Experience a day in the life of Shaoying, an 18-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

PRELUDE

Autism is a brain-based developmental disorder.

Persons with autism may have difficulty interacting with others, understanding nuances in language, solving problems and accepting changes.

PRELUDE

It is sometimes hard to tell if a person has autism as it is a spectrum disorder, ranging from mild to severe.

As no two persons with autism are alike, the following scenes depict how Shaoying sees the world.

Before we start, let's get to know you better. What is your name?

You are a...

CHAPTER 1

The morning ride

I used to love trains. I remember Ah-Ma packing our favourite snacks for the train ride out of Tanjong Pagar station to KL every December. The smell of the cabin, mixed with the cool night wind and constant chugga-chug-chug, tamed my running thoughts as I drifted off to sleep. These days…

Game is now complete!

Play Again?

I feel like I can barely breathe

Finally... they're gone. Music helps.

But Ah-Ma used to say that crowds are just future friends sharing a cosy space.

And that we should learn to share that space, as the world gets smaller.

CHAPTER 2

Bak chor mee

Growing up, every Saturday was bak chor mee day. Ah-Gong and I would head to Block 58, Bedok South, to play the game of who could slurp the loudest.

Although he's no longer around and people talk more than they slurp, I find myself going back there once in a while...

CHAPTER 3

The flying dragon

People are hard to understand. Why they joke even when they’re sad, why they ignore you when you tell them the truth. When my head hurts and I can’t hold my feelings in, I head to the flying dragon.

Game is now complete!

Play Again?

Making others happy makes me happy. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, it’s just something good you do that comes from the heart.

CHAPTER 4

A friend

We met at art class. We were painting Ayers Rock at sunset, and I didn’t have any reds with me.

When I stared at the paper and couldn’t continue, the stranger next to me quickly offered me all [his/her] watercolours.

That was seven years ago. I never really thought I needed a friend, but [NAME APPEAR HERE] was there for me when Ah-Gong, and then Ah-Ma, passed away and my world collapsed.

And today is [his/her] birthday.

I asked what [NAME APPEAR HERE] wished for, and [he/she] said it was a secret!

But I know what my wish would be: that there would be more people like [NAME APPEAR HERE], who choose to be kind, and not judge those who are different.

Because with their support, people like me, who are differently abled, can have a brighter future.