Travelling from a long distance Vinh Long to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Nhi and her son, Nghia – a 3-year-old boy with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – attended the two weeks of the training programme on Early Intervention for children with autism, to let her son join the practicing sessions with the experts.
Since Nghia was 15 months old, Nhi has recognised that her son has had abnormalities such as language delay, spinning, and tipoeing- behaviors characteristic of children with autism. She took Nghia to the doctor and he was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. From that moment, her family became so stressful because nobody accepted Nghia’s difficulties. When Nghia went to kindergarten, the situation became more frustrating. There was no school allowing Nghia to study for over a month. She found no school or teacher who knew the way to help her son. She felt desperate seeing her son in hyperactivity; he cannot focus on anything even when his mother trying to talk or play with him. As a mother, she felt so painful and disappointed.
The instinct of a mother motivated her to never give up on finding the treatment for her son. Despite all the disagreement from her family, she travelled to HCMC with Nghia to look for an opportunity for him. After three months of practising with special education teachers with appropriate intervention strategies, Nghia has visible progress with the reduction of hyperactivity. The happiness did not last for a long time when Nhi realised that she could not continue to afford all the living expenses in the big city. She went back home with the regret of leaving the chances to help Nghia. The only wish she had at the moment was that her son would get similar support in her hometown.
Her wishes came true when a social worker in her town – who attended the advanced training on early intervention for children with autism organised by Saigonchildren – introduced her about the programme and asked her to attend the upcoming practical sessions with the experts. During the training, Nhi and other parents were not only explained about their children behaviours, but they were also consulted how to help their children improve attention and concentration at home. More importantly, Nhi feels so happy to know that from now there have been people who live in her hometown and who are trained professionals with appropriate knowledge and know-how to help her son. Now the parents of children with autism/ADHD are no longer lonely on the journey to support their children as she used to be.
<The Early intervention for children with autism programme was organised by The National College of Education Ho Chi Minh City with the sponsor of J & R Bleach Trust and Lufthansa Help Alliance since 2017 with an aim to cultivate knowledge and skills for special education teachers. This is a project of the special needs education programme of Saigonchildren to enhance the competency of key teachers and organisations that work with children with autism>