In a world often confined by conventional notions of success, Sohursh Shankar, a spirited individual with Down syndrome, defied expectations by completing the 10th grade at the age of 16. A seemingly normal life event for most is a joyous and almost exceptional one for us.

Beyond individual achievement, the spotlight turns to the incredible support system that fuelled this extraordinary journey.

Acknowledging the pivotal role of dedicated special needs teachers from his earliest schooling days from 2009, heartfelt gratitude goes to Ms. Sangeeta (Euro kids, Powai), Ms. Diana (Indus International, Hyderabad), Ms. Shanthala Somayaji (Abheek Academy consultant), and last but not the least, Ms. Ashwini (who worked with Sohursh from 4 years starting from Insight Academy days and continued to as his teacher, mentor and guide through his home-schooling and successful completion of 10th std)

The road was not without challenges, but collaboration with scribes, the Spastic Society School, and its teachers’ amazing support became pillars of strength. Together, they forged an environment nurturing Sohursh’s growth and development.

The heart-warming support extended beyond the classroom, with family and friends, parents support groups, Down Syndrome Association, Ms. Rekha Ramchandran, who will be our lifelong partner in our journey as special needs parents , all form an integral part of this journey. Our collective supportive to the well-being of Sohursh is a source of inspiration, showcasing the impact a united community can have on a child’s life.

Sohursh, with his “One-Xtra” chromosome, emerged as a beacon of resilience, embracing each learning opportunity with enthusiasm. His determination and infectious spirit, coupled with “One-Xtra” effort from us, challenged preconceived notions. We gleefully celebrated every little achievement!

This journey is a testament to the belief that with the right support, tailored education, and a community embracing diversity, every special needs child can realize their full potential. Sohursh’s story extends beyond academics; it’s a celebration of collective success, despite governmental and larger society’s support

As we share this story, our hope is that it inspires other parents on a similar “One-Xtra” journey. With love, dedication, and a supportive community, we can dream big for our special needs children, knowing that every accomplishment, no matter how seemingly small, is a triumph worth celebrating.

And now starts another journey into adulthood. And we start with One-Xtra spring in the step despite the trepidation.