Like most parents with autistic children, it is the future they are concerned about. What happens to their kid when they’re no longer able to care for them? How will he or she survive? Hence, after creating awareness, action needs to be taken. It’s about being proactive in creating the right platforms, schools and social groups to assist and educate children with autism spectrum disorder. And with awareness, the public will learn to understand and accept these children with special needs, instead of shunning them for being ‘different’.
I still recall asking Adli if he’s worried his son will one day want to get married and build a family. His response came as a surprise to me. “I worry about how people will treat him and if they’ll take him for granted. When he goes to the toilet alone, will someone mistreat him? For now, these are my concerns,” Adli stressed.
Despite the extensive research done on autism spectrum disorder, there is still no conclusive evidence about what really causes it. Yet, parents keep finding ways to help their child, whether it’s curbing tantrums, creating new habits, changing their diet, or developing speech. Parents will always have hopes and dreams for their child – and for those of us watching from the sidelines, it’s time we make them feel included and appreciated. Rather than snide remarks or stares, offer your time and help. Have empathy and be compassionate, as these are simple acts of kindness we can all share and benefit from as parents.
Meet Adli Yahya at the Embrace Autism event this weekend held at Intermark Mall, organised by Dome Cafe Malaysia and supported by the Early Autism Project and the hope project.