What This Father Did For His Autistic Child, Is Heart Warming
Born in London in 1970, Sanjay Shah always had big dreams. Despite his family’s encouragement to pursue a career in medicine, Mr Shah decided to quit his medical studies and enter the world of banking. After a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and continual challenges, he established himself as the CEO of Solo Capital. He and his family moved to Dubai, and he continued to strengthen his business empire.
Life for this business tycoon was lavish, successful and happy; exactly the way he had always wanted it to be. However, things soon reached a turning point. Mr Shah’s youngest son was having some behavioural issues and, after several investigations, was formally diagnosed with autism. After the initial shock sunk in, Mr Shah made a decision. He would not shy away from the challenges that faced him and his family. He would not be embarrassed of his son, and he would not ignore his behaviour. He would stand by his son, no matter what.
After significant research, Mr Shah understood and accepted that autism is not something to be fixed. Instead, he realised the importance of educating society on how to deal with children with autism, helping to improve their lifestyle and support them to express their needs and thoughts.
Mr Shah started funding UK charity Autism Research Trust, and soon became a very important part of the autism community. He was fuelled with the desire to do something positive for children affected by this disorder. His dream was big and the sky was the limit.
While Mr Shah was happy to support autism charities financially, he felt that doing this alone was not enough to help those affected by autism. He decided he wanted to do something big for awareness. After a lot of time and thought, Mr Shah came to the conclusion that an annual music concert would be perfect. The combination of his love for music and his son gave birth to Autism Rocks. Autism Rocks concerts are now one of the biggest attractions in Dubai.
Watching your child struggle with the challenges of autism can be a painful experience for parents. But for Sanjay Shah, this made him more determined. He spent time with speech therapists, case supervisors and occupational therapists who taught him more about autism. He learnt to find more effective ways to communicate with his son, using techniques such as sign language. What can be more fulfilling for a father than to hear the word ‘Dad’, after going through so much? Yes, after a great deal of effort, Mr Shah’s son can now communicate through sign language. He can also speak a few words.
However, for Mr Shah, this is just the beginning. His vision is for every child affected by autism to access therapy. He hopes that other parents will experience the same joy he did, upon hearing their
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