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Tung's Mother: In hope the public understand more about the children with ASD 2016-05-09

Tung is now 3 years old, and was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2 years old. Tung's mother frankly said that she needed to spend ten times more energy to take care of Tung, compared with other children with the same age. While striving to focus on work, Tung's mother has had to admit that she has felt depressed and overwhelmed tremendously because of inadequate support, being discriminated by the public, and prejudiced by onlookers.

Going out has never been easy for Tung's mother. Witnessing Tung's obsessive behaviors and cries, people have said things; such as, “This kid is very annoying, why don't his parents educate him at all?” and “Why does this kid understand nothing?” Those unkind words have always made Tung's mother sad and distressed. They discourage Tung's mother from taking her son out. Tung's mother ends up choosing places with fewer people in order to minimize any potential problems, knowing that would decreases Tung's chances to interact with other children with the same age and have quality play time.

Discrimination by a school also gave Tung's mother a hard time. The school denied Tung's enrollment after they recognized Tung was with Autism, even though the school initially accepted and processed the enrollment application. It made Tung's mother realize that discrimination exists everywhere, and it takes learning opportunity away from a child.

愛培自閉症基金 一個月密集式治療: 東東媽媽Tung's mother decided to arrange some therapy classes for Tung to make the whole situation better. However, the improvement was not observed very much. The frequency of the classes was not enough for Tung to practice the skills learnt. Tung’s mother never gave up and tried to search for what's best for Tung. Then she finally found out about Autism Partnership Foundation (APF) and enrolled Tung in a one-month intensive training called “ABA.” Fortunately, Tung showed tremendous improvement during the training.

Before the training, Tung was not able to follow neither instructions and did not express his needs. One of the things he used to do was to repeat the last word of a sentence said by others. He did not articulate a complete sentence with meaning. Tung’s mother found that the training obviously helped improve Tung's speaking and communication skills a lot. Tung learned how to indicate what he needs and also started to answer “Yes” or “No”. He learned to pull his mother's arm and point to the television to express that he wants to watch TV!

Tung used to only observe other children playing in a playground. He even ran away when his mother encouraged him to play with a ball with other children. However, Tung is willing to make positive interactions with others now by following them. The obvious improvement gave Tung's mother hope that Tung would be able to keep improving his social skills more and more.

Before the training, Tung was not able to sit still by himself. He could not stay quiet in his seat, and was always restless. During the training, he learned to sit down properly as instructed. In addition, Tung’s therapist noticed Tung’s very good memorizing ability, and she used learning cards for Tung to learn to link between words and objects. Learning with the cards was suitable for Tung. It helped Tung with his speaking and listening skills. Therefore, Tung’s concentration eventually improved, which lead him to learn better. 

愛培自閉症基金一個月密集式治療 東東APF therapists worked on Tung's obsessive behaviors. Tung used to be obsessed with pressing the buttons on lift. He threw temper tantrums and cried hysterically when his mother didn't buy the things he wanted. He would not move even an inch when he had public tantrums. The ABA training largely improved Tung's such behaviors. Tung learned to listen to his mother and had more control over his emotions.

Tung did not like physical contacts even by his family members. For example, he avoided hugs. The program based on ABA and support from the family members helped Tung make remarkable progress. Tung is now willing to hug his family and even welcome his sister, who comes back home from school, at the door. Tung's mother and other family members are all impressed by his improvement and the fact the family emotionally became closer.

During the ABA treatment, Tung's therapist did not only provide the guidance and support to Tung, but also to Tung's mother. APF sees parent education is an essential part of its service. In order to make what the therapist does in the program and Tung's mother’s instructions to Tung at home consistent, and to tackle the behaviors and emotional problems, Tung's mother was trained to manage his behavioral challenges most effectively.

Tung's Mother highly appreciates APF, ABA treatment, and every staff member who has been involved in Tung's life. She strongly recommends ABA treatment for the families with children with Autism. Understanding the lack of understanding toward Autism in the society, Tung's mother would like to suggest parents to take the initiative to visit professionals for their advice and necessary assessments, when they recognize their children not being able to follow any instructions or making no eye-contact while interacting with others. If children are diagnosed with Autism, parents should promptly seek for assistance and support in order to reinforce their children’s growth and development without any delay.