Tryst With Special Education
Toolika Wadhwa
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN AUTISM ENTREPRENEUR by Mythily Chari Amarabharathi, Tirruvannamalai, 2018, 175 pp., 200
January 2018, volume 42, No 1

Autobiographies are always a great source of learning and inspiration. In reading about someone else, the reader gets a perspective about things that are often missed in one’s own life. Writing about oneself is cathartic as much for the writer as it is for the reader, as both can connect in disjointed, but similar life experiences. Autobiographies of the great leaders of the world, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Maya Angelou, among others, serve important inspirational purposes by bringing to the fore the low points in their lives, as much as highlight the high points. However, it is not just international celebrities whose autobiographies can be motivational. Stories of learning to live a fulfilling life can be found in autobiographies of people who might otherwise remain in obscurity. Works of Anne Frank and Baby Halder are two such examples. Mythili Chari’s autobiography serves the right dose of inspiration to work in a field that many shy away from even today. With a Masters in Special Education, Chari’s work in the field of autism is exemplary.

Her passion is not restricted to working with children with autism. Her work has also been in areas of curriculum development, training teachers and parents, and policy making. Her autobiography thus serves as a prelude to some of her more focussed books that provide hands on strategies for engaging with children with autism.

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