Monday, December 17, 2012

The Story of Autism: Part II

I am currently in Family Medicine posting where we are taught to emphasize on the psychosocial aspects of medicine. It means looking at a patient beyond the disease itself, treating humans and not just the disease. One of the important aspects to consider in psychosocial is finance. It reminds me of my previous post ‘The Story of Autism’. A few days ago, I have been introduced to an autism consultancy firm, simply called ‘Autism Consultancy’. The founder, Ms Charlene Samuel happens to read my post about autism and we came in contact through email. She informed me that autism is considered a ‘rich man’s disease’ not because the disease preselect among the rich like diabetes or hypertension, but because only the rich could afford the expensive fees charged for autism therapy.

I was saddened to know that most children go untreated once diagnosed simply because treatment is just too expensive. Although there are national centres for autism, sometimes there are just too many admissions in a year that they had to select the ones who really could not afford treatment. However, those who deemed that they could afford private therapy, doesn’t mean that they are rich. Can you imagine, the best centres in Malaysia can charge anything from RM 6,000 to RM10, 000 a month? As I have stated in ‘The Story of Autism’, these kids deserve to lead a normal life and early intervention is the most crucial part. Hence, Ms Charlene told me that her firm is targeting families that are not able to afford the expensive therapy fees that most centres demand. They strive to keep costs that an average Malaysian family can afford without compromising the quality of therapy, training and programming.

An interesting thing about the firm is that it empowers parents to teach and nurture their child, so that they would not be fully dependent on the therapists to teach and communicate with their child. I am just sharing this information for those who has a child with autism and looking for an affordable private autism consultancy firm, because I do believe that every child deserves to live a normal life and hence for those affected with autism, therapy should be accessible no matter what their financial background is. For more information, you can visit www.projecthope4autism.com, or you can even directly contact her at +012 2852007, or through email at charlenemariesa@gmail.com.

Autism Consultancy official website

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Being Human Beings

In the beginning, the Almighty created the heavens and earth. Then he sent humans down to earth and puts our souls into our bodies which represent ourselves in this physical world.

Encased safely in the dark space of our skull He created 3 pounds of mushy white and gray matter we refer to the brain. It receives every stimulus from this physical world, interprets them, and enables us to understand this world that He has created. He also bestows our brains with the ability to imagine things. With persistence, anything that our brain can imagine is able to be done the real world. With the ability to think, unlike animals, he blessed humans with the ability to change a part of this world He created. By commanding our body to respond to the stimulus from the physical world, we change it in some way or another.

The brain functions best when it feels excitement, joy and happiness through love, giving and gratitude towards Him, and then to other human beings: our family, our friends, and our community. When our brains functions at its best, the world changes harmoniously with our thoughts and action.

But sometimes, He sent down stimulus from the outside world that hampers our brains from performing the best functions. These are tests from Him. They come in the form of words or physical harm from others. Physical harm can hurt us, break our bones, but as long as it doesn't cause death or damage our brain, the best of us will heal in time and get back to changing a part of the world. It is true that ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’.

Harsh words, on the other hand, has the potential to damage our brain, but since these words only enters our brain in form of impulses, we have the ability to interpret, understand and react to them in our own choice. We can choose the best way to interpret things that does least harm by taking those words positively, and react in a way that maintains the brain's ability to think rationally and still perform its function to imagine and do things that change the world. Whatever happens outside in the physical world, as long as it doesn't damage the brain, nothing can stop us from changing the world, or a part of it.

As long as we are capable to do things, to imagine, to love, laugh, give and be thankful, nothing can harm us without our consent. After all, our body is only our physical representation in this world and therefore it is temporary. In the end, we leave this physical body of ours when the brain ceases to function. Our soul returns to lie with Him, and this world does not matter anymore. So think of it, there really is nothing to lose if we try.