Devangana Mishra, CEO and Founder of Brain Bristle,
works with children on the autism spectrum.
Devangana Mishra was 19 years old when she joined Vasant Valley School as a learning specialist. That was when she found Sahil, a non-verbal kid who was on the autism spectrum. Sahil was finding it difficult to adjust to the world around him. She asked the school authorities for permission to work with him. She brought him home and introduced him to music. Now he plays the guitar and recently graduated from High School.
Devangana’s mother had been a doctor who worked with children with special needs and hence children with autism had always been her friends. She had grown up with them and knows them the best. And hence she decided to work for them.
In the last ten years, Devangana worked with autistic children from around the world, including Max Hospital as an Autism Behaviour Therapist and Educational and Behaviour Therapist at Fortis Healthcare in New Delhi. She was also the Learning Enhancement Specialist at Jakarta International School, and a Hong Kong based school before she returned to India in 2018. She had herself set up the Hong Kong based school for kids on the autism spectrum.
In November 2021, Devangana launched Mumbai-based Brain Bristle to work with autistic children individually at a deeper level to bring out their best of abilities.
“I didn’t want to give them a standard course, which teaches them how to behave normally like other kids. Instead, I wanted to understand their strengths and bring them out in a way they can feel confident and motivate themselves. Autistic children are different for a reason. They can shake up systems if given the right guidance,” she says in an interview with HerStory.
Devangana works with every child for at least 16 weeks at Brain Bristle, using the Reggio Emilia Approach — an educational philosophy that recognises strong potentialities in a child, which can be developed through language and helps in their growth along with others.