For the Public
What My Autistic Son has Taught Me about Autism
(1-hour Free Talk; Contribution to A Mother's Wish would be appreciated)
This talk offers an insider’s glimpse into the autism universe of Ms. Choo Kah Ying, a former homeschooler of Sebastien (now 22 years old), her moderately autistic son, for over 10 years. Kah Ying had sought to bring up a role model autistic young man who would contribute to mainstream society the best of his ability. However, this did not come to pass.
While Sebastien became a talented young artist with strong life skills in his teens, despite his social and communication deficits, he also struck out in self-injury and aggression during his adolescence. This led Kah Ying to establish A Mother’s Wish (AMW) to look for a long-term social solution for families struggling with their children’s lifelong intellectual disabilities. A Mother’s Wish was created to answer this question: “Who would care for my special needs child when I am gone?”
After a six-year struggle with Sebastien’s issues, Kah Ying made the heart-breaking decision of moving him to Bali in August 2016. Little did she know that this move would lead her on a journey to understanding the underlying reasons for Sebastien’s explosions and the power of the ties that bind them.
Through Kah Ying’s raw and emotional sharing about the inner psychology of autistic people, we will be challenged to examine many of our assumptions about autistic people and the underlying reasons for their differences. Our tacit perceptions of our “superiority” vis-à-vis them may be more a reflection of our narrow imagination and a lack of curiosity about their differences than the reality.
So come enter into the autism universe, gain some transformative insights, and do your part to make a mother’s wish come true.
Walking in the Shoes of Special Needs Individuals:
Empathy Activities for Children and Youths
(SGD300, 1 hour or SGD530, 2 hours)
One of the most effective ways for children and youths to empathise with special needs individuals is to enable them to experience the challenges of physical and intellectual disabilities. The types of special needs activities can can cover the gamut from autism (sensory and communication), visual disabilities, and physical disabilities (fine motor and gross motor). At the end of the experience, there will be a “debriefing” to enable students to share their reflections on what it has felt like to walk in the shoes of special needs individuals. Just as importantly, the students will be asked to consider how this experience has changed their perceptions of special needs individuals. The duration and types of exercises can also be customised to the age group of the children and youths.
Experiential Empathy Education (E3): Role-Playing Real-life Scenarios Faced by Families of Autistic Youths and Adults (Non-Verbal)
(SGD530, 3 hours)
This workshop aims to cultivate the empathy of ANYONE by immersing them in real-life scenarios faced by families of special needs youths and adults with challenging behaviours (non-compliance, self-injury, aggression) through interactive role-plays.
During the session, 3-5 volunteer participants (from the session) will be asked to re-enact a specific scenario and potential approaches to defusing the situation, based on the facilitator's narrative and prompting of input from the audience (the remaining participants). If there is a larger group situation, we could have participants discuss their input in small groups and then have them enact their approaches in multiple versions of the scenario.
Moreover, we will also move beyond addressing the scenarios to come up with follow-up solutions that can make a broader, longer-term change to society, in terms of mindset and action.