Manisha Lad, Founder and ED, Akhil Autism Foundation, Director, Akhil Health Foods
Exceptionally dedicated professional with keen interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills. 16 yrs of Information Technology experience working with Siebel Systems, Metlife, and more.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for autism. What’s worse, most people happen to be clueless about how to give the right treatment to their children who are autistic. As a result, it becomes difficult for the autistic children to lead a healthy life as well as for the parents to deal with them.
Akhil Autism Foundation is a non-profit organisation that is working to solve these challenges and help individuals suffering from autism, lead an independent and meaningful functional life.
In today’s episode of TBCY, we are honoured to welcome the Founder and ED of Akhil Autism Foundation, Manisha Lad who is behind this mission for the great cause.
About Manisha Lad
Manisha Lad is the founder and Executive Director of Akhil autism Foundation, director of Akhil health Foods. Before starting this, she had spent 16 years in information technology. Then she quit her career in IT to work for autisic children.
About Akhil Autism Foundation
Manisha tells us how the foundation was formed when 20 years back Akhil, their child was born autistic and they had no idea how to take care of him. When they first noticed the red flags, like not responding to his name, losing eye contact, they took him to the doctor. After going to the doctor, Manisha was told that Akhil was autistic. And since she was so clueless about what was happening, she started this organisation to provide other parents help in a similar situation. “Our vision is to tell individuals and families that they can live an independent and meaningful functional life.”
What Causes Autism?
Till date, nobody knows what causes autism in children. It is diagnosed simply on the basis of some symptoms like lack of verbal or non-verbal communication, isolation, or aggressive behaviour.
Emotional and Financial Hardships
The biggest challenge, Manisha says, is that the cost required for treatment is not covered by FD insurance. Also, parents need to see which therapy is going to be a fit for their child since there’s no one type of autistic behavior, there are many. Parents need to be aware of how to help their child and this is where many parents give up. Akhil Autism Foundation helps in the financial aspects as well, by giving grants to families and being persistent in providing the necessary help.
Manisha highlights the key areas that need improvement. She believes, “When it comes to autism, the child has to understand that I have to follow the rules of society and society has to understand that we have to tweak some of the rules for these individuals” She explains how educating people is essential to provide the right treatment. And she also talks about her experience, her journey in making all this possible.
Exceptionally dedicated professional with keen interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills. 16 yrs of Information Technology experience worked with Siebel Systems,Metlife and more. Inspite of a great flourishing career in Information Technology I decided to quit my career in 2001 when only son 19 yrs old now was diagnosed with AUTISM. We had given no hope and said don’t even think of recovery is now preparing for college education. 2006 started my own for-profit online health foods business and made these special dietary supplements available globally. Realizing the need of awareness, education and resources globally in 2008 decided to form my own non-profit Akhil Autism Foundation and since then have not stopped. Vision-driven professional with career-long record of operations, program development, and management success for leading global for-profit and non-profit organizations . Proven talent for promoting educational programs, generating community awareness, creating hope, and helping families with minimal resource expenditures. Growth-focused leader with expertise spanning corporate culture development, operational and financial strategy, fundraising, organizational visibility, marketing, research and analysis, process improvement, patient relationship management, public speaking, budget management, policy management, resource allocation, training, performance assessment, and program/project management. Adept at nutritional, biomedical, and sensory integration and other education methods and interventions. Looking forward now to share our journey worldwide and help other nonprofits. Please see my resume attached and thank you for your time and consideration. Looking forward to speak with you about this career opportunity.