Since 18-month old, Yan’s verbal communication ability has not come close to his peers. He resorted to hitting his head and making a scene to get his needs across. His sparking eyes seldom made contact with others. He might say a few words but the words rarely match the context.
Mrs Ng said, “To my son, books were not for reading, but for sequencing order; bikes were not for riding, but for pushing. The Maternal and Child Health Centre once commented on his underperforming language ability, but merely told me to keep a closer watch on his progress for a longer period of time. By the age of three, when Yan was admitted to an ordinary kindergarten, his teachers complained that he always ran around aimlessly and lacks self-care ability. He even risked himself by jaywalking on the way to school time and again.
At the age of 3.5 years old, Yan was finally diagnosed with autism. Upon hearing the new, Mrs Ng’s world was turned upside down. She kept herself and Yan hidden for two entire months. After seeing Yan kept hitting his head on the walls, biting others and bleeding, she finally made up her mind to come to the rescue of her son.
Mrs Ng searched desperately for useful information on the Internet, and was taken aback by the fact that children with autism are in need of speech therapy, which fetches about HK$1,000 for each session. As the family can barely keep their head above the water, the training fee would by no means be affordable to them.
She turned to Heep Hong Society for help, and managed to enroll on the Speech Support Programme for Children with Autism for Yan. Having completed the Programme, Mrs Ng considered it as “a first-aid class”, whereby she had learnt to communicate with Yan through gestures, intonation, multi-sensory means in all daily situations. “In just two months, Yan has learnt to share with others and observe the facial expressions of others. He even gave me a shoulder massage when I was tired. Twice in the bank, he lined up quietly. Clearly, he understands what I have told him. The progress my son has made gives me hope.” (Part of the story extracted from the HKHeadline)