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No More Delay, Please Catch up the Prime Time for Diagnosis and Treatment 2020-03-26

Some parents of children with autism blame themselves for not being aware of their children’s symptoms earlier, so does Ho Hin’s mother. In addition to the above, Ho Hin’s mother also worried about the labelling effect of autism, so she did not bring Ho Hin for an assessment earlier. This caused a delay to Ho Hin’s diagnosis and she has blamed herself for a long time.

Ho Hin’s mother said Ho Hin only knew not more than five words when he was two years old. “As Ho Hin’s father rarely speaks, I believed Ho Hin inherited his father’s personality. I never thought of Ho Hin might have developmental disorders, although taking care of him was really challenging. He only ate certain foods and always took the same route when we went out. I tried my best to satisfy all his needs.”

At that time, Ho Hin’s mother felt the public did not accept autism, therefore she was worried that Ho Hin might be discriminated once he was diagnosed with autism, so she decided not to bring him for an assessment. Half a year later, Ho Hin still had significant delays in different developmental domains when compared to his peers. She eventually brought Ho Hin for an assessment. Tears welled up in her eyes when she recalled, “I should not have cared about others’ views on autism. We wasted a lot of time and missed many training opportunities!”

Ho Hin’s mother later applied APF’s one-month one on one Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) treatment. After receiving the ABA treatment, Ho Hin’s level of compliance and the ability of expression have improved a lot. He can now express his needs by saying full sentences. “When Ho Hin wants to touch something dangerous now, as long as I remind him not to, he will comply immediately. This makes me much more relaxed while looking after him,” Ho Hin’s mother said. She hopes Ho Hin can continue to receive training, develop his self-help and social skills, so as to be independent in the future.

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