcement works tremendously. Whales jumping out of water hearing the trainer was a sight to watch. The final act of 2 whales coming out of water was excellent.

It was drizzling a bit but did not last for more than 5 minutes. Sea Lion comedy show was fun. Cannot believe these mammals were such trainable creatures.

Then came the highlight of the day. Dolphin interaction where we get to touch, feed and communicate with Dolphin. Softtttttttttttt skin and they felt like touching eggplant (brinjal). There were 2 Dolphins and it is an experience interacting with them. Adhruth was so excited and he ran towards the pool and was happy interacting with the Dolphins.

After that we walked around the Sea World and looking at the shops there. The additional $ for preference seating was worth it and don’t have to be in the line longer.

San Diego Zoo 

The next day was Zoo time. This day was not as windy as the previous day. This zoo is very different. Not only had huge population of animals but lots of greenery and trees around. We did the Discovery cart tour where we had a private tour in the cart with a guide who explains a lot about animals there and lots of history. We got chance to pull over and get into some exhibits. It was an hour of tour and certainly worth it.

After the tour, got a good perspective of the places to see and started walking. By this time, Adhruth finished his lunch and slept. We walked through Monkey area (this alone was so vast). Then looked at Leopards, Cheetah, Lion and Tiger. This is the place I have got the best picture of a Tiger.

After more walking and taking much more pictures, we thought we were done and wanted to do some shopping.

Seaport Village 

Carousel here is much faster and longer duration (of course, first activity is to entertain Adhruth so that he is happy and lets us shop). Lots of small shops with amazing unique items. The best thing here is the excellent view of Sunset. We did not carry our camera thinking it is just shopping, but got some good pictures with our Phone (hmmmm, ugggg iPhone commercial time).

The next day, we went to Las Americas outlet and explored that place. Did not realize how close it was to Mexico border . From there, we headed to Los Angeles. My Sister’s friend Lakshmi akka lives in Irvine and invited us home. Meeting akka after more than a decade. Spent good time with their family. Adhruth found a gread friend there  and was ready to climb over him.

Reached Los Angeles that night and settled down in the hotel. We now have one full day at LA. We decided to skip Universal Studios as Adhruth was too young for the rides there. So, headed to Citadel outlets and after some shopping there came to Walk of Fame and Downtown area. Spent some time there till it was dark and all lights were on. Took a long walk in the streets and lots of pictures. We remembered our walk in the Times Square. After some more pictures and locating some more names in the Walk, headed back home.

Oh, some new experiments this trip – Adhruth loves Skittles and Cheese pizza 

Flight next morning was at 7:30 AM and landed in Minneapolis at around 1:15 after losing 2 hours. Adhruth this time, slept for half of the duration. It was a great experience but we felt we needed more days of vacation.

 

First day at YMCA Kids Stuff October 23, 2016

Filed under: Status,Videos — Yagya @ 8:17 AM
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Yesterday was our very First Demo visit before looking at Membership at Ridgedale YMCA. After the introduction session, went last night with Adhruth at 6:30 PM. Adhruth, loved the Gym place there and did a great job playing there. After few attempt, Adhruth was very comfortable with the Maze as well. Came back home after 90 minutes of Play 🙂

 

Fall Colors

This year, we went to the Arboretum to see Fall Colors. Today, we were at Minneopa State Park. This was certainly a last minute visit without lot of planning ahead. We just thought, we will go out and have fun for a 60F day on October 22. Here are pictures taken in both the visits. Once we were half way to Minneopa State Park, realized we did not carry our Camera but decided to put iPhone 7 plus camera to more test. Certainly iPhone does not replace the DSLR, but impressed with picture quality for sure.

 

Happy Birthday Adhruth October 3, 2016

Filed under: Me to Adhruth,Photo — Yagya @ 7:53 AM
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My Dear Adhruth

6 years back, at this exact moment (scheduling this post to match time) is when you came into this Beautiful World. I still remember clearly when Subhashree was feeling uncomfortable at home. We were set expectation that you will come out anytime now. We called Doctor and she asked us to get Subhashree to the Hospital immediately. It was a Sunday morning and we drove from Kundanahalli to Manipal Hopsital in less than 15 minutes. Doctor had got all nurses, staff ready there and Subhashree was taken into the delivery room immediately on arriving at the Hospital. Doctor came out of the delivery room and showed us you – our bundle of joy and said you came into this World at 7:42 AM (Now, living in Minneapolis, technically that translates to October 2, 9:12 PM)

You are always Happy and the smile in your face is what gives us enough strength to face everything. You are a very strong guy who can face any adversities of life. Yes, we do get frustrated or irritated at times, but you surprise us  by things you do. Looking back, you went in your bus ride to School (without any of us) when you were just over 3 years, you laugh taking your growth hormone shots, you think it is a play – drinking milk through G Tube. You are the bravest I have seen. It is in your responses, that we actually feel much better doing what we do.

Life has never been the same again for us (and you, of course). Here is a compilation of you in this journey. I matched all pictures that were taken around your birthday time so that we can cherish your growth.

 

 
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