I’m still around

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been away for a while because I didn’t. Truth is I was away for a very long time. Even though I did post some videos up here but it requires almost zero effort.

I do miss typing.

I do miss expressing myself here.

But I always got caught up with work and errands.

Such lame excuses. I need to learn to manage my time better.

It’s getting late right now & I need to go. It’s a brand new week and I gonna hustle for another 12 days before I get 2 full days to rest. & by rest, I mean I still work but just not clocking in as much time as weekdays.

I hope everyone is doing well and be safe! Have a great week!

Being emotional

Actually things have been pretty rough for me these few weeks. I’m feeling really emotional and it’s a struggle almost every day. Every day, I woke up struggling and still decided to be positive. I want to do good things. I want to have a good day. I want to end my day happily. I want to learn something every day. It all become very difficult few weeks ago. I am crying almost every night to sleep. I would be sleeping and thinking if it’s all my problem. I’m always having this conversation in my head if I’m experiencing all these because of whatever mistakes I made in the past.

Since when being honest and sincere are no longer something that people appreciate? I wonder, some times, why we are still teaching children to be good and honest and sincere and gentle if no one is going to appreciate all these good values when we grow up. I ask myself every day why people wanna pick on others who are trying so hard to be their best and being honest and sincere. I was never a victim of bully when I was young but now I’m experiencing all that. I’m tired of being a victim all the time. I’m sick of being picked on.

I just wanna do good things and be happy.

#7: Nice hair :)

As you may have already known that most individuals with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) rarely socialize with others. It is one of their deficits. But there’s this one boy in the center really love to socialize! I would say that he’s the most sociable kid among all of the students there. & if you can believe this — he used to be non-verbal and now he wouldn’t stop talking and asking everyone some random questions. He’s still quite awkward in socializing but at least he’s doing it. It’s all about baby steps. Now, let’s call him AS. AS is very observant and his therapists have always been teaching him to talk or ask someone questions appropriately using the right words.

I just got my hair permed on Sunday and when I went to work on Monday. I obviously didn’t expect any student there would realize the difference of my hair.

Zoe: Hello AS!

AS: Hello Zoe!

Zoe: Wow, AS, you look so good today! Your shirt fits you so nicely!

AS: Zoe look good today…?

Liz (his therapist of the day): No, AS. YOU (emphasized on ‘you’, so that he listens better — we call this a within-stimulus prompt) look good today. Not Zoe.

AS: AS look good today…?

Liz: Yes.

Zoe: You look so handsome today, AS!

Liz: (prompted) Thank you.

AS: Thank you!

(silence for barely 1 second)

AS: (pointed at my hair) Zoe… (mumbled) Nice hair!

Liz + Zoe: (both were surprised & looked at each other) Ohhhhh

Liz: (rearticulated) Zoe, you have nice hair!

AS: Zoe, you have nice hair!

Zoe: Oh, thank you! You noticed my hair!

We made a big deal about it and provided him with a lot of social reinforcerment as he really loves social reinforcement, that’s like his A+ reinforcement.

I was so surprised that he felt the urge to compliment me as I just gave him a compliment. I was also very surprised that he noticed there’s something different about my hair. Last but not least, he tried to use the words he knows of to compliment me although it wasn’t that fluent. Then again, it’s all about the awareness and effort! Liz was equally (if not more) as surprised as I was. These are the little things we discover everyday and we could go on & on about it for another few weeks. :)

#6: Toilet!

After being away for 2 days and went back to work on the 3rd day, I hugged and played with my kid, A, for a bit! I really miss my kids when I’m away. & that’s something I didn’t experience when I was working in corporations.

Zoe: I miss you!

A: Too!

Zoe: Hey hey, you can speak better. I miss you!

Zoe: (prompted) I miss you too.

A: I miss you too.

Zoe: So much better! I haven’t seen you for a few days!! Do you know where I went?

A: YES!

Zoe: (shocked) Really? Where did I go then?

A: TOILET!

I burst into laughter and he thought he got it right since I laughed that loud (it’s a social reinforcer for him). Truth is I hadn’t even been to the toilet once that day. He just simply assumed that I just got back from the toilet. So silly yet so adorable! I am really gonna miss him.

#3: He left, without goodbyes

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I received a sad news on the first working day of the week as soon as I arrived at the center that one of my kids left the center, without any proper goodbye. All the memories were replaying in my head while I was tidying up his stuff at his station. He’s the kid that I’ve taken for the longest time. Nearly a year! & this was the last thing he made for me before he went away.

My heart is still aching about this after five days. It was definitely weird not hearing his voice and seeing him walking around in the center. When I had my Maggi goreng at a mamak place just now, I thought of him too, because I saw a little Indian boy. I miss you, boy! I hope you’ll be a good boy at the new school and continue playing the cup song which you’ve self-learned. I hope you know that I was and still am really proud of that. It totally put a smile on my face whenever you did that and I nearly teared when I saw you enjoyed doing that because you’re so talented in music and it was totally appropriate to do so.