Adult Autism


Special Report of Adult Autism

The special story on Straits Time (5 June 2010, Sat)  is close to my heart and it sadden me after reading the articles. The articles portrayed the real-life experiences of persons who have severe to moderate autism, and to whom ‘recovery’ has not yet happened, and in fact, may never happen.

I am constantly worried about children growing up with autism, how they will cope when they reached teenagers and how they could face the society when they become adults.  There are many questions which circle my head with no apparent answers.  Will the early interventions be sufficient for them to “survive” comfortably in their later life? Are they are able to be married and live happily every after?  Will there be some breakthrough with the methods and medicine to improve the situation in the future before they reached adulthood and even in adulthood?  Will the society be more acceptable to people and adults being “labelled” as autistic?   Will the media stop casting a negative pictures on ASD?

There is an estimated 18,000 adults with Autism in Singapore and Ashwin, 23, is one of them. With adult services here in its infancy, people like Ashwin faces an uncertain future.  See the video below to have a feel of the world of how a young adult cope and living with autism.   Ashwin pushes on, with much help from his family, his therapists, medication and an endearing sense of humour.



More Positive Report Please

The special report on autism published in the Straits Times is eye-opening, excogitative and it is long overdue for someone to write about the topic.  The articles exposed the harsh reality of the suffering ASD brought on the lives of so many individuals and families.

At the same time, I am disappointed by the negative angle that the editor has casted for its special feature.  The headlines of the 9-page supplement depict despair and dejection.  As most of the readers will just skimp over the headlines without reading in details, it may portray, deepen the negative feelings and wrong understandings towards people with autism.  It painted a slightly pessimistic picture without realizing that Autism is a spectrum with different degree of severity.  Instead, I feel it could be a more balanced report by highlighting some successful cases and positive stories.

Nevertheless, I do appreciate very much the effort of journalist to write and publish ANY articles of ASD to the general public.  It helps to raise the awareness of the public and hopefully increases the compassion and willingness of assistance when they encounter incidents where a person with autism acts up in public, instead of shunning them.

What is your thoughts after reading the ST articles? What is your feelings after watching the real life experience video of Ashwin?


  1. Cycy

    Michael, I agree with you that so much more can n needs to be done to help the situation of special needs (not just autistic) community in Singapore. I guess, in a way, autistic people get hardest hit because they do look so typical, no physical abnormalities. Hence, it's so much easier for the general public to cast glances when someone who looks so normal behave so unusually. It's tough.
    Sometimes when I get to chat with people, like cab uncles who love chatting, they would ask me more about ASD in a genuine quest to know more. However, I very much believe that incomplete information can be more harmful than ignorance. Therefore, I'm always in a dilemma as to how much to share. Nevertheless, I always emphasize that ASD is a spectrum disorder, meaning we must not be judgemental and over-generalize from one autistic child to all autistic people. Guess that's the fundamental that people need to know – to know there's so much they don't know about the spectrum. =)
    Keep good faith, parents and educators/therapists of ASD people! Just becos little is being understood, doesn't belittle every little effort we make to help them.

  2. * Michael *

    Cycy, you are absolutely right about too little knowledge could be as harmful as well.   I have the same feeling when talking to people who knows a little about autism and had already a fixed image of what people with autism are like, very much of stereotyping at the worst spectrum. 

    Well said also to the little steps we are making every day towards the right direction and raising awareness and keeping high our faith. 

    Thanks for sharing your thots!  😀

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