The ABCs of ASD Podcast
by Choo Kah Ying
Typically, my work as a Research Writing Educator and my advocacy for autism, as the mother of Sebastien, my 25-year-old autistic son, do not intersect. However, these two worlds have come together recently. After some brainstorming about a potential research study, one of my high school students, Aryan Dawer, felt inspired by what I had shared about autism to harness his interest in computer science to develop an emotional recognition software (ERS) with the intent of helping autistic individuals in their communication. He then shared the ERS through a video clip with parents and educators familiar with autistic individuals to elicit their input through a survey in his research study. Since then, he had gone on to develop the following app that can be found on Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.emotion.emointerpret
Aryan has not stopped there. Even as he continues to improve the ERS, he has now launched a podcast in pursuit of the autism cause by speaking with parents and educators in order to share the knowledge on this topic: "The ABCs of ASD". I am honored to be Aryan's first guest: Please check out his first episode: https://open.spotify.com/show/5ZWAwflDz86ejdvEVaIzdp .
Thanks to Aryan's work, A Mother's Wish is able to tap into yet another platform of highlighting the importance for parents to focus on building a relationship with their autistic children through an empathetic acknowledgment and celebration of their differences. Our children are not broken individuals who need to be "fixed", but unique individuals who need to be understood and supported, no different from any other neurotypical kids. The question is whether we have the openness and the creative capacity to view them outside conventional norms and find a way to enable them to thrive in such an environment.
Sebastien barbecuing seafood for his birthday dinner (June 2021); Sebastien making a dustpan with Bema, his carer; and Sebastien cooking up a storm on Sunday.