Impact Story: Introducing Jhuma

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Every single day she lives her life as a nightmare that she hopes will end, the unbearable pain with a message: “I tried to live a normal life like others, but I can’t”

Meet Jhuma she is autism affected since birth, and lives in a very poor, rural village in Bangladesh. Born in 1993, she is now 27year old woman with 4 siblings who are all are married and well established. There was little hope for her future, not for lack of trying. Her family tried a lot for her but there were no available programs, treatment, knowledge or services to address Autism Spectrum issues, symptoms, education or adult skills development.

Jhuma was born in a place where autism awareness is non-existent and where the lights of care are a rare thing. In her village, awareness of autism is the last thing on people’s mind, as she lives in a place where people are all struggling for basic necessity, food, clothes and all needs.

From birth to today, she and her entire family struggled with the many challenges that came along with autism. Jhuma being born autistic, was something her family started trying to address when they discovered that she was not like other people from her childhood. Jhuma start going to school with her cousin when she was 5 years old.

Because of her autism spectrum symptoms, people did not know how to deal with her, and rejected her, compromising her education, socialization, and future development options. The lack of social awareness, educational preparation and care, started to aggravate her behavioral issues. On that time her family sought medical treatment and doctor after doctor but after many attempt’s nothing constructive came to happen.

From childhood, Jhuma has to face a lot of problems as a very pretty and attractive girl with limited social and communication skills she risked abuse from some very bad people who felt she couldn’t report the wrong doing.

Jhuma lived in a village and she often travels or escapes the safety of home, often a few times every month, she is able to escape. Characteristic with Autism Spectrum , she is a very short-tempered and angry person because she not communicate verbally with people, she expressed frustration by aggressively biting them. Her family relatives understood that this is how an autistic person suffers, however it was harder to manage with local shop keepers, frightened peers, or local villagers.

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