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The sharing of Rui Rui's mother 2017-01-16

Rui Rui was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2 years 9 months old. 

At that time, I was very worried about Rui Rui's situation, so I immediately applied for a placement of a Special Child Care Centre under government's Pre-School Rehabilitation Services. Since the waiting list was very long, I had to arrange my son studying in an ordinary kindergarten during the waiting time. As the ratio of teachers to students was low for ordinary kindergartens, it was difficult for teachers to look after all the students, therefore resulting in Rui Rui's inability to improve much in his studies. To add on to this, our financial burden was great, this made me worry a lot. Luckily, I attended a parent talk later and noticed that Autism Partnership Foundation (APF) providing one-month intensive Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) treatment to autistic children, so I applied immediately. 

Before joining the treatment, Rui Rui could not use complete sentences to express himself. He could only say the names of the objects. His cognitive ability was relatively weak, he could not use words to describe objects. In addition, he did not enjoy playing with others. The Behavioural Therapists at APF taught him to express his thoughts in sentences, guided him to take initiative to contact others and enjoy the fun of playing with other children as well. After attending the training, Rui Rui deepened his understanding of different relative concepts, such as big and small, fat and thin, tall and short, etc. As a parent, I was glad to see a significant improvement in my son, especially his social skills, from no interest in contacting people to taking the initiative to play and say “Hello” to other children. All these made me very happy.

In comparison to Rui Rui when he was in kindergarten, I think that one month of intensive ABA treatment was a great help to Rui Rui. As ABA treatment requires repetitive and persistent training, my child could easily grasp the key learning points. Besides, as the ratio of teachers to students was one to one, the therapist could totally focus on Rui Rui and provided individualised training to suit his needs. The improvement of Rui Rui was undoubtedly substantial.

For low-income families, arranging continued treatment and training for their children is very difficult. Fortunately, after completing the one-month treatment, APF would arrange six meetings between parents and therapists within one year to follow up on the child's progress. In addition, I have also participated in the parent talks and workshops organised by APF. I have learnt effective teaching methods which can be used at home to improve my child's communication skills and social skills. Rui Rui now would actively invite his brother to play games together, such as "Stop & Go". He also becomes more cheerful than before.

I am very grateful to APF and their therapists (Quincy and Susan) for being very caring and patient. They walk alongside my family in Rui Rui's growth. 

 

(Recorded by APF)