Etash is sitting at a kid’s play table with two other kids and enjoying playing the monopoly game. He looks no difference from all other 5-year-old children – cheerful, attentive and talkative. But actually Etash was diagnosed with autism when he was about 2.5 years old in India. At that time, the doctor suggested Etash to have some therapeutic treatments such as speech therapy.
Not only having a poor receptive language, Etash was unable to give any responsive reply, eye-contact or demonstrate many cognitive skills. Jai, Etash’s mother, was alarmed by his unusual speech delay and nonresponsive behavior. After confirming a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), she researched from the internet and found out about ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and Autism Partnership. Without any hesitation, Jai and her husband decided to move to Hong Kong and enrol Etash into AP for the treatment.
After nearly 2 years of treatment at AP, Etash now can speak quite fluently. He can give multiple answers and has learned how to think in a logical way, i.e. he can tell what he wants for lunch and ask for help or directions. At home, Jai would try to create different tasks for Etash to do. For example, he has learned how to wash clothes with the washing machine and knows how to shop at the supermarket. When attending the soccer or basket ball practice, Etash does not need Jai to be there all the time and can follow the coach’s instruction very well. What makes Jai most excited is that Etash can now call her “Mom”.
Jai says, “It took me some time to learn, as a parent, how to help my child to grow positively. We should always focus on what he can do rather than what he cannot do. I also learn it is important not to give up and despair when he cannot achieve what we expect.”
By June, Etash will complete the treatment and is ready to move to the mainstream education. The family is planning to move to the States during summer and they are now starting to gather more information about ABA service providers in the region as well.[:zh]
遠處可以看到Etash正與兩位年齡相約的孩子，座在兒童書桌的旁邊，開心地玩大富翁遊戲。他看上去與其他5歲的小孩子沒有分別 – 表現開朗，留心和健談。但實際上Etash在印度約2歲半的時候，曾被診斷患有自閉症。在那個時候，醫生建議Etash接受一些治療，例如：言語治療。
當時，Etash不只是語言接收不良，他亦無法給予任何反應、目光接觸或認知能力等。Etash的媽媽–Jai–對他不尋常的遲緩說話能力和行為，立即頓時響起警號。在確診他患有自閉症譜系障礙的診斷（ASD）之後，Jai立即從網上搜尋有關自閉症的資料和治療方法。因此，她認識到有關ABA（應用行為分析）治療法和Autism Partnership (AP)。Jai和她的丈夫決定立即搬到香港，並為Etash報讀AP的治療課程。