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Your child has autism. Doomed for life? Not so 2015-10-07

My son Ka Chun, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) around 1 year old. But before that, he already exhibited rather strange behaviors. He would touch a lot of random things with his lips, like the windows and sofa, and he would keep making "dat-dat-dat" noises. We were perplexed. We didn't know much about ASD, but we knew that it was important to get early intervention, so we got professional help. We tried a number of things, even acupuncture and dietary treatment. When none of this worked, I thought I'd better go back to teaching him myself.

To my frustration, he continued to be difficult. He would scream at a bus passenger who sat on his designated seat when we were on the bus. He would make such a huge fuss when he didn't get his way, that often or not we'd have to leave a public place to avoid disturbing other people further. It was just so tiring. Apart from that, he didn’t know how to do any of the basic things typically developing kids his age could, like brush his teeth, change his clothes by himself. My husband and I were worried about his future, because how could he take care of himself when he grew up? Although we had both resigned to the idea that he would probably not be able to lead a very ‘normal’ life, and lowered our expectations accordingly, it was at times difficult to accept – no parent wants to accept that their child is subpar and grow up to become marginalized in society his whole life! But we couldn’t help thinking he was doomed for life.

And yet, after the subsequent schooling he received at Aoi Pui School (the first registered school in Hong Kong specially for only ASD kids), he improved so much I couldn’t believe it. He started writing a lot; he understood the meaning behind simple vocabulary, he would initiate greeting someone, and he is much more able to verbalize what he wants now. He has become better at compromising and really making an effort to control his emotions. As a result, his relationship with his sister has really improved, and as a family too. Now, I feel like, this is what a family should be like.

I'd like to thank Autism Partnership Foundation and Aoi Pui School for their sponsorship program that allowed Ka Chung to receive Autism-specific schooling for free and hence achieved the significant improvements that bring hope to Ka Chung's life and our family."

Family information: A family of four members is composed of a father and an elder daughter who are cancer-patients and a younger son, Ka Chung who is autistic while the mom quitted her executive job to take care of the family.

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