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Manage expectation & move forward: Treatment ain’t magic 2022-08-09

No parents could ever afford their children to hurt themselves. 

Yus mother recounted the bitterness of taking care of Yu, claiming that she had always been in battle mode and no one could bear her difficulties, so she felt helpless. Yu tended to self-harm. While other parents could work full time, engage in housework, or even have a glimpse of resting time, it was never the same for Yus mother. She had to pay full attention to her son, “Im worried that he will make permanent harm to himself accidentally. I can’t relax for a second.”

“Yu often hit himself and covered with bruises. He was always self-spinning, jumping and bumping on and off, crashing around...therefore, we installed anti-collision wall pads all around at home. As all these happen almost every day, we have received complaints from neighbours over and over again.” Yu often throw tantrums toward his mother, but never treated his father the same, making the mother even more helpless and unable to rest.

Yu was diagnosed with ASD and had developmental delay, in a way that worried the mother he would also be intellectual disable. She had taken Yu to different places for training, hoping that he would improve one day. Although these training courses seemed to be not effective, Yus mother insisted to bring him for training. “I know it makes no sense to arrange the training for Yu that aint helpful, but all I hope is a little bit of progress, so I will try anything that may help.”

Yus mother had learned about APF providing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) treatment programme and came to APF with great expectations for a brand-new son. After receiving the treatment for one month, Yu has indeed reduced the number of times of jumping, learned to high-five, and pointed at objects to express his needs. The mother was delighted to see Yus improvement, but also understood that the treatment was not magic, he required continuous training to improve different areas.

Yus mother often asks herself, “Am I going to be the caregiver for the rest of my life?” She hoped to strive for the prime time for treatment and improvement. No matter how hard time she had experienced, she was still willing to practise and play with Yu. Even when the mother was having the interview, Yu was always in her mind. As a mother, you will never let go of the responsibility of a caregiver and give unconditional love to your son.

Yu’s mother was invited to share her perspective on ASD and ABA services with Autism Partnership Foundation (operating in Hong Kong) (APF, HK). Yu is a past beneficiary of APF, HK.