Kindness from strangers leaves parents of autistic son forever grateful
The parents of an autistic boy were blessed by an act of kindness by strangers in a Singapore restaurant. Find out what happened right here. We also bring you some useful information about autism...read on to find out more!
In a world still full of prejudice and judgement against people with learning and physical disabilities, there are some stories that make us smile.
Such stories make us believe that with persistent awareness and knowledge-creating campaigns, the way people look at disability can be changed. Here is one such story that happened right here in Singapore, blogged on mrbrown.com.
Wanjun and her husband, who have a 5-year-old son with autism, were out having dinner one day when they received a note from a couple who paid for their dinner. All the note said was: “Special children are born to special people. Have a nice day.”
This is their autism in Singapore story.
As parents, we all know how difficult it sometimes can be to go out with kids. I have had my fair share of glares from people at restaurants when my boys have been a bit noisy.
At times like that we all crave for some understanding from other people that we are doing our best as parents.
So it is truly inspiring that this anonymous couple recognised and appreciated the amount of love, care and effort Wanjun and her husband devote to looking after their boy.
In Wanjun’s own words:
Most times I comfort/encourage/bluff myself that God sent my son to me because he knows that I am equipped to provide the many assistance that he will need to get on in life.
And when the going gets tough; this little act of kindness is like how the Chinese describes as “sending coal in the midst of a snowstorm. I would also like to let the couple know that I will pay it forward when the opportunity arises.
What is autism?
The official name is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Doctors include autism in a group of issues that kids can have, including Asperger syndrome. These difficulties happen when the brain develops differently and has trouble with making sense of the world.
An autistic child may
- Have trouble learning the meaning of words;
- Do the same thing over and over, like saying the same word;
- Move his or her arms or body in a certain way;
- Have trouble adjusting to changes (like trying new foods or having a substitute teacher).
What causes Autism?
According to experts, it’s impossible to pinpoint one specific cause for ASD.
Until recently, most scientists believed that autism is caused mostly by genetic factors. But research now indicates that environmental factors may be just as important in the development of autism.
Certain babies may be born with a genetic vulnerability to autism that is then triggered by something in the external environment, either while he or she is still in the womb or sometime after birth.
It’s important to note that the environment in this context means anything outside the body, not just things like pollution.
In fact, one of the most important environments appears to be the prenatal environment. In other words, what you do and how you look after yourself while pregnant can have an impact on your child’s health.
Research on autism is constantly evolving, so it’s best to keep talking to your child’s doctor in order to stay updated and in the loop about the latest ASD research.
Find out what warning signs to look out for on the next page.
Is my child autistic?
As a parent, you’re in the best position to spot the earliest warning signs of autism. The key is to know what to look out for, according to experts.
- Monitor your child’s development. Autism involves a variety of developmental delays. Keeping a close eye on when, or if, your child is hitting key social, emotional, and cognitive milestones is a good way to spot the problem early on. While developmental delays don’t automatically point to autism, they may indicate a heightened risk.
- Take action. Every child develops at a different pace and when it comes to healthy development, there’s a wide range of “normal.” But if you do suspect a problem, talk to your child’s doctor immediately.
- Trust your instincts. Your child’s doctor should perform a thorough evaluation for autism. But sometimes, even the best doctors miss red flags. Listen to your gut if it’s telling you something is wrong and be persistent. Seek a second opinion, or ask for a referral to a child development specialist.
Some children with ASD start to develop communication skills and then regress, usually between 12 and 24 months. So, a child who was using words such as “mommy” or “up” may stop using language entirely.
Of course, do place any regression within context. If for example, you have just brought home a new baby, it is often normal for an elder sibling to display signs of regression. Again, if you are not sure, speak to your child’s doctor without delay.
If you want to find out more about ASD, or if your child is autistic and you are looking for online resources, here are some great links:
There are also Singapore-based organisations like All Hands Together that provide gentle learning support for children with ASD.
We hope this story has been informative and that it encourages you to spare a thought for parents such as Wanjun and her husband. And of course their beautiful little boy.
Disability does not mean inability. Help create more awareness about autism in your social circles.
What are your thoughts on how society can better support children with ASD? Let us know by leaving a comment below.