Category Archives: Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs

The Child Who Was Sent to Us by Love

On having a student with autism in the class, translated…

In three years’ time, he’d only spoken twice.  Light, a tall and strong boy, diagnosed, with severe autism.

The first time I set my eyes on him, I could tell that he was different, Light’s mom told me nervously, “He’s of normal intelligence, very mild tempered, especially interested in animals and plants, would not attack others without provocation………”  Light gazed outside the window, toward the white sunlight, squinted his eyes, lost in thought, not saying a single word to me.

“Light, what are you looking at?”, “Light!”, that, was the only word he’d spoken, in that first year.

He’d gone to a regular high school, with the focus in competitions and entering into college, it was, truly, hard and trying for him.  He clearly fell behind the rest, in the classes, he’d sat, silent, like a statue, mild mannered and behaving, with the gazes seeming like he was deep in thought, and those lips that are forever sealed up.  As his classmates said hi to him, he’d just sat, silent, and observed.  The teacher worked hard, to try to get him to open up, Light just sat quietly and listened, without any responses.  This silent child, never spoke a word.

The schedule became busy in his second year of high school, Light became like a wood carved figure, followed closely behind his classmates, and, imitated their movements, without any facial expressions, like a grain of sand that existed outside the space and the time.  Only one class, on the relationship between humans and animals and plants, Light lifted up his head, and, a smile seemed to have, curled up his lips.  Then, quickly enough, he’d become, statuesque again.  After class, I’d asked him on purpose, “Light, do you like animals and plants?” “Flower!”, and that, was the only word of reply he’d given in his second year of high school.

The last year’s academic pressures had caused every one of his fellow classmates to be wind up tightly, and Light still trekked between the classes, silently.  On the day of graduation, Light’s mom got all dressed up and came.  “Thanks to the teachers and the classmates’ tolerating him.  The future?  We’re still thinking on it, thank you all for caring for him so.”

I’d placed the present into Light’s hands, “Light, this, is a graduation gift from me.”  Looking at that thickened volume of plant encyclopedia, Light’s eyes twinkled, it was, vague, but I had, caught the light.  Light didn’t say thank you, just gave me a slight nod, he’d followed behind his mom, walked out of the school silently.

I don’t know how this kid will walk through his life, I knew, that parents, teachers, as well as his classmates are merely passengers in his life.  And, everybody gave a helping hand when we’d met up, showed him the care and concerns, and, at the time of parting, we can only say our silent prayers and blessings, hoped, that the passengers in the next parts of his life can use a heart of gentleness, warmth, to accompany this unique child.

I believe, that so long as love is shared between people, that there’s this warmth, every Light in the world, will be touched, by strangers who cherished, and treated them well.

And so, this, is the wishes of a teacher for her student, and, because this student is autistic, he relates to the world around him in his own way, and, his classmates, his teachers had shown him tolerance for it, and allowed him to take his own time, not pushed him into socializing the “normal” way, and, we can only wish and hope, that this kid is going to be just as lucky and blessed, as he go through the rest of his life.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Because of Love, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Expectations, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Lessons, Life, Stories of Hope, Story-Telling

The Math Class for the Special Needs Students

From the observations of a school teacher, translated…

From before, when I’d worked in a regular high school, I didn’t know what “Combined Occupational Training” is, until fate stepped in, and took me to another new school to teach, that, was when I’d gotten into contact with this group of amazing kids.  In the morning, when most of the students entered into the gates of the school, with their heads lowered, and a lack of facial expression, this group of kids would always use the most upbeat voice to greet me, giving me a good start of my day.

Later on, I’d attended a special educations seminar in the summer, there was a lecturer, who’d told us, “the culture in Taiwan awards the students who performed well, and in the end, there may be half of those kids who grow up, and go abroad to work, but, our group of kids will work and give back to the communities here indefinitely, and so, we must do EVERYTHING we can, to help them grow up.”, those words, they got into my heart, made me think, other than showing my passions toward them, and saying hi in the mornings, what ELSE can I do?

And so, I’d told the manager of student affairs, I’d wanted to teach the occupational math courses.  The manager of student affairs opened up his eyes wide, asked me, “Principal, are you SURE, you want to teach their class?”  I’d nodded, persistently, and that, was how my affinities with this group of kids started.

At first, when I’d started, I didn’t get ANY feedback from the students, after I’d explored awhile, I’d come to realize, that by having a lot of knowledge in the mathematics, still wasn’t enough, to teach the course to them.  For them, I’d written individualized education plans that tailored to their needs, and, I’d found, that the material must be able to be applied in real life situations for them.

On a practice exam, a student raised her hands, asked me if they could use calculators?  Without much thought, I’d told, if they can not use it, then, they don’t use it.  But, when I saw how she’d counted, using her fingers, I’d felt so awful, and, I’d immediately had her take out her calculator—and later on, I’d told her, that she could use ANYTHING, so long as she can manage solve the math problems.  Contemplating on the matters further, as teachers, we’d often use our own standards, to expect the students to perform well, did we use more empathy, and more patience, to make the learning process more student-focused?

At the end of the semester, as the students got out of their final class session, a student followed behind me quickly.  “Principal, this, is sausage with fish eggs, I’d made it with my mom at home, it’s for you, and, I’m only giving it to you!”, he’d stated.

“Thank you.  And, calculate for me, if a single sausage is sold for $15N.T.s, and, you buy one for all of the fifteen students in the class, how much would it be totally?  Tell me your answer, at the start of next semester.”  I’d replied to him with a smile, and, accepted this gift.

This, is the practical side of education, this principal worked with this group of kids with special needs, to help them have the basic abilities to make it on their own, and, although the lessons are simple, to normal people, it’d taken these kids a lot of time and energy to understand the subjects, and, being an instructor of special needs children, it takes patience, and compassion.

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Education, Interpersonal Relations, Lessons, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, Translated Work

The Burdens from Caring for a Developmentally Delayed Child was Too Much, the Mother Jumped into the Water, the Father Tried to Save Her, Both Parents Ended Up Dead

It is hard enough, taking care of a normal child, and this family needed to care for one that’s developmental delayed, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

A woman with a Chinese descent, Chen was found, drowned to death, close to where she lived, in a large ditch, her husband, Wang was missing; and because Chen had prior records of attempting suicide, and was saved, the police believed, that it was because of the stresses she’d faced, taking care of her developmentally slow son, and she couldn’t handle it, took the leap into the river, and her husband who couldn’t swim went after her, and was drowned too, and missing, the firefighters are searching for Wang through the nights.

The police investigated, that Wang (age 39) , married Chen (age 30) from China, both of them worked in a factory, has a six-year-old and a two-year-old son, but the older child was developmentally delayed, and harder to care for, the couple got along really well, but, because taking care of their older child was hard, and so, they’d gotten into verbal altercations from time to time.

The police told, that the three generations of the family lived under the same room, the grandparents on the first floor, Wang and their children, on the second; at around four in the afternoon yesterday, the youngest child cried about how he wanted his mom, tripped and fell at the entry of the staircase, the grandfather didn’t see the daughter-in-law come down to check on the child, felt it was odd, and, after the grandfather gone upstairs, he’d found both the parents aren’t around, immediately called it in.

The family stated, that Chen, ten days ago, had gone to the drainage systems in Hsiu-Shui to attempt to drown herself, but, her father-in-law found her in time, and prevented her from so doing; yesterday afternoon, Chen went out again, and her husband ran out without putting on his shoes, perhaps, because Chen wanted to kill herself, the husband ran after her, to prevent her from doing so, and, to save his wife, he leapt with her, but, because he couldn’t swim, they both drowned.

Chen left behind a notebook, with the final words for her son, “Mom knows you’re not a healthy child, but, mom will go, to a far away place now, to watch you boys grow up from afar.”  “Mom really loves you very, very, very much, you are my cherished babies, both of you…”, as the family members read how Chen spoke of nothing but love toward her sons, they all felt bad, that she had died.

The relatives of the Wangs said, that the eldest son is slow-to-learn, and reacted slowly, the family would take him to the hospitals for follow-ups, the parents of Wang not only helped the couple look after the child, also treated Chen, their daughter-in-law, as if she were their own, they couldn’t figure out, what drove Chen to commit suicide.

Perhaps, it’s how she felt awful about her son’s conditions, and she could do nothing about it, and, with the strains from her day-to-day living, she just couldn’t get through, but that, is all speculations now.

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Filed under Being Exposed, Cause & Effect, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Choices, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Early Exposures, Family Matters, Hindsight, Life, Lives Lost, Loss, Messed Up Values, Moods, Emotions, & Feelings, Moral Responsibilities, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Social Issues, STUCK in a Cookie Jar, Suicides, Tragedies in the World, White Picket Fence

From When Her Son with Cerebral Palsy Was Three, She’d Accompanied Him in His Studies, for Twenty Years on End

The devotions of a mother, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

There was a mother-son pair at the Sales Majors of Shu-De Technical University, the son was Han-Wen Lee, with cerebral palsy, the mother was his accompanying study partner, Li-Hua Yo; from when her son was in the early intervention programs at age three, all the way to his college years, the mother would come to class to help her son in class, looking after her child, it’s the most beautiful scene on the campus.

Yo said, that her son was a premature baby, stayed in the incubator for two months, later on, the doctors confirmed the diagnosis of cerebral palsy.  Her son is of normal intelligence and she feared that isolating him will cause him to not learn as well, insisted on placing his son in the normal classes; for this, she’d quit her job as a receipts person at the hotels, and started accompanying her son full-time, all the way, to college.

As her son’s study partner, Yo and her son would sit in the front row each and every time there’s a class, and the mother became the “eldest” member of the class.  They’d never missed a session of class, upon entering into college, the mother was even MORE studious than her own son, she said, that on the one hand, this made up for how she wasn’t able to go to college, and, as she’d returned home, she could help her son in his studies.

Lee sits in the wheelchair, is immobilized, his hands, bent out of shape, other than being his mother, Yo also worked as his physical therapist, and tutor, would help work her son’s hands and feet, also helped him with his homework assignments too, “It’s an affinity, he became our child, and we must care for him”, “So long as his body doesn’t deteriorate, it would be an improvement.”

Yo would keep watch over her son, but, in middle school, her son’s classmates still threw trash on him, he was bullied, and, although Yo felt heart wrenching, she didn’t scream at them, “children are normally rebellious in the middle school years, rather than scolding them, teaching them the right way would be a better approach.”

The professor from the Sales Major of the Technical University, Huang said, that Mrs. Lee would drive her son to and from school every single day, moving him to and from class, guys their built would feel it was difficult, but she’d never complained, nor had she ever raised her voice at her son.”  Lee who was sitting close by said, “It’s just her luck!”, it’d made Yo laugh.

A fellow classmate, Cho said, that Mrs. Lee would help her son take notes, and, would encourage him to participate in class too, and sometimes, when Han-Wen could answer, the rest of the class couldn’t, they felt ashamed of themselves.  Lin, another classmate said, that Mrs. Lee not only took care of her son in class, she’d also treated the other members of the class who are handicapped, as if they were her own too.

There was a case where the parent killed his own son with cerebral palsy, Yo was deeply touched by the story, she said, the children wouldn’t want to be like this also, the parents MUST accept them as they are, so can the rest of the world.

And so, this mother had positive views, although her son has this condition, she’d not given up on him, instead, she’d made it her responsibilities to accompany him, and that, is the heart, of a wonderful mother.

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Choices, College Life, Expectations, Life, News Stories, Observations, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life

A Hug from His Mom, the Autistic Son Stopped Throwing His Temper Tantrums

From the Newspapers, translated…

With the coming of Mother’s Day, the district offices yesterday hosted a celebration, to commend twenty-five mothers who are role models.  Of them, Liu, who once worked for the banking industries quit her job many years ago, so she could focus wholeheartedly, on caring for her autistic son, Rich.

Liu said, because Rich couldn’t articulate well, every time when he couldn’t get what he’d wanted, he’d thrown his temper tantrums.  At first, her moods are affected by her son’s behaviors too, and she’d gotten angered, or punished him.  But once, she’d held down her temper, gave her son, a great big hug, and, it’d, calmed him down a lot.  She’d used her own example, encouraged other parents with disabled children, to make themselves into role models for their offspring, to not give up.

And so, this, is all because a mother, wanting to help make her child feel better, and, in the beginning, because she didn’t know how to respond to her son’s tantrums, she’d gotten agitated too, without realizing, that children are going to pick up subtle signals from the parents, but, after she’d figured it out, she’d kept her calm, and, her son was also, affected by the mother’s behaviors, so, he remained calm as well.

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Life, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives

The Thirteen-Year-Old Young Girl, Diagnosed with Cockayne Syndrome, Living Inside the Body of a Ninety-One Year Old

The life experiences of a child, with a rare illness, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

Celebrating a thirteenth birthday is not at all that difficult for normal children, but for Wen-Yu Lu who had been diagnosed with Cockayne Syndrome, it’s considered, a miracle.

April 26th would be Lu’s thirteenth birthday, but, it’s equivalent to the birthday of a ninety-one year-old individual.  The Angels Development Center yesterday held a birthday party for her and other children who were born in the month of April who are physically handicapped.  Her mother, Chen said, that the average age of children diagnosed with Cockayne is thirteen, and, she’d tried hard not to cry, as she talked about facing the imminent death of her own child, and tried, to fulfill the time she has left on this earth.

After Lu was born, all seemed normal, at one and a half years old, she was developmentally delayed, her parents realized that something wasn’t quite right, and, at age two, they’d taken her into the Angels Early Intervention Center, at age four, the diagnosis of Cockayne was confirmed, it’s also called Aging-Fast Disease, those diagnosed would age seven times faster than the normal individuals.

The doctor diagnosed, that Lu’s intelligence is around age one, her physical growth was stunted, her height is only 2’5, and weighed at 19.8 pounds, and she’d lost her sense of hearing and sight too.

Chen said, she can only communicate with her daughter by touching now, and, Lu can only use the single-word vocabularies that she’d learned from age one, to express her needs, when she’d wanted a drink of water, she could only say, “Water”, the word, “mother” is the most complete of her expression of speech.

Chen said, she could see and hear her daughter, trying to walk using her walker, to skip school, “as I’d just dropped her off in class, she’d snuck out, and gone into the elevator, went downstairs.”

And now, Lu can no longer see, or hear, lacked that sense of security, and loved staying close to her mom.  Chen said, she didn’t know when her daughter will leave her side, she’d used to taken her out to see the scenes, and now, all she can do, is to cherish every moment they’re sharing together.

So, this, is another illness of the childhood years, and, imagine how hard it must be, for this thirteen year-old teen who should be active, running around and about, to be STUCK, immobilized inside an ailing body, can you imagine, how HARD it could be, for this person?

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Filed under Awareness, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Coping Mechanisms, Life, Loss, On Death & Dying

Gone to School at the Developmental School, the Slow-to-Develop Boy, Jun is Improving, Bit by Bit

So, step by step, and you’ll still, get there, eventually!  From the Newspapers, translated…

A lot of the slow-to-develop children looked no different on the outside, and the parents couldn’t detect, they’re without any sense of warning, thus, delaying the treatment and intervention, the mildly autistic, child, “Jun” who couldn’t go to the bathroom on his own, who couldn’t talk, in the accompaniment of his great grandmother, got into the intervention program, he’d started getting interested by the materials, the new toys, and, had improved on his interpersonal skills, his progress made his great grandmother feel better.

The senior social worker, Bai said, most of the parents just wouldn’t admit that their children needed professional help, and, most parents have a lack of understanding of children who are slow-to-develop, believed, that everything will come eventually, and, delayed the treatment phases.

The community set up to help those children who are slow-to-develop by the Home and Family Org in Hsinbei City pointed out, that the expert of studies in delayed developments said, that before the age of six, the slow-to-develop children should be placed in intervention programs, compared the children who went into the intervention programs after the age of six, the improvements are thirty times better.

The eighty-one year-old great grandmother, Liu, for over two years, had taken Jun, the six-year-old great grandson’s hand to ride from their place to Asia-Eastern Hospital Station, and walked for half an hour, then, they arrive at the kindergarten.

Because Jun was from a lower income household, lacked the needed stimulus, so he’d developed slow, and was diagnosed with mild autism, and, his grandparents, and father died, and, two years ago, his physically handicapped mother got remarried, left him with his great grandmother, but, at the age of three, he still couldn’t speak, or go to the bathrooms on his own, his great grandmother felt that something wasn’t right, took him to get diagnosed, then, she realized, that he needed to be treated.

When Jun arrived at the developmental school for class, he’d lacked an understanding of his external environment, would get jittery, and start to cry, throw temper tantrums, but, after he’d gotten introduced to various classes, drawing, music, life training, he’d improved a lot, and when he’d come into contact with new materials, new toys, he’d touched them with excitement, and wouldn’t bear to leave, and, would start to think in holding conversations with others, and it’d made his great grandmother feel better, “He is improving, quite a bit!”

And so here, early intervention is still the KEY to effective treatment, and, because there’s NO physical signs from these children, unlike how some of the genetic disorders have a certain traits, there’s NO way that the family can know, and, this child’s parents just dumped him to his great grandparents, and, because the great grandmother wasn’t aware of the existence of the child’s condition, that, was why the intervention came a bit later, but, the child is making progress…

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Awareness, Carelessness of Adults, Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Lessons, Life, Observations, Socialization