HALO - Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach HALO - Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach
HALO - Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach HALO - Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach
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About Us - Soma & Tito

Soma Mukhopadhyay, HALO Executive Director of Education

Soma is a tenacious teacher and mother from south India. She is the driving force behind HALO's mission and goals.

Soma raised and taught her severely autistic son Tito (who is now a teenager) with little professional guidance. Although Soma held advanced degrees in chemistry, she had no formal training in autism before having her son.

Tito was diagnosed with autism when he was three-years-old. Soma was told to "keep him busy." She went beyond busy, by providing Tito with her own intensive educational curriculum. Activities included reading textbooks and classics, prompting him to point to numbers and letters, and physically motoring his body through the motions like bicycle riding. Soma was Tito's tireless taskmaster. The fruits of her labor ripened. By the time he was six-years-old, Tito could write independently.

In 1999, when Tito was 11-years-old, Dr. Lorna Wing, Dr. Judith Gould and Dr. Beate Hermelin of the National Autistic Society (UK) assessed and determined Tito to be gifted. In 2000, the BBC documentary "Tito's Story" was released. Tito's first book "Beyond the Silence" was published the same year. In 2001, the Cure Autism Now Foundation offered Soma a fellowship to try her teaching method at a school in Los Angeles, working with nine children with autism.

Since then, Soma has refined her trademark Rapid Prompting Method while instructing hundreds of students throughout the United States. Soma's work garnered national attention when she was featured on the television news program "60 Minutes II."

During the past few years, Soma and Tito have lived away from their native home and family. They have given graciously of their time to scientific research, so that others can understand how and why Soma's method helped to cultivate Tito's brilliant mind. Neuroscientists, including Dr. Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., a professor at the University of California San Francisco and a researcher at the W. M. Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience, have studied Tito to learn more about autism and the brain.

Soma's vision for HALO and RPM is to increase academic learning and communication and promote understanding and respect for ASD students around the globe.

Discuss your thoughts or ask questions about Tito's poetry in our forum.
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