心態決定境界    以正面樂觀的心換取意想不到的收穫

從三歲確診有自閉症,到不斷衝破界限挑戰自我,曾代表香港出戰世界賽……「反正都要經歷,不如開開心心去享受過程吧!」智恆媽媽一直灌輸正面積極的處世之道,以及得到家人多年來的包容與扶持,智恆因而學懂獨立自處、能成為獨當一面的青年。

接納孩子所有    開展隨遇而安的人生馬拉松

現年25歲的智恆,起初孩童時期比較安靜,家人當時不以為意,認為只是其性格較內斂。直至三歲上學時老師覺得他行為孤僻,建議智恆去接受評估,才正式確認他有自閉症。智恆媽媽知道兒子的情況後沒有晴天霹靂,更將醫生的一字一句牢牢記住:「醫生說:『(養育有自閉症的孩子)是一場馬拉松 ── 你現在做得到,但如果走得太快,日後可能做不到;現在做不到,又不代表日後做不到。』」智恆就讀小學四年級時出現了其人生的一個轉捩點 ── 當時媽媽發現兒子能力確實追趕不上學習進度,而且他早上起床準備上學前便會頭痛。「需要改變某些事情時,在當刻才會想到(解決辦法);很難在一年級時已計劃到他將來要讀甚麼,讀到幾多。讀不到的,就轉去特殊學校就讀吧!」沒有刻意催谷兒子,只順應他的成長和發展而作出最合適的決定,並與他共同挑選轉讀的特殊學校,這正正是智恆一家的開明教養方式。

 

聽從專業意見    放手讓孩子高飛 

正是了解到照顧自閉症孩子需要耐心與耐性,需要時間慢慢適應和磨合,智恆媽媽深明要在適當時候尋求專業人士意見。回想起智恆三歲多時只顧玩樂不願吃飯,媽媽聽從醫生意見而不再餵食,放手讓孩子明白「肚子餓就要吃飯」這個本能。結果兩個月後的一天,智恆懂得自己主動告知媽媽要吃飯,自始便懂得有規律地進食。醫生還鼓勵媽媽要繼續做自己喜歡的事情,適當時找親友幫忙照顧智恆,令她(照顧者)可找到放鬆的機會,也只有這樣,才能保持良好的身心狀態去照顧兒子。「我漸漸明白到,他們(自閉症人士)的想法和經歷通常是慢一點,不能用我的速度去衡量他的進度,始終要給他一些時間讓他自己做好和自己學習。」

隨遇而安    把握當下機遇

智恆媽媽表示,兒子透過參與不同課外活動,例如籃球、溜冰和畫畫等,讓他接觸到不同人及事物,並且學習與他人溝通,過程中感到開心,表現有進步之餘同時建立自信。兩母子意想不到當初順應智恆發展而轉到特殊學校就讀這個決定,帶來了他獲得出國參賽的契機。該校老師發掘到智恆的運動天份,挑選他成為特殊奧運隊成員,於下課後接受專業田徑訓練,智恆繼而曾參與2013年特殊冬季奧運及2015年特殊奧運夏季賽!他們的生活態度是「有機會就把握」、「有困難就主動找人幫忙」,智恆抓緊了參加交流的機會,學習到不同地方的文化,校長也樂意介紹兼職工作給他。這些一切得來不易的機會,往往就是靠著智恆當刻看準時機,久而久之變得更獨立和成熟。「這些雖然都不是我們計劃之內,機會來到,他把握了、進步了,囝囝可能比其他人得著更多。」

常存感恩的心    共同樂觀面對人生

在訪問的過程中,不時看到智恆與媽媽相互微笑看著對方,特別是說到一些兒時往事,笑容更是份外溫柔,母子之情,顯而易見。智恆所以如此樂觀和善,相信離不開媽媽向他灌輸的正面積極人生觀。智恆媽媽提到「要學懂感恩,常存喜樂的心」、「因為這樣(兒子有自閉症),所以要更樂觀。」有滿足(知足)的心,只要孩子健康就好,可見她是從骨子裡愛錫兒子。

 

由智恆確診自閉症,到現在已經超過20個年頭;由慢慢揣摩、磨合,到找到大家的溝通模式,全靠一家人互相支持,以正向思維面對人生。能夠突破個人界限,把握機會去發揮潛能,儘管智恆的人生馬拉松還有漫長的賽道,但他已有絕佳的「陪跑員」,與他一起享受沿途美好的風光。

相關報道 Related News (Chinese Only)

[1] https://bit.ly/3aaTdyl (Topick: 【關注自閉】自閉兒讀主流校科科50分壓力大 港媽安排轉特殊校見證兒出征奧運奪獎)

[2] https://bit.ly/3wT3BEC (HK01: 自閉症青年兩奪特殊奧運銀牌 顧定軒任關懷大使:不應標籤任何人)

Attitude determines altitude – exchanging unexpected gains by positivity and optimism

From being diagnosed with autism at three years old, to constantly breaking boundaries and accepting challenges, Chi Hang even was a representative of Hong Kong in the international competitions... Mom of Chi Hang said, “He has to go through his life anyway, just let him enjoy the process happily!” The Mom keeps instilling a positive philosophy of life in Chi Hang’s mind. Together with the tolerance and support from the family, Chi Hang eventually learnt to stand alone and become an independent youth.

Accept every aspect of the child, take things as they come to unfold the life marathon

Chi Hang, who is now 25 years old, was relatively quiet when he was small. His parents did not notice anything abnormal at that time, thinking that he just had an introverted personality. It was not until the age of three that his teacher observed that he tended to behave anything alone. The teacher then suggested Chi Hang going for a clinical examination, and he was then diagnosed with autism. Mom of Chi Hang did not treat the diagnosis as a bolt from the blue after knowing his son’s situation. She instead bore every word from the doctor in mind, “The doctor said, ‘(raising a child with autism is) just like a marathon – if you’re too aggressive, you may not accomplish the things that you are able to do now. Even if you can’t accomplish your goal now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it at a later stage. ’ ” A turning point arose when Chi Hang was in his primary four – at that time, his mom found that Chi Hang was not capable to track his learning progress. He would even have a headache before he went to school in the morning. “Whenever changes are needed, we can think (of the solutions) at that moment. It’s difficult to plan what and how much he can study; if he isn’t capable in an ordinary school, then just change to a special one!” Without deliberately boosting his son to learn, Chi Hang’s family made the most appropriate decision for him by solely following his growth and development. They even chose the special school together with Chi Hang, allowed him to grow up under such an open-minded parenting style.

 

Follow advices from professionals and let the child fly

Understanding that patience is needed for taking care of a child with autism and both parents and son takes time to adapt, the Mom is highly aware of the importance of seeking help from professionals. Recalling the time when Chi Hang was about three years old, he only wanted to have fun but was not willing to eat. She listened to the doctor’s advice and not to feed him anymore, letting Chi Hang understand that “you must eat when you are hungry”. As a result, one day after about two months, Chi Hang learnt to take the initiative to tell mommy he wanted to eat. He then learnt how to eat regularly starting from that time. The doctor also encouraged the Mom to continue to do the things that she liked, and to seek help from other family members and friends to take care of the boy. These practices allowed her, as a caregiver, to find ways to relax and maintain a favourable mentality to take care of her son. “I gradually understand that they (people with autism) need more time to think and experience. I can’t use my tempo to judge Chi Hang’s progress; he needs more time to learn, and learn how to behave well by himself.”

 

Take things as they come, and seize the opportunity at the moment

The Mom said that by exposing to different extra-curricular activities like basketball, skating and drawing, her son had more opportunities to communicate with different people. Chi Hang was joyful during the processes. At the same time, he has built up his self-esteem and improved his performance in different aspects. The Mom and the Son have never thought of such achievements, as they were just following Chi Hang’s development. The new school brought him even more opportunities to participate in overseas and international competitions as a teacher discovered Chi Hang’s athletic talents. Chi Hang then became a member of the Special Olympics team and received professional track and field training after school. He participated in 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games and 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games! Their philosophy of life are “to grasp every opportunity” and “to take the initiative to seek help from others when facing difficulties”. During his school years, Chi Hang also seized the opportunity to join exchange programmes to learn different cultures. The school principal was also delighted to introduce a part-time job to Chi Hang. All the above opportunities are not easily earned. By seizing the right moment, Chi Hang eventually became more independent and mature. The Mom said, “These are not in our plans at all. Whenever there’s opportunity, he grasps it, learn it, and improve from it. He therefore may gain more than others.”

Always be grateful and go through the life together optimistically

During the interview, the Mom and the Son often looked at each other with smiles. Especially when talking about some childhood memories of Chi Hang, their smiles were even more soft and gentle. Chi Hang keeps receiving positive messages, he is then nurtured to be optimistic and kind. The Mom mentioned that “we should learn to be grateful and always have a joyful heart”, “because of this (Chi Hang has autism), I have to be even more optimistic”. She is contented; everything will be alright as long as her son is healthy. It is obviously that a mother loves her child sincerely.

It has been more than 20 years since Chi Hang’s diagnosis of autism. From gently trying to get in touch between the parents and the Son, to finding a communication mode that best fits their family, these all depend on the family support and their positive mindset towards life. Although the life marathon of Chi Hang still has a long way to go, he has already broken through his personal boundaries and seized many opportunities to unleash his potentials. Most importantly, he always has “the best guide runner” accompanying him to enjoy the beautiful scenery along his trial.

關於愛培自閉症基金 (APF)

About Autism Partnership Foundation (APF)

​​ APF是於香港註冊的慈善機構,我們一直致力幫助自閉症兒童及其家庭。我們為來自基層家庭的自閉症兒童提供免費*的密集式「應用行為分析」(ABA)治療,並且舉辦家長講座及培訓,協助家長及早改善小朋友的行為問題。APF同樣重視公眾教育,肩負上宣揚認識自閉症及接受自閉症人士的訊息的責任,以改善自閉症人士的生活質素,讓他們在社會上得到應有的尊重與權利。

​APF is a registered charitable organisation in Hong Kong. We are committed to making a difference to the lives of the children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. We provide ​complementary* intensive Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy to children with ASD from low-income families and organise ABA skills training and workshops for parents, aiming to improve the behavioural problems of their children as earliest as possible.  APF also generates public awareness and knowledge about ASD through various public education and publicity campaigns in order to help individuals with ASD enjoy respect and rights in society.

* 需要通過入息審查 A means test is applied

聯絡 CONTACT 

電話 Tel           3583 0668

電郵 Email        event@apf.org.hk

網站 Website   www.apf.org.hk  

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

#APFHongKong

© 2021 Autism Partnership Foundation