Since childhood, Jiawen has been in worse health than his peers, and his abnormal behavior has caused his parents to seek medical treatment everywhere without results, and he has experienced three medical consultations in his life, and was diagnosed with autism at the age of 23, missing the golden training period. Like a big stone in his heart, the diagnosis made his parents breathe a sigh of relief.

Father Mr. Chen is an important role in the life of his autistic daughter, spending all his time to take care of his daughter, facing discrimination, accompanying running, mediating family conflicts to teaching the principles of being a person, he is in step with his daughter, only hoping to become her strongest "backing" and be her life coach. I hope that my daughter will become a kind person and give back to the society.

Since childhood, he was weak and did not know how to communicate with people, and failed to find the cause after three attempts to seek medical treatment

The 29-year-old Jiawen was found by his parents at a young age that his behavioral response was slower and worse than that of children of the same age, his physical strength was weak since childhood, and he was often alone because he did not know how to communicate with others.

When Primary Four saw a doctor for a cold, the doctor found that Jiawen behaved abnormally, blinking frequently, and his mouth moved involuntarily from time to time, but he did not find anything abnormal after doing a brain scan. After graduating from secondary school, Kawen went on to pursue the Higher Diploma Programme at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education IVE, but the independent and flexible tertiary life required her to adapt to the increased pressure, and her personality became withdrawn and she lost motivation.

Daughter diagnosed with autism, disgusted and let go of the big stone

Seeing this, his father, Mr. Chen, took Jiawen to see a private psychiatrist, and suspended school for a year on the recommendation, and then was referred by social workers to Heep Hong Society to participate in youth support services, and then referred to psychiatry for medical treatment, and after three referrals, Jiawen was finally diagnosed with autism at the age of 23. Mr. Chen recalled that he was not too worried on the day of his daughter's diagnosis, but he was very anxious when he was a child and sought medical treatment without results, and he was like letting go of his heart afterwards.

Eighty percent of her heart is spent on her daughter to accompany her to run and improve her physical fitness

The family has a daughter and a son, but Mr. Chen frankly said that eighty percent of his efforts were spent on Jiawen, and even though he had missed the golden training period of autism, he did not give up, but played a role in accompanying and encouraging his daughter's life. After the speech therapist suggested that Jiawen do more exercise to improve his physical fitness, the father also took action immediately to accompany his daughter to practice running. He laughs that his daughter gasped for air after the first 10-minute run, and after training, her fitness has improved tremendously, and she has successfully competed in the 10km marathon twice.

Mr. Chan knows his daughter's personality very well, he pointed out that Jia Wen is simple and kind by nature, but sometimes he is too stubborn and easy to get into the horns, and bluntly said that it is the biggest difficulty in the process of care, "Sometimes it is so hard!" In the face of his daughter's stubborn performance, he can only slowly observe her emotions and distractions, and knows that her daughter often loses self-confidence, so he should give her more support and appreciation, sometimes even if the performance is not ideal, but "all have to praise her more". He also mentioned that communication and sharing are very important, and Jiawen will share daily trivial matters with his father every day after work, and he still does so today.

The daughter's rework is called "autistic girl" to teach relaxation and not to care about criticism

Jiawen's first job was as a receptionist in a toy store, but because she did not have much time to adapt to her first job, her work performance was not satisfactory, her response was slow, her hands and feet were poorly coordinated and she did not know how to communicate with her colleagues, which led to her discrimination and was ridiculed by her colleagues as an autistic girl. Jiawen recalled this experience of discrimination, clearly saying that it was like "pain in the center", not understanding their behavior, "even if it is a little different in the eyes of normal people, but why attack people like this."

In the face of the experience of discrimination, Mr. Chan taught his daughter to relax her mind, not to care too much about criticism, and to learn from it to increase her self-confidence and accept the opinions of colleagues.

He is currently working as a Centre Assistant at Heep Hong Society, assisting children with special situations and sharing his experiences with young people with Special Learning Needs (SEN) from time to time. As a passer-by, Jiawen empathizes with the difficulties of SEN's parents, so she will use her experience to assist them, such as providing advice, referring them to the required services, etc.

I want her to do what she loves, and I just want her to stay happy, kind and help more people. Mr. Chen

Parents are urged to support their children's acceptance of autism: they do not choose to have it

Mr. Chan also appealed to other autistic parents not to be ashamed of their autistic children, parents need to give confidence and support their children to accept their autistic identity. He also said that even if autistic children are adults, they still think like 2- or 3-year-old children, and urged parents to have more patience and tolerance, "Autism is not their choice." When asked about his expectations for his daughter's future, Mr. Chan said optimistically that he did not worry too much about her future life, but only hoped that she could do more good deeds to help others.

Tam Tsz-hong, manager of Heep Hong Society Star Joy Centre, said that through social and speech therapy training, he helps autistic people reintegrate into society. (Photo by Liang Pengwei)

Heep Hong Society Manager: Helping patients integrate into society through social and speech therapy

Tam Tsz-hong, manager of Heep Hong Society Star Joy Centre, said that there is no "cure" for autism, and can only help autistic people go through the transition period through social and speech therapy training in the process of growing up, so that they can reintegrate into society. When asked about employment opportunities for people with disabilities, he said that more and more employers are interested in hiring autistic people, but more guidance and education needs to be provided to employers and employees to better understand the needs of autistic people, such as providing clearer guidance at work, and hoping that more people will be aware of the talents of SEN youth.

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