Sharjah: An autistic boy in Sharjah has broken barriers by scoring 94.2 per cent in the recent CBSE grade 10 board exams.
Aman Maqbool Ahamed, who is from the southern Indian state of Kerala, said he studied daily and followed a timetable prepared by his mom, Anitha.
Aman, now in grade 11 at Delhi Private School Sharjah (DPS Sharjah), was expecting to get more than 80 per cent in the results, released on Monday by India’s CBSE, or Central Board of Secondary Education.
“Nothing is impossible,” said Aman, 17, when asked about his message to students.
Aman said his revision strategy going in was to learn the difficult topics first and practice maths every day — maths and computers are among his favourite subjects. The student, who is from the city of Cochin in Kerala, also enjoys playing the keyboard and listening to music.
He has taken commerce as his main stream in high school and plans to study commerce and computers in college. Aman aspires for a career in finance, accounts or banking.
Aman’s father, Maqbool Ahamed, said his son gives “full credit” to his teachers, faculty, mentors and fellow students at DPS Sharjah.
Ahamed added that Aman’s younger brother Ayaan — who is in grade six at DPS Sharjah — is also “very supportive and caring for his elder brother. Ayaan is also part of Aman’s success”.
Ahamed added that Aman has never attended after-school tuitions or special coaching throughout his school tenure. His mother Anitha has been a constant support and she quit her career for the sake of Aman’s studies, he added.
Aman sat the CBSE exams with a scribe — schoolmate Devagya Gupta, who is now in grade 10.
Devagya, 15, said he volunteered to become Aman’s scribe because he wanted to see Aman reach his full potential. The two are now friends.
Devagya said Aman would dictate the answers in the exams and he would write them down. Devagya added that he also got to know Aman better in the lead up to the exams, which helped him perform his scribe responsibilities.
“This was my first time being a scribe. I did get guidance and training in pre-boards from the teachers on how to be a good scribe. Spending time with Aman was great; it also helped me understand how to keep him focused in the exams,” Devagya said. “We’re friends now and sometimes we see each other between classes. He’s one grade senior to me.”
Nasreen Bahar, special educator at DPS Sharjah, said Aman has “tremendous potential”. Aman joined the school in kindergarten and has always been guided by special educators alongside his mainstream classes, she added.
Bahar said “we have observed that Aman has a photographic memory” and remembers all his teachers and what subject they taught since grade one. She added that Aman can also tell what day it was on any date given to him from the year 2006 onwards.
Bahar said the school, its principal Vandana Marwaha, and UAE education officials “have always approved and provided the necessary facilities and accommodations for children with special educational needs”.
Marwaha said: “DPS Sharjah’s culture and organisation is not only to focus the best teachers on those children with the highest abilities, but also the best teachers and better-targeted resources to those most in need.”