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To our lovely little troopers

(sing along to the melody of “You are My Sunshine”)

You are my sunshine

My strong and brave knight

I hope you’re happy, zealous and kind

With all our love, dear

You will be alright

Please take your time to grow and you’ll shine

There will be tough times

You may cry and whine

But that is all fine

It’s part of life

I hope you know, dear

We’ll always be here

Just take my hand, we’ll brave through the tides

You’re one of a kind

Please keep that in mind

You’re not any less

Just try your best

You’re never late, dear

There’s nothing to fear

We’re proud of you, now and always

HAPPY CHILDREN’S DAY! 

It is very easy to love a child. Their cute, lovable nature and their exploding curiosity towards the world makes them almost always a joy to be around. As we are approaching World’s Children’s Day this 20th of November, we thought it would be fun to share some of the highlight moments we’ve experienced while working with the kiddos!

Buckle up for the hilarious and cute moments ahead. 

1. Hold my hand

N is a cute 3-year-old with emerging speech. He’s picking up on making comments, but it’s still challenging for him to be spontaneous in speech most of the time. 

During one of his table time, N was shaking in fear of the grass cutting sound, and was unable to focus. When the sound got louder, he almost ran to me. I asked, “N, scared?” 

Expecting him to cry and yell, he surprised me by saying, “It’s so scary!”

“Hold teacher’s hand?” 

“HOLD MY HAND” 

2. Fat, Thin

One time, K was having his reward time. Suddenly, he touched his tummy and said “fat.” Right after that, he inhaled and sucked in his tummy. He touched his tummy again and said “thin!”

Yup, that’s… one of the ways.

3. Hot or Cold?

M wanted to play spinner and needed to turn off the fan. He asked me if I was “Hot or cold?” I answered “Hot.” He came over to me to check my temperature and asked if I was having a fever or headache. At last, he decided to keep the fan on 🥰

4. Grateful for you 

So it happened during our session when I asked him what are the 3 things that he is grateful for. He said he was grateful for the food, money, parents, and the list goes on and on. Suddenly, he looked at me and said, “I’m grateful for JH (my name).” My heart melted!

5. Teacher “Wait”

So we just had a team meeting for H today and this boy recently can type! We found out last week when we noticed his LMT buttons keep changing words. Initially it started with him adding random ‘s’ to words and then the 7 emojis. This has then quickly evolved to him typing out his own name and then being able to type random words that he thinks is funny. 

Dad just shared today that last night H changed my name to ‘wait’ because I’ve been telling him to wait so many times (he used to whine or cry if he had to wait for things) and he kept pressing on the wait button yesterday. So essentially he is pressing my face picture but the sound that comes out says ‘wait’. He repeated that while laughing, with tears pouring down his cheeks!

6. Bye, teacher!

I was being emo over the fact that I will no longer be working with one of my boys. As I was telling him how it’s our last day and how I felt, he just replied “yeah” nonchalantly. But as I was about to get up to pack my things, he quickly gave me a peck on the cheek, smiled shyly and ran out of the room. I sat there crying..

7. Help me…..

We are teaching L how to get attention and the current step is for me to introduce “I need help /help me please.”

He was playing with a toy guitar but I took out the batteries so he would ask for help. When he came, I modeled, “Teacher, help me please.” We practised this a few times and on the last attempt, I continued on and asked, “What do you need help with?”, hoping he will say “Guitar”. 

Instead, he said, “I want to go toilet.”

8. Tissue? Teacher?

My kiddo didn’t usually call me “teacher” when I first started with him. But there’s this one day when I entered his house, he ran up to me and kept saying “Tissue! Tissue!” I literally gave him tissue, until one day his parents told me that he’s calling me “Teacher!”

9. Your heart will go on~

After a movement break, my kiddo looked at me seriously with his hand over his heart. 

“My heartbeat is not working!”

10. We got this, teacher!

He was my first kiddo and there was a time where my first senior supervision team meeting was coming up and R was still getting comfortable with me. He wasn’t very into hugs or anything at the start. So the day before the team meeting , I was talking to him and telling him how people are going to observe him tomorrow and to be a good boy. I said I was scared but we got this. He looked me in the eye and hugged me for the first time! His eye contact was very minimal at that point as well so it was a super touching moment.

11. Our own unique rainbows

Prior to coming for the session today, I memorised the arrangement of the rainbow colours. But when we started painting, K wanted to follow an arrangement of colours of his own. That taught me that not everyone’s rainbow needs to have the same colours which also reflects that everyone is special and unique. K is a very special boy whom not only learns very quickly but teaches other people great lessons too ❤️ It was definitely a wholesome experience 😍🥰

12. Daddy is my all-time favourite

I was practicing how to roll a conversation with G, and we were talking about movies. 

“I like Hermione,” I answered his question about my favourite character. Anticipating a follow up question, or a statement sharing his favourite character, I looked at him expectantly.

With a confident smirk, he replied, “I like my father.”

13. Gong Xi Fa Cai

A few kiddos were talking about their Chinese name, and T was probably feeling left out as he doesn’t have one. Suddenly, he said, “I have a Chinese name too!”

“My Chinese name is Gong Xi Fa Cai.”

14. Teacher, please be flexible!

B wanted to take a picture with me, but I was reluctant as it was getting late and class was ending. B said, “Iva, can you please be flexible?” 

Of course we took a picture.

15. Long Time No See

After not seeing each other for a long time, our big boys are planning an arcade trip. B asked K, “Will you go to the arcade with me please?” 

K replied, “Oooooohhhh I’m so shy.”

After not seeing me for about 5 months due to the MCO, little J waited patiently for me in the centre to get my socks from the car to bring him to the playground. Once he saw me, he ran across the room and shouted “Teacher XN!!!!” 🥺 So heartwarming to see that there is that instant connection again even after so long!

Other than the hilarious and touching moments, another thing that made our hearts swell were these moments where we got to witness growth and progress!

💙 “Here’s what I recalled about my kiddo – he had been learning how to imitate the action of waving hands for some time, and it was challenging for him. We had to put it on hold for a few times, while he learned other actions before we reattempted waving hands. Practices kept going till one day, he waved bye naturally while looking at me when I left his house after the class! Weeks later, he waved bye nicely while looking at his aunt too! Those moments made me cry with my inner voice despite keeping calm with my face.”

💙 “One of the highlights I have was witnessing my kiddo going from gesturing / single word to initiating conversations and telling me stories about what he played over the weekend!”

💙 “The highlight moment with my kiddo was when he’s being very flexible with going to different places! Previously, he gets very scared to be in a foreign place, but with lots of practice through the tolerance programme, he’s being more flexible now and is able to adapt to changes! He came to the center one day, and was tolerating very well having another 2 kiddos and a few teachers at the kids zone! He did not cry at all, and was sitting there very calmly! While he was resting, another kiddo came close to him to return his snacks, and my kiddo was able to say “thank you” to him!”

💙 “There’s one highlight that I would like to share. This happened when I saw H being able to accept broccoli and his first piece of apple at school! Recently he has been starting to explore different spicy foods like Penang prawn noodles, McD Spicy Chicken McDeluxe and he even requested to bring in chilli sauce into the session one day. He ate fries with chilli sauce in front of me for the first time! So happy to see my kiddo explore more food!”

💙 “We are excited for E, since his two artworks were chosen for the UTMe! Campaign. Together, we are helping E to prepare himself for his short presentation on his two artworks about animals in Malaysia! We are so proud of E, and really happy for his journey!

💙 “One moment that touched me was when Irfan* learnt to wave for the first time through NVI, his mom said “We have waited 2 years for him to wave and we are so happy he can finally do it” 🥺”

💙 “About two months ago, J spontaneously greeted me saying, “Bye, see you tomorrow!” when I left his therapy room after the session. It was the first time he said bye first!”

💙 “During one of T’s team meetings, when he was leaving for his break time, we all switched on our camera to say bye. He said “Teacher S, what is your favourite cartoon?” I almost cried because that was the first time he has ever initiated a conversation with me! And what’s more, he was using proper sentences! He even went further and asked the rest of the team the same question too!”

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.

The possibilities are endless for children. They embark the journey of life with purity, innocence and curiosity, and they deserve all the unconditional love, encouragement and support in their voyage, conquering each milestone, attaining each height. Each journey of growth is unique, just as each child, and they should always be treated fairly, with respect and dignity. Check out our previous post on Safeguarding for Children with Autism – What Parents Can Do, if you haven’t already.

Happy Children’s Day from all of us at EAP Malaysia!