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!

Families Learning Together

The LIFESMART Parenting E-books

LIFESMART April 2022 by addittogether

We are pleased to launch our LIFESMART monthly e-book series during Autism Acceptance month 2022!

The LIFESMART Parenting monthly e-books include the list of virtual meetups for the month with links to meetup videos, parenting tips, and other resources. These e-books are an important resource for the Families Learning Together project.

The LIFESMART Families virtual meetups are an important part of the process of families learning together. Each virtual presents ideas, tools, and techniques that parents can use to raise neuro-diverse children. Ongoing conversations in groups support parents in applying information from virtual meetups and other resources.

Parents try the tools and share their ideas, experiences, and insights with the LIFESMART community. This process of playing it forward is of critical importance to families learning together.

The monthly e-books will play an important role in facilitating conversations in the LIFESMART community. The e-books are a way to share resources in a consistent way across our Whatsapp, Facebook, and Telegram groups.

Click on the link to view the LIFESMART e-books to support our Families Learning Together project:

LIFESMART E-books

The LIFESMART Toolkit

LIFESMART Tools and Resources

We launched our weekly meetup on February 12, 2022. Ananth and I released our first e-book as a resource for this meetup.

LIFESMART Toolkit - Ebook 1 by addittogether

The LIFESMART toolkit is a collection of parent (guide) and child (learner) tools to enhance learning, thinking, problem-solving, and communication. Our vision is that every (neuro-divergent) learner will be equipped with a set of tools that they can use throughout their life. Learners will have the ability to choose and to mix and match the right tools for their situation and needs.

The user group that we will prioritize is parents. Why? Parents spend many years with their child. They are in the best position to equip their child with the right set of tools.

Start early! This is our message to parents. If parents start exploring tools early, they can slowly develop the capacity to use the tools. First, they can use the tools themselves. Then, they can use the tools with their child. Finally, encourage the child to choose and use the right tools as needed.

Review the e-book to learn about a key LIFESMART tool. The LIFESMART tetrahedron is the first tool that was created to show parents and others how to use LIFESMART. While LIFESMART components have been in place for some time, we saw the need for a way to show parents how to use these components step by step. The tetrahedron is used to show a sequence of steps to follow to start building a learning roadmap using the LIFESMART components.

Families Learning Together

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

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.
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

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, Families Learning Together

Supporting the LIFESMART Community

Families Learning Together, Project Coordinator

Develop Website

  • Collect and review information.
  • Update webpage
  • Maintain website

Develop Content

  • Create folded LIFESMART models
  • Upload pictures to e-book
  • Develop content

Communicate with community

  • Share information about virtual meetups
  • Upload videos
  • Share resources on website

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