Therapies should not be a taboo or social stigma: Mrs Monisha Sharma & Dr Isha Soni

We all love to stand out among our peers or in our social group. But sometimes being different comes with its own set of challenges. It is extremely difficult for a child with speech or motor delay to begin his/her education in a regular preschool. Many times, children do things that stand out differently or they behave differently. The teachers in the regular preschools fail to understand these kids or find it very challenging to even connect with them.


Additionally, parents are burdened with running pillar to post for therapies in addition to attending the preschool programs. It is a task to get the appointment slots of renowned therapists and adjust your schedules to attend these therapy sessions, at times giving the preschool a miss. It’s a difficult choice to make between school and a therapy session. These are the true experiences of the parents of children with special needs like Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Difficulties, Down Syndrome and global development delay.





Hence, Lexicon Rainbow Child Development Centre was conceived to give these children a balance between academics and therapies. It was founded in April 2019 under the able guidance of Mr Pankaj Sharma, President, Lexicon Group of Institutes and Mrs Monisha Sharma, Director, Lexicon Group of Institutes & Lexicon Rainbow Therapy and Child Development Centre along with Dr Isha Soni, Centre Head, Lexicon Rainbow and Senior Occupational Therapist.


It's extremely distressing to see your child struggle and all the more difficult to accept it after validation from a doctor. One goes through the process of why me? But, it’s also important to realise it's only you as parents who can help your child.

Stay Featured got the opportunity to speak to the mind behind the Lexicon Rainbow Therapy & Child development centre.


We all love to stand out among our peers or in our social group. But sometimes being different comes with its own set of challenges. It is extremely difficult for a child with speech or motor delay to begin his/her education in a regular preschool. Many times, children do things that stand out differently or they behave different. The teachers in the regular preschools fail to understand these kids or find it very challenging to even connect with them.

differently


Additionally, parents are burdened with running pillar to post for therapies in addition to attending the preschool programs. It is a task to get the appointment slots of renowned therapists and adjust your schedules to attend these therapy sessions, at times giving the preschool a miss. It’s a difficult choice to make between school and a therapy session. These are the true experiences of the parents of children with special needs like Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Difficulties, Down Syndrome and global development delay.


Hence, Lexicon Rainbow Child Development Centre was conceived to give these children a balance between academics and therapies. It was founded in April 2019 under the able guidance of Mr Pankaj Sharma, President, Lexicon Group of Institutes and Mrs Monisha Sharma, Director, Lexicon Group of Institutes & Lexicon Rainbow Therapy and Child Development Centre along with Dr Isha Soni, Centre Head, Lexicon Rainbow and Senior Occupational Therapist.


It's extremely distressing to see your child struggle and all the more difficult to accept it after validation from a doctor. One goes through the process of why me? But, it’s also important to realise it's only you as parents who can help your child.

Stay Featured got the opportunity to speak to the mind behind the Lexicon Rainbow Therapy & Child development centre.


In conversation with Mrs Monisha Sharma, Director, Lexicon Group of Institutes & Lexicon Rainbow Therapy and Child Development Centre along with Dr Isha Soni, Centre Head & Senior Occupational Therapist at Lexicon Rainbow Therapy and Child development centre.




What made you start Lexicon Rainbow Therapy & Child development centre?




Monisha Sharma- The Lexicon Group of Institutes has grown from 19 to 16000 plus students today. Over the years, we have come across students with neurodiverse needs. Some of these were social, speech, emotional, academic, anxiety, and low self-esteem challenges. A handful of these students required more professional help despite all the love and care provided by the teachers in school. We wanted to create a safe space for these students with special needs where they are understood and received help from a team of child development experts. Moreover, they will benefit from the routine of going to a child development centre and receiving customised programs and special education daily.

Over the years, we have seen a rise in these childhood development issues. Some of these issues like attention deficits, poor handwriting, and unclear speech are mild and can be easily resolved to do therapies by expert professionals.


Any incident that made you realise that therapies should be given that can be a life changer for many.

Monisha Sharma- A couple of years after starting Lexicon Rainbow, I came across a distant relative at a family function. His granddaughter who was 2 years old was not talking and lacked social skills. She was very self-absorbed in her world.

I have seen at Lexicon Rainbow, how therapies can be life-changing when intervened early. It was difficult for me to confront my cousin's brother, but I did it knowing how immensely Early Intervention would benefit the child. Most of the time, people are unaware about these issues and the therapies that can be accessed for the child.


We have seen that mostly it is difficult to convince parents of therapies- how do you manage to train parents and convince them to do therapy?



Dr Isha Soni- Being a child expert professional, I have come across people from different walks of life. As per my experience, convincing parents depends on two major factors. The first one is “Acceptance”. For parents who are in denial of their child’s condition, words fall short to convince them for therapy, because in their head when there is nothing wrong with their child, the therapies aren’t needed. Some of them just come to take a consultation. Whereas, parents who have accepted that there are some issues present with the child, are more ready and keen to take help from the therapists.


Secondly, the “literacy status” of the parents matters. During my medical education days back in KEM Hospital Mumbai, I used to get patients from low socio-economic strata in the Paediatric Occupational Therapy Department. It used to be extremely difficult to convince them by words. Rather, what helped then was another parent present there who has been taking therapy for some time. With them sharing their experience and the effects of therapy, they would get convinced. Now, during my 12 years of practice in Pune, I have mostly come across parents who are extremely well read and informed about their child’s condition, making it easier to explain and convince them about the same.


We read in your profile on Handwriting without tears- can you explain this in detail?

Dr Isha Soni- Handwriting Without Tears is a developmentally based multisensory handwriting program developed by Jan Olsen, an occupational therapist to improve fine motor skills using fun and interactive activities geared towards handwriting learning in a child with ease. This is an evidence-based curriculum to teach letters and numbers to a child without fight and fuss. It is also an extremely efficient program for students with learning difficulties, poor handwriting, and autism to learn to write correctly without making any mirror images or wrong letter formations.


Share an experience where you felt proud to be a therapist. You can share an instance that may have touched someone's life for good.


Dr Isha Soni- Well, there have been many such instances but I would like to share a recent one. So, a 9-year-old girl walked into my cabin with her parents. The parents told me that she has mild autism and seek therapy for the same. From the moment the girl walked in, I was convinced that this doesn’t seem to be typical autism. I took a detailed history and probed further about medical history checking for any form of seizure episodes. The parents promptly refused but talked about dizziness 8-9 times a day. That alarmed me and she had such an episode the next minute in front of me. I immediately knew that these are “absence seizures” and that they were just cited by ofparents to be dizziness. So, this girl went undiagnosed for long 9 years. These types of seizures are treatable with antiepileptic medications. I immediately referred them to a paediatric neurologist who confirmed the same diagnosis.

This can have long-term irreversible effects on the brain of the child and even cause cardiac arrest in few cases if left untreated. I felt extremely content that day with making a difference in someone’s life.


How do you manage multiple roles?

Monisha Sharma- Life is nothing but an opportunity to live and lead the myriad of roles we have to play. Each one of us already manages multiple responsibilities, sometimes even without realising it.

I think I can manage them with efficiency as I can prioritise and optimise my time well. I consciously work with my team to create processes and systems which ensure the least glitches, and this investment into the structure of a business model helps me utilise my time wisely.

I believe that I should be 100% present wherever I am; so, when I am at work, I ensure I don’t think about my personal and family commitments, and when I enter my home, I ensure I don’t take too much of my professional life there either.


Mantra for life.

Monisha Sharma- Belief in your dreams and yourself. When you are driven by a passion and are willing to give your 100% to it, there is very little you cannot achieve.


Providing therapies and dealing with kids and their parents can be very stressful at times. What is your mantra for keeping calm and managing your sanity?

Dr Isha Soni- Ohh yes it can be very stressful. When you work so closely with the child and family, you tend to get emotionally involved with them. Their hardships become your sorrows too. It is very difficult to not feel bad for the child. So, I take it the other way by thinking that I am blessed and opportune towards making a difference in a child’s life and divert all my energies towards it.

Seeing the child make small step-by-step progress and the parents’ happiness keeps me going!!



Each one of us has our individuality, every child is different despite the same diagnosis. Hence, it is very crucial to have a customised plan for every child and there is no one size fits all approach. The approaches and methods also vary widely depending on the domain of developmental concern of the child. We may use various play -way methods, neurodevelopmental techniques or sensory integrative approaches whichever may be most beneficial for the child.


There is nothing wrong to seek help in the form of therapies for oneself or the child. The taboo or social stigma is not helping your child anyway. Society or other people can’t make your child attain missing milestones, but a therapist can. These therapies are evidence-based and neurologically bring about a change in your child. This can change the functional and educational outcome of your child.