"Going to school helped my child with autism”

Raising a child with special needs isn’t easy ― Mohammad Zulkarnean shares how his son’s educational journey is helping.

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“We are a family of four, soon to be five. My wife and I have two kids, Luthfirrahman, who is 3, and Fadhlurrahman, who is almost 12.

We discovered that Fadhlur had autism when he was 5. We noticed that he was a little different since he was 3, as his speech was delayed and unclear. What worried us was that he was not able to focus on anything, and could not sit in one place for more than 5 minutes.

Even when he watches a TV show that he loves, he was not able to sit still, and would need to run around. We sought advice from our GP, who gave us a referral for suspected ADHD

When he was diagnosed with autism, we had no idea what it was and never knew anyone who had a child with autism. We were worried as to how we should manage the condition appropriately, but we were able to accept his diagnosis. We thanked God that we had a healthy child, which to us, is the best blessing a parent can have. 

 

What worried us was that he was not able to focus on anything, and could not sit in one place for more than 5 minutes.

Having a child with autism teaches us to be more patient and accepting. We need to slow our pace down and be patient. Fadhlur is turning 12 soon and is already almost 1.8m tall. A normal child would be more independent at this age but with him, we need to prepare him mentally before doing anything or going anywhere. Sometimes, when he loses control in public, we will need to sit him down and calm him before moving again.

Fadhlur is very helpful and loves his family a lot. He adores his little brother and protects his mother. He would never eat anything without offering mummy first. He’ willing to sacrifice his favourite food, or snack if his little brother wants it. Fadlur also helps his grandfather, who is an amputee, by helping him move his wheelchair around in public.

Once when, his newborn little brother due for checkup, we brought Fadlur along to the clinic. When the doctor wanted to check his baby brother, he stood up holding the doctors hands and said ‘This is my brother,’ which made us all laugh. 

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