In 2020, P. joined Saigonchildren’s free early intervention class when he had just turned 4. At that time, his communication and language skills were at the level of a 1-year-old child. He tended to focus on his favorite activities, especially being strongly attracted to cubes, letters, and numbers. He could spend a couple of hours playing with number assemblages but only paid brief attention to other games.
Around two years later, P.’s family relocated to Vĩnh Long Province. Nevertheless, his parents made an effort to schedule a fixed time every weekend, returning to Ho Chi Minh City to continue attending the intervention class. There were days when it was pouring rain, they had to stay at home. They discussed with our therapists to hold an online class so that P. wouldn’t miss any lessons.
Before P. integrated into a public primary school in Vĩnh Long, the family had concerns about his difficulties in controlling his emotions and actions. However, the combined efforts of special needs teachers, his mother, and P. himself led to positive results. Just two weeks into schooling, he could take his seat appropriately following guidance and understand information very well.
His parents also mentioned that at home, when P. wants to play with his mom, he shows affection through actions like sending “finger hearts” or playfully teasing. It may not be the typical way of expressing the wants to make friends and show care for others but it is a significant step forward in his journey. Moreover, when he comes home after class, P. is always joyful and delighted. One of P.’s proudest moments took place at the school year opening ceremony last year. His mom asked, “Did you have fun today?” and he immediately replied, “Yes, a lot!”
During the Christmas season, P. enjoys eating sweet butter cakes with his family the most. He also wishes to see a snowman wearing warm clothes and pine trees decorated with tinsel balls, stars, and strings of twinkling lights in real life. Perhaps that is the reason why P. has incorporated those rich imaginative images into the illustration that he participated in creating for this year’s Saigonchildren holiday card project. Alongside three other young artists from the early intervention class, P. uses his illustration to breathe life into vibrant scenes capturing the festive atmosphere of Christmas that is eagerly spreading to everyone.