I first heard about ‘Come into my World’ from Hwee’s Book Share Club on Facebook (if you love books, you should ‘like’ her page as she shares book recommendations for various age groups), and purchased a copy as I was curious to learn more about autism in Singapore. The stories are all relatively short and easy to read, so even if you don’t usually read non-fiction, you will find this book manageable. I won’t say it’s an enjoyable read, because there’s no pleasure to be gained from the struggles of others, but you will find yourself celebrating the various successes of the autistic children, no matter how trivial they may seem. What struck me the most, was the love that was clearly evident in each of the stories. Most of the stories are told by the mothers, and it was amazing to read about how they quickly picked up various teaching methods to help their autistic children. Many of them took up courses despite holding full-time jobs, and some even became special needs educators and therapists. I’m sure it must have been extremely difficult and tiring to study while having full-time jobs, and it is clear that their motivation stems from their love for their children. I was also extremely moved by the stories told by the autistic people themselves, as well as accounts written by siblings of autistic children. There is so much honesty and raw emotion in these stories that you cannot help but feel for them.
Come into my World
Most of the stories have a similar pattern: noticing something different about the child, getting him/her diagnosed, being in denial about the autism diagnosis, coming to terms with it, learning how to help the child, and finally, hoping that the child will be able to survive in society. It is clear that the parents worry about what will happen to the child after they themselves have passed away, and it is rather sad to know that Singapore didn’t really provide much support for people with special needs at that time (the book was first published in 2010). As many of the parents pointed out, the waiting list for entry to special schools or even for therapy was extremely long then, mainly because there simply wasn’t enough resources available. Imagine having to wait for half a year before your child can even see a therapist, or for a year or two before he/she can get a spot in a school! Early intervention has been proven to be most effective for autistic children, especially those on the milder end of the spectrum, so hopefully, more special schools can be established in Singapore, and more teachers can be trained in this area. This is because parents who have the necessary resources can take matters into their own hands, and go for courses or trainings that enable them to help their autistic children themselves, but what about those who don’t have the means to do so themselves?
Brenda’s initial objective of writing this book was to reach out to parents of other autistic children, and to give them hope that they are not alone. More than anything else, she hopes that the book will help the public understand autism better, so that the world would become a better place for autistic individuals and their family members. I feel that it is a good read for everyone, as it opens up our eyes to a different world, and hopefully, motivates more people to champion the cause of special needs children and adults.
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******* GIVEAWAY TIME
We have two autographed copies of ‘Come into my World’ (one in English and the other in Chinese) to be given to two readers of Growing with the Tans! To participate, please complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and conditions apply.
Terms and Conditions: This giveaway will end on Friday, 11th May 2018, at 2359h, and is open to readers with a Singapore mailing address only. Winners will be contacted via the particulars provided when entering this giveaway, and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be selected. All incomplete entries will be disqualified, and all entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsor, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (accounts set up purely to take part in contests, with no or very few real friends), will be disqualified. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.