It takes only a few seconds to strike a conversation with Advaith. His confidence, curiosities, politeness can take anyone by surprise.
However, his calm demeanor hides the struggles he went through in his early childhood and those that he fights even now. Advaith’s mother was overwhelmed as she spoke about a difficult pregnancy, delayed milestones and an attack of Meningitis that shaped her son’s early childhood. He was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Mild Mental Retardation. However, she guided Advaith through his studies in a mainstream school where she herself is a teacher. He was educated in the ‘Resource Room’. He could not write but was perfect with his orals. In fact Advaith chants the Sanskrit Shlokas ( Vishnu Sahistra Nama) 100 verses at a go, with ease. He continued to study through the Open Education system after completing grade 8 at the Pallavi Model School, Telangana. It is here that his coach Mr Rama Rao identified his flair for aquatics. For two years he went to a Special School- Sharda Special School.
In 2016 Advaith went for the first Special Olympics Camp which was held in Mumbai for Aquatics followed by attending an exclusive Aquatics training Camp in Goa in June 2017. His parents were delighted to observe his confidence levels rising as he attended the camps and interacted with co-athletes.
When at home, Advaith likes to browse the net, searching for online quiz. His favorite TV show was Kaun banega Crorepati. He plays the Key board. At Sharda Special School he has anchored programs. His latest desire is to learn driving. He drives a scooty to run errands for his mother. While doing so he has also learnt to manage money
For the World Games he practiced swimming daily for 3 hours, never wanting his parents to be there while practicing under the guidance of coaches. Advaith won a silver medal at the Special Olympics World Summer games 2019 held in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
“As parents we have learnt from Advaith too: his clear thoughts, his affection”, says his mother , Ms Indira K Ashok, “It is overwhelming to see him growing so confident. Earlier too we went out of our way for Advaith but kept wondering whether what we were doing was right, we were unsure. Special Olympics gave us hope”
A new chapter opened in the life of KA Advaith on 22 Jan 2024 when he joined the ADP Technologies as a Process Associate in Captiva Garnishments. In this role he processes checks, identifying reasons for non-payment of debts. His timings are quite comfortable from 11am to 8 pm. They have been very considerate in giving him cab conveyance both ways. He works off line on three days and works from home on two.
The ADP HR Summit held in mid of December in 2023 was an opportunity for Advaith, athlete from Telangana, to share his life journey and the world games story with a global audience. He is a silver medallist in swimming at the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Abu Dhabi in 2019. At the Summit he caught the attention of the audience, beginning with the meaning of his name- ‘Advaith’ that means ‘Unique’. He went on to detail the challenges he and his family faced, in his early childhood.
Shortly after the Summit he received a job offer from ADP that ignited a combination of joy and anxiety in his parents. Delightfully, just a few days into his workplace were enough to comfort them.
“Advaith was elated with his first pay check. His positive experience at ADP, coupled with the caring and supportive atmosphere, has significantly boosted his confidence. While some specifically have played a crucial role in integrating him into the system, it is the whole team that has extended the necessary assistance and understanding. It seems like a promising journey for Advaith” says his mother, Ms Indira
The ADP induction has been a meaningful gift, especially cherished by both of Advaith’s grandmas; as for Advaith he speaks excitedly about Special Olympics, “For me Special Olympics has been nothing short of being transformative. The Athlete oath describes the very spirit of how we achieve excellence. I am proud to be associated with ADP technologies, a company that has accepted me whole-heartedly with my different abilities. I wouldn’t have reached here without the support of my father, mentors, grandma and my backbone , my mom”