UAE: Indian autistic student gets Golden Visa for exceptional academic performance

A student with high functioning autism and has been breaking academic records since his high school days



Manipal Academy of Higher Education student Aman Maqbool has been breaking academic records since his high school days. Supplied photos
Manipal Academy of Higher Education student Aman Maqbool has been breaking academic records since his high school days. Supplied photos
by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sat 12 Mar 2022, 6:54 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Mar 2022, 7:41 AM

Indian student of determination Aman Maqbool is the latest recipient of the UAE Golden Visa.

A 20-year-old student of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Aman is a student with high functioning autism and has been breaking academic records since his high school days. Aman first made headlines, including a report in Khaleej Times, after scoring an impressive 94.2 per cent in his Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Grade 10 examinations.

A former student of Delhi Private School, Sharjah, Aman has found immense support from his family, teachers, and counsellors at school and university.

Aman Maqbool with former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Aman Maqbool with former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

“He scored 95 per cent in his Grade 12 CBSE examinations,” his father Maqbool Ahmed told Khaleej Times. Aman is a BSc information science and technology student at MAHE Manipal, Dubai campus.

“After Grade 10, he chose commerce. He decided to pursue a BSc in computer science since computers are his passion,” added Ahmed, a Kerala native.

The family, including Aman’s most significant pillar of support – his mother Anitha and younger brother Ayaan, have been UAE residents for over two decades. “Aman is very passionate about studies. He loves going to campus and loves learning and studying,” said his mother.

“We did not think he would get the golden visa. I applied on behalf of Aman because it was a token of appreciation for all the hard work he has put into his studies,” said his father. While Aman is brilliant and has a photographic memory, he struggles to communicate in a manner that is considered “socially acceptable”.

Aman Maqbool with his mother.
Aman Maqbool with his mother.

Aman was diagnosed with high-functioning autism aged three to four years old, said Anitha. “He studied in Delhi Private School all his life before moving to MAHE for higher education. Our aim now is to help Aman become a lot more independent,” she added.

He underwent several speech and functional therapies as a child, including brain gym. “For children with autism, every action and word is a form of therapy. Aman is also active in sports, cycling, swimming, and exceptional musical skills. He plays the keyboard very well,” said Ahmed.

“What’s important for Aman is that he has a never-give-up attitude and is extremely hard working. We are sure he will reach much greater heights,” said his parents.

Aman receives an award.
Aman receives an award.

Commenting on Aman’s impressive achievements, Nasreen Bahar, the inclusion champion at DPS, Sharjah, told Khaleej Times, “Aman has been a student with DPS since KG1. I worked with him after he reached Grade 6. He has a lot of potentials. He is academically gifted and well-versed in music. He can recall any day of the calendar day and date from the 1970s to 2030.” While his social skills are not indicative of his intelligence, Nasreen remembers Aman getting along well with his peers at school.

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Similarly, Kritika Mathur, the deputy manager at the office of student affairs (student engagement and inclusion), said, “I’ve been working with schools for ten years now, and I’ve come across multiple stories of children who have family support and students who do not have family support. Aman has several major challenges, but his family efforts are solid, and his parents are determined.”

She added, “They are not victimising themselves in any way. They work with Aman to achieve his dreams. At present, Aman is going through several changes as he grows older. However, his parents are so forthcoming with these changes.”

Mathur said her message to all families with children of different abilities is that the issue is ‘not what’s happening with their child. “Parents need to educate themselves on how to grow with their child of determination,” she added.


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