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The joy that “mommy” brings me 2017-09-14

When Hong was 23 months old, the only word that he knew how to say was “Gor Gor” (brother). The doctor noticed he lacked eye contact, and he seemed to be living in his own world. When he was two and half years old, he received a formal assessment and was diagnosed with ASD.

I became extremely worried about Hong's situation and the only thing I could do was cry. Even though the social worker had provided some information about special schools, I found it difficult to process the situation. Eventually, I calmed down and stopped crying. I, then took the time to read through the information I was provided. Moreover, I went online for further information hoping to find and arrange suitable treatments for my son by gaining more knowledge on ASD. This is when I found out about APF. After learning more about their services, I applied for their one-month ABA treatment immediately.      

From what I know, the therapy for Autism that is provided by other organisations often costs several thousand dollars or more in Hong Kong dollars, and this would inevitably increase the financial burden on my families. On the other hand, if one is to wait for a long period of time for the service which is provided by the government subsidised special schools, then the problem my child is facing currently cannot be resolved immediately because of the long waiting list. This worries me a lot. Knowing that APF can provide service to children with ASD from low income families, this immediately relieves me! I am very glad to get to know about this organisation that serves children wholeheartedly.

Prior to Hong receiving training, he has never used words to express himself.  The APF therapist noticed that he has a strong interest in social interaction and therefore, she focused on training his communications skills which substantially improved both his speech ability in articulation and conversation. After receiving the training for approximately one week, Hong has already learned to say “mommy”. Words cannot describe my joy when I heard him say “mommy” for the first time. The therapist also taught Hong to use words to describe his needs and later he could say words like “biscuit”,“car”,“daddy” as well as his own name. He was also toilet trained during that period. I feel so blessed to witness Hong’s improvement in just one month.

I also enjoyed participating in the parent-child workshops such as making pizzas and doing crafts work that were organised by APF. Spending a relaxing and happy time with other parents and children not only can alleviate parents' stress, it can also enhance the communication and social skills of the children.

Others may not understand that taking the initiative to verbally express oneself is actually very difficult for children with Autism. I really hope that my son can tell me what happens in school every day after school and that he can grow up healthy. At last, I wish the government would promote more about Autism, thereby enhancing the knowledge about Autism among the general public, which in turn can promote acceptance of children with Autism.

Hong's mother (verbatim notes taken down by APF)

Remarks:

Thanks for the sharing by Hong's mother. It is beyond words to describe the immense pressure of concomitantly dealing with the stigmatisation imposed by the society as well as taking the responsibility in taking care of her son. She is hoping that she can use her experience to encourage and support other parents who have to face similar challenges. The children's progress and parents'recognition are motivations for APF to provide services. We are happy to see that parents can use a positive attitude to overcome difficulties, moreover we are more than happy to assist them in their journey!