When Manatee founder Damayanti Dapayana’s brother was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the family took all the steps to ensure that he was properly cared for. All of the things that could have been an obstacle to getting treatment weren’t for Dapayana’s family.

A comfortably middle class background, a supportive family and ready access to care were all available, but still the therapy didn’t take. For Dapayana, it was witnessing the breakdown between the care provided at sessions and the differences in treatment at home, that led her to create Manatee.

“Therapy just sucks for kids,” Dapayana said. “My brother hated it.. It can’t be the best thing for children to put them in a room with an adult and have them talk about their

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