What did this Mother Do for Her Autistic Son's Future?Living & Lifestyle
4 minutes read
In celebration of SG50 and all things good, we decided to take up a cause this year, and found A Mother’s Wish (AMW), a registered social enterprise founded by Ms Choo Kah Ying, mother to Jean-Sebastien Choo, a moderately autistic 18-year-old.
An excerpt from her blog shared certain unique struggles she faced:
“With the 18th birthday of Sebastien, my autistic son, looming on the horizon — the age that heralded the "official" entry into young adulthood, I felt a desperate urgency to incorporate part-time work into his homeschooling programme in order to thrust Sebastien further into the outside world.
Yet a round of phone calls to special needs organisations in Singapore, which provide job opportunities for moderately autistic youths like Sebastien, proved to be disheartening. Unless I was prepared to place Sebastien in a work facility that requires him to perform the same repetitive tasks eight hours a day, five days a week, there were no openings for him.
Such a soul-destroying vocation was not a fate that I would impose on myself or anyone else, let alone my son. Anyway, Sebastien would have rightfully protested against such an environment and “gotten into trouble” pretty swiftly. And I would not blame him.”
Having been home-schooled for years, Sebastien has grown up to be passionate about life with a love for colours, inline skating, music, sewing, and travelling, despite his social and cognitive inabilities. Through his love for colours, he started experimenting with colouring and painting, and began creating some truly mesmerising watercolour paintings.
DREAMSCAPE (23x31cm, Watercolour on Canvas Board)
“Before I pass on, it is my dream to offer Sebastien and others like him, a strong and loving community that will engage them with a well-rounded programme on a daily basis.”
Dreaming of creating a community that provides affordable activities for youths and adults with moderate to severe autism, this mother began the quest to help her son and others who require substantial support to lead a life of independence.
As the first steps towards creating an alternative option for the autistic youths and adults of Singapore – one that prioritises their well-being over their vocational aspects, AMW provides school holiday programmes. Targeted at children and youths with moderate to severe autism, these holiday programmes exposes them to a wide range of activities related to creative arts, fitness, life skills, and literacy.
Photo: AMW participants striking a pose with their football trainers.
Photo: AMW participants having fun in the drama and movement class.
Photo: AMW participants learning to bake fruit tarts.
With that in mind, she began selling Sebastien’s watercolour paintings as a way to fund the community she envisioned – A Mother’s Wish (AMW): http://www.awakeningminds.sg/sebs_raw_art.html
“If I had to give Sebastien a label, I would dub him ‘an autistic artist with a cause’.”
MINDSCAPE ABLAZE (41x21cm, Watercolour on Canvas Board)
Do make sure to check out this young autistic artist AND get some gorgeous art for your new home at the same time.
Click here for the available artworks!
With every painting sold, 30% of the sales will go to the AMW fund to help subsidise these programmes and build a brighter future for our autistic friends. Thank you for your support.
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