Renewed Hope for My People - The Autism Community

The beneficiaries of my company's CSR event today included autism schools. I volunteered with the team of volunteers who played the role of hosts
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THE EXPERIENCE (MORNING)

In the morning, my sub-team hosted an autism-focused school which integrates mainstream academic curriculum together with life readiness skills in their school programme. I told the teachers I am autistic too.

It was an enriching experience to relate to like-minded students whom I see so much of myself in them and able to connect with within the first 5 minutes of conversing. 

More importantly, by the way they communicate, and express themselves, I saw so much potential in them to be the next generation of autistic leaders to further our cause for our autism community. Before they left the event, I told some of the school teachers these:
  • When I see these students, I see hope
  • I hope they can build/groom this next generation of leaders to build our future - the future of the autism community.
  • And to one day step up WITH us to COLLABORATE with the current team of autistic adults to build the future of our community TOGETHER

Some of the teachers thanked me for the encouraging words. Well, I hope it keeps them going to continue their good work.
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THE EXPERIENCE (AFTERNOON)

In the afternoon, I was assigned to the sub-team hosting another autism school, one which has a curriculum that emphasises social-emotional learning, functional literacy, daily living skills and a few other areas.

A different experience which also contributed to the overall enriching experience. Before they left, I could not resist talking to all the teachers telling them I am autistic, had an enriching experience with the students and to spread a similar message of hope as I did to the teachers in the morning
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LIGHT UP OTHERS' CANDLES - GIVE HOPE

I am so grateful for this priceless experience. 
It gave me RENEWED hope, one that is timely and much needed for me, in light of the current happening around our community now - progress and meaningful advocacy work, yet also setbacks… Future plans with a vision, exciting yet daunting, and a burden weighing on us on whether there can be enough autistics of the next generation to step up as leaders to collaborate with us….
and with that burden in mind, relating to these autistic kids today who display much potential, it dawned on me: there is hope!


Imagine this imagery: if the journey for the autism community is represented by candles and
- every progress, or every time we are given hope, joy, love etc, lights up one more candle 
- every setback, or every time we face sadness,etc. puts out one more candle 
Even when many candles are put out, as long as there is at least one candle still burning, there is still hope. And the candle(s) still burning can light up other candles


I hope that in my interaction with the students and teachers, I lighted their candles… and I hope they in-turn light up more candles in the autism community, that together we may shine forth brightly and glow! As one people!


Hope begets hope. The more hope we give to each other, the more hope we have for ourselves… individually and collectively 


To everyone in the autism community - autistics, caregivers, and professionals alike - I encourage you to light up someone else's candle in our community today!


Comments

  1. These students LIGHTED MY CANDLE by interacting with me and allowing me to catch a glimpse of the HOPE we have IN THEM as the next generation of autistics of whom some are emerging leaders! 😁😊👍.

    May these students CONTINUE to INSPIRE others in the autism community. They HAVE INSPIRED ME at this event.

    I am sure these students have caused some of the volunteers to be added into the list of people WHOSE LIVES are TOUCHED BY the AUTISM SPECTRUM.

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  2. If you could one day give the above heart-thumping speech as an MP, I'll move to your ward, Wes! You cladded the right words with intensity and verve. Atta on! 💗 🙏 ⚽ 💚 🎵

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