Sunday, February 28, 2010

My name is Khan

'My name is Khan' is a truly moving movie... My eyes were all swollen by the time I left the cinema... It is about a man with Asperger's Syndrome who managed to overcome the challenges in life because of one simple reason... the purity of his heart.

As I watched the movie, the autistic traits seem all too familiar.. difficulty in maintaining eye contact, oversensitivity to sounds, indifference to jokes and criticisms, looking at things at face value, etc... It just sets me thinking about how an ASD adult would be like.... And it somehow seems pretty terrifying thinking of my own Rayyan as an adult...

But that aside, an important takeaway from the movie is simply how a mother's love and values can make all the difference in a child's life... I wish I can be just like Khan's Ammi.. her unconditional love moved me to tears.. She accepted her son for who he is, tried her best to help her son, loved him with all her heart and most important of all, taught him values that guided him in life..

Those values are the things that kept him going... those values steered him to the right path.. those values helped him overcome all the barriers and challenges that he faced.. Even after his mum is gone, he still holds on strongly to those values.

I want to do that for my son.. I want to teach him life skills and skills that will feed his heart and soul, skills not taught in any school...

Please guide me God..

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Hubby is not just a Daddy to Rayyan but Hubby is Rayyan's best friend too! They have such a special bond that I must admit that I am jealous at times..

I would like to dedicate this post especially to my Hubby... Thank you for taking care of Rayyan at night so that I can get a good night's sleep... Thank you for accepting Rayyan for who he is and trying your best to help him too... Thank you for loving our boy more than anything else.. Thank you for supporting and comforting me whenever I need a shoulder to lean on... Thank you for being my pillar of strength...

I couldn't go through this journey without you.. And yes, the journey continues.. but with you by my side, I am sure everything will be alright.... I love you..

Monday, February 15, 2010


We were really looking forward to this CNY hols but unfortunately, Rayyan fell sick. Rayyan seldom fall sick but if he does, it will be pretty bad. Even though we gave him cough medicine, he was coughing non-stop yesterday and had difficulty breathing. His chest was heaving up and down and we were so worried that we brought him to East Shore Hospital. We thought that he needed to be on the nebulizer but luckily, the doc said that wasn't necessary and prescribed medicines instead, loads of it! Why do the doctors give so many medicines nowadays?

Anyway, even though our dear boy is sick, he is still as active as ever! And one thing I hate about runny nose is that, our dear boy would 'swipe' his nose at almost anything just to clear it!! I found this out few days ago when I noticed him 'swiping' his nose at a door just to clear the mucus above his upper lip! The next day, I saw him doing it on my tv console! I almost freaked out! Taught him how to use a tissue to clear the mucus and he would do it if we pass him a tissue. If not, he would still swipe his nose using his hands (which is not too bad actually) or a wall or any furniture!!! How to stop him from doing this????

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Like I mentioned in my earlier post, Rayyan is able to recognise quite a sizable number of words, especially words in the 'animals' category. When we found this out, I remember telling his then childcare supervisor that he recognises words. The supervisor told me that he might recognise words but he might not know how to associate the words with the objects, for example, he might know the word 'elephant' but might know how to associate the animal when he sees it to the word.

She told us that pictures are not good enough and we should find out if he can match the real animals to the words. So Hubby and I actually brought him to the zoo, armed with the flashcards. When we see an animal, we would point to the animal and showed him three or four words. We would then ask him to pick out the cards. He got all of them right! So, we knew that he was not only able to recognise words, but he also knew what they meant.

We then began to look into other areas, for example, we would sometimes give him the animal sounds and showed him pictures or words and got him to pick out the correct pictures or words associated to the sounds. It is such a pleasure to teach him words because he is such a fast learner! This is definitely one of his strengths :]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

'Off' Moments

Rayyan does have his 'off' moments whenever I have my one-to-one sessions with him. The good thing is that it usually happens near to the end of the sessions when he gets tired or bored. Sometimes, he will start stimming (flaps his arms) or he will ignore me when I try to get his attention and refuses to look at me. Sometimes he will start scratching his head or rubs his eyes. And when he's like that, it is difficult to ask him to do anything because more often than not, he is not listening to my instructions and refuses to accede to whatever I ask him to do.

I will then try my best to get his attention and will not give instructions until he looks at me because as long as he's not looking, the chances of him following instructions are only about 10%. Rayyan's eye contact has improved but still poor though. One of the tactics that I have learnt to get him to look at me before I give him any instructions is by placing an item next to my eye. I will always place the items that I want him to match or complete by placing the items next to my eye. And he will usually look at me when I do that. My aim is definitely for him to look at me without doing that but for now, I still have to use this tactic.

So in the video below, you will notice him diverting his attention away from the task in front of him and doing the things I mentioned above. But on a positive note, you will also notice that well, he recognises words!! When I found out that he recognises alphabets when he was about 2 years 6 months, we tried assessing if he recognises words a few weeks later by showing him words and asking him to identify them. First we showed him two cards, pronounced the words and got him to pick out the correct card. We were so happy when he managed to pick out the correct one!! At first we thought that he was just guessing but after many tries and he got all the words correct, well, it couldn't be guessing right?! Btw, most of the words that we initially gave him were 'animals words' because he loves animals and loves to flip the animal flashcards.

Then instead of showing him two cards, we showed three or four cards and he was able to pick out the correct words too. We then moved on to other words and we were really ecstatic when we realised he recognised quite a sizable number of words. Even his 4-year old nephew couldn't beat him! Everyone in the family was amazed when we showed them what he could do. We wouldn't say at this point of time that he can read but he definitely recognises words =D

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Birthday Wish

Just celebrated my birthday on Sunday... I am thankful that I am surrounded by supportive, wonderful people.. I feel truly blessed... As I received the bountiful wishes and presents, there is only one wish that I have, only one that is in my heart every time I want to blow a candle, only one that will make me truly, truly happy... and that is... to hear Rayyan talk... that will be my greatest present ever.... I truly hope God will grant me that wish...

And I am not giving up hope... Like his therapists said, he is keeping it all in... everything is inside and he is just not ready to vocalize them yet.. I hope one day, he will overcome whatever barrier that is stopping him from talking... Mummy is behind you my boy..

Also, I received a piece of wonderful news yesterday, Rayyan will be starting AAS in March!! Thank God! I thought that he wouldn't get a place till end of the year or June at the earliest but I am truly glad there is a place for him soon. I hope AAS will be really beneficial for him and that he will make progress there..

Anyway, on a lighter note, we celebrated my birthday at the newly-opened Hard Rock Hotel, Resorts World. Let me tell you, Rayyan loves hotels! He loves to jump on the huge, king-sized beds, he loves to feel the carpeted floors under his feet but most of all, he loves the pools! Thankfully, he is not the sort who likes to stick to routines and familiar places. He loves to venture new places, especially big, exciting ones...

My life is fulfilling because of you and you make Mummy's day so special my dear boy... Only God knows how much I love you!