100-Day project

LIFESMART Families

Lavanya and her mother Manju are organizing a 100 Days of Gratitude projects
Start your own 100-Day project today!

100-Day project

LIFESMART Families

Pragnya and her mother Bhairavi are organizing a 100 Days of Build and Talk project.
Learn more about their project in the HELP section. Start your own 100-Day Build and Talk project today!

LIFESMART 2022

shiksha valli-age

Our vision is to inform, educate, and support parents of neuro-diverse persons so they can be more effective guides and champions for their children. We also seek to raise awareness among teachers/ mentors and other members of the community so they can enable the development of neuro-diverse persons.

“It takes a village to raise a child.” This is particularly true for neuro-diverse children and adults, and their families. We believe that the life-long learning of a neuro-diverse person proceeds first with the love and nourishment from the parents, followed by supportive teachers/ mentors, and then an inclusive community. Such multi-pronged efforts enable neuro-diverse people to have degrees of independence in their lives.

Soon after a diagnosis, parents start worrying about thearpies. They are worried about the child's education and independent living possibilities. None of us live by ourselves. Our message is to invest in a community that provides support, learning, and independence for life.

“shiksha” means education in many Indian languages. “valli” means a plant that grows independently yet is attached to a tree. In English, the suffix “-age” is usually applied when referring to “result of” or “act of” something. So the name “Shiksha-valli-age” is a play on this notion of education that enables neuro-diverse persons to attain independence even while attached to the underlying support network.

There is yet another meaning to our name. Shikshavalli is the first chapter of Taittriya Upanishad, and is in essence a contract between the student and society. The phrase “mAthru-dEvo bhava, pithru-dEvo bhava, Acharya-dEvo bhava, athithi-dEvo bhava” appears in the eleventh anuvAka of Shikshavalli. While this phrase itself is about the duties of the student, it also captures the sequence of those who help and influence the student. It also is appropriate to the idea that the parents, guru, and the broader society are needed to help neuro-diverse persons.

Hence the name, “shiksha valli-age”! shiksha-valliage is our pivotal concept for 2022!

Learning4LIFE

Honoring Gurus who Believe

We are all the products of countless hours of teaching that our many teachers have invested in us. This is also true for those on the ASD spectrum. But Autism spectrum disorders affect people in often visible ways, which often leads to them being pre-judged even by well-intentioned people. Children and young adults on the autism spectrum, and their families, know the curse of low expectations all too well. Finding teachers for their pursuits is typically difficult enough; finding teachers who believe in their potential, and push them to strive as they would with a neuro-typical peer, is truly rare. This is a particularly steep hurdle for those with a passion for the performing arts - attaining proficiency in the arts requires many long years of commitment by both teacher and student, which is unlikely to occur when expectations are low. But such gurus do exist in the performing arts and elsewhere. Somehow, they have found it in them to believe, encourage, teach, and nurture a shared passion for the arts in the ASD population.
Learning4LIFE

The 100-Day Project

The LIFESMART 100-Day project was launched in May 2021. It as quickly taken root in our parent community. The 100-Day project is taking shape as our primary vehicle for practicing LIFESMART. Since parents in our community have children of dfferent ages and at different stages of development, we needed an approach that was applicable to diverse users. An added advantage is that users are quickly immmersed in a short-term project. They are encouraged to practice LIFESMART concepts and tools as they are doing their 100-Day project.

Becoming LIFESMART

The 100-Day projects are short-term projects that evolve daily LIFE. Focus on what is doable now with resources at hand while choosing 100-Day projects. Consider the four LIFE questions while choosing 100-Day projects.

    • L: How will this project enhance daily Learning routines, habits, and capacities?
    • I: How will this project help discover and nurture the learner's Interests?
    • F: How will this project enrich Family interactions?
    • E: How will this project foster Engagement with community?

    The 100-Day projects are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-framed) projects. Project goals evolve and become SMARTer over time.

Families Learning Together

Our Community

Our community as of December 31, 2021. Many members are in multiple groups. For example, many members in one of the Whatsapp parenting groups are also on our Telegram group.

469

LIFESMART Parenting - Whatsapp

257

LIFESMART 100 Day Lab - Whatsapp

499

LIFESMART Families - Telegram

567

LIFESMART Labs - Facebook

Learning4LIFE

100-Day Project Virtual Meetups

The 100-day project is taking root in our community as a vehicle for implementing LIFESMART.

100-Day projects are short-term projects that support long-term LIFE goals. Watch our first virtual meetup on the 100-Day project featuring a 100-Day project by Shinjitha Joshi-Pant, a parent in our LIFESMART community.

Getting Started

  • Make a list of 100-Day project possibilities
  • Prioritize 100-Day learning projects.
  • Define specific goals for the 100-Day project
  • List skills that you will practice in this 100-Day project
  • List ways in which you will track progress during this 100-Day project

Our Community

LIFESMART Tools

One of our goals is to provide LIFESMART users the right tools for our users. A variety of paper-based and computer-based tools can be used for planning and tracking 100-Day projects. The LIFESMART kit is a simple paper-based tools that makes it easy to learn and use LIFESMART. Users familiar with the LIFESMART kit can use other tools over time.

  • LIFESMART Kit
  • LIFESMART Wheel
  • Notebook or Paper Plates
  • Googlesheet
  • Visual Mapping Tools

Homeschooling enabled me to work at my own pace. As an autistic person, a flexible schedule was important because I could not concentrate for long hours. I could also experiment and use visual thinking and other tools. So I would like to help learners with disabilities learn in ways that work for them. Because of COVID, I want to help all learners and their families learn together.

Ananth Raghunandan

Coordinator, Learning4LIFE

Supporting the LIFESMART Community

Learning4LIFE Coordinator

Develop Website

  • Collect information from community
  • Build webpage
  • Maintain website

Manage data

  • Collect data
  • Prepare reports
  • Share with community

Grow Networks

  • Add resources to networks
  • Showcase projects and progress
  • Grow networks

Learning4LIFE

Honoring Ananth's Gurus

Ananth's story is a story of many teachers and mentors who believed in him and encouraged him.

  • Professor Mohanan, his Bharatanatyam guru, has played an important role in our lives. In addition to Bharatanatyam lessons, Ananth values black tea moments and conversations with Shri. K. Mohanan and Smt. Sunitha Mohanan!
  • Ms. Lois Uscher, his piano teacher, has been a patient guide and champion for many years.
  • Mr. Bradford Hansen-Smith, developer of Wholemovement, has encouraged and supported our folding explorations for many years.
  • Mr. Boaz Santiogo, PicEinworks, encouraged Ananth's journey to entrepreneurship and helped him develop the Fold, Color, Talk concept.
  • Mr. Manu Sekar, Founder and Chief Mentor at HashHackCode, is a recent guide who is supporting Ananth's transition to the workplace in many ways.
  • We are also grateful to Dr. Govindarajan, Dr. Radhakrishnan, and the staff at Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital for encouraging and supporting Ananth in his Medical Records and Hospital Documentation journey.

Learn more about LIFESMART here