DECEMBER 2014 UPDATE

As 2014 draws to a close, we are pleased to have conducted our third “A Mother’s Wish” (AMW) Holiday Programme for individuals with moderate to severe autism! The holiday programme constitutes our baby steps towards the vision of creating a community that provides affordable quality programmes all-year-round.

This time around, our participants took part in eight activities—two baking sessions; football & functional training; building a miniature garden; drama and embodied movement; and assembling a household item. We are most grateful to our service providers, assistants, volunteers, and families for their involvement and support. They embody AMW’s model of collective caregiving — spreading the responsibility of caring for individuals with autism across the community.

To ensure that the AMW holiday programme activities are affordable for families, the costs of the programme are subsidised by the AMW fund. So if you are looking for some unique Christmas gifts, please check out AMW’s product offerings). They include Sebastien’s original paintings, his unique hand-crafted collage, and merchandise inspired by his artwork. This year, we also collaborated with MDIS School of Fashion and Design students to develop designs for a T-shirt, tote bag, and other products, inspired by Sebastien, his artwork, and AMW.

Please contact Kah Ying at choo.kahying@awakeningminds.sg for more information and purchases.

Click here to read more about our Dec 2014 Holiday Programme and see our gallery of photos.

OCTOBER 2014 UPDATE

I am excited to announce our third “A Mother’s Wish” (AMW) Holiday Programme for individuals with moderate to severe autism. The AMW fund (comes from 30% of the sales of the paintings of Sebastien, my autistic son) and the families of the participants will share in the costs.

The holiday programme concept constitutes our baby steps towards the ultimate vision of creating a community that provides affordable quality programmes for youths and adults with moderate to severe autism all-year-round.

Through the holiday programmes, we hope to offer an experience of AMW’s model of collective caregiving that spreads the responsibility of caring for individuals with autism across the community.


Concise Overview of Holiday Programme, December 2014

Programme Outline:

Friday, November 28th Fitness — Football
Monday, December 1st Lifeskills — Baking I
Tuesday, December 2nd Fitness — Functional Training
Wednesday, December 3rd Life Skills and Creative Arts—Building a Miniature Garden
Thursday, December 4th Creative Arts — Drama and Movement
Monday, December 8th Lifeskill — Baking II
Tuesday, December 9th Creative Arts — Embodied Movement
Thursday, December 11th Lifeskills — Assembling an IKEA item and colouring

To read more about the individual activity and enrol your child, please click here.

To learn more about the service providers, please click here.

Cost: $40 per day

Deadline: Only activities with 6 participants will run.

AUGUST 2014 UPDATE

With the awesome support of almost new groups of participants with autism (aged 6–20), families & their helpers, service providers, and volunteers, we completed our second “A Mother’s Wish” holiday programme! Our participants took part in the following activities:

Baking I (June 9) baking healthy blueberry and cranberry cupcakes
Art (June 10) making fragrant spice cards and spice pegs
Fitness (June 11) engaging in repetitive movements with weights, medicine ball, and ropes
Baking II (June 16) baking chocolate brownies
Music (June 19) playing African drums and handbells
Drama (June 20) putting up performances with music, movement, and props.

This time around, our challenge was amplified in the following ways:

These changes are part and parcel of our endeavour to improve the holiday programme format and reach out to more families, SPs, and volunteers.

Despite the slight changes in our holiday programme format, the spirit of A Mother’s Wish continues to be affirmed:

With diverse members of the community sharing in the
collective caregiving of our participants with autism,
we can provide them with a meaningful life of dignity and
 support their families.

Check out the brief summary of the holiday program and the photos here.

 

MARCH 2014 UPDATE

  1. A Mother’s Wish Pte. Ltd. is now a formally established social enterprise (registered with Social Enterprise Association). As our scale of operation is still small, we have opted to set up a private company for now. Nonetheless, we are still pursuing a non-profit social mission of helping individuals with moderate to severe autism and their families.
  2. I am also excited to announce our second “A Mother’s Wish” (AMW) Holiday Programme, with 50% of costs covered by the AMW fund and the remainder by families of the participants.

The holiday programme concept constitutes the first baby step towards our ultimate vision of creating a community that will provide affordable quality programmes for individuals with moderate to severe autism.

Through the holiday programmes, we aim to directly expose everyone involved to the “magical” experience of collective caregiving. Once again, we will have caregivers, service providers, assistants, and volunteers coming together to provide an engaging learning experience for groups of six individuals with moderate to severe autism. 


Concise Overview of Holiday Programme, June 2014

Based on feedback, we have revamped our format for the holiday programme in June:

Six participants will travel by public transport, under supervision (1 assistant/volunteer: 1 participant), to participate in ONE activity on each day of the holiday programme.

The public transport component is an integral part of the programme:

Targeted Beneficiaries (End-Users): Participants with moderate to severe autism, aged 6 and above. Depending on the demand for the individual activities, we will try our best to create groups within a closer age-range.

Programme Outline:

Monday, June 9th Lifeskills: Baking I (Bishan)
Tuesday, June 10th Creative Arts: Art (Serangoon)
Wednesday, June 11th Fitness: Functional Training (near MacPherson MRT)
Monday, June 16thLifeskills: Baking II (Bishan)
Thursday, June 19th Creative Arts: Music (Bugis)
Friday, June 20thCreative Arts: Drama (Orchard)

Costs (after 50% subsidy): $40 per day

Important deadlines: To enable us to determine whether we have a sufficient number of participants (6 participants) to run the activities, please take note of the following deadlines:

Details and Enrolment

To read more about individual activities and how to enrol your child, please click here.

To learn more about the service providers, please click here.

Contact info (for application form): choo.kahying@awakeningminds.com.sg or 8163-4509

JANUARY 2014 UPDATE

It is with tremendous pride and gratitude that I announce the completion of our inaugural “A Mother’s Wish” (AMW) Holiday Programme, Dec 16th–Dec 20th, 2013. During these five days, our six end-users with moderate to severe autism, aged 6 to 19, engaged in reading and writing, created unique Christmas cards, exerted themselves at the gym, created customised pizzas, and made music! 

Kudos to all the participants — our end-users, parents, caregiver and professional service, assistants, and volunteers (Hwa Chong’s Larkspurs who helped to raise funds for AMW earlier this year)!
 
Wearing signs that offered a concise description of AMW, we rode on buses & MRTs and asserted our presence in mainstream society. Members of the public read our signs and acknowledged their support with smiles and patience.  

Best of all for me, I was a privileged witness of the sense of community that lies at the heart of the AMW vision. Everyone pulled together, looked out for the end-users, stepped in readily to help one another, and did their best to engage the end-users. Though we were exhausted by the end of each day, we were rewarded beyond measure. 

Over the past year, I have often been asked what makes AMW unique. After one year of reflection and this holiday programme, this is what I can affirm:

We are NOT a service provider, NOT a school, and NOT an institution.

We are a COMMUNITY — a large family sharing in the responsibility of raising special children and teens!

Caregiving in a group makes the journey of raising our special children far less lonely! Caregivers should not have to do it alone…

Check out the brief summary of the holiday program and the photos here.

Fifty percent of the cost of the AMW holiday programme that totalled about $2,400 was covered by the AMW fund, with the remaining sum paid by the families of the six end-users ($200/per end-user for 5 days, $40/day for the 3.5 hour programme).

The AMW fund comprises:

  1. Sebastien’s donations of 30% of sales of his paintings;
  2. My donations of 70% sales of my picture book, All Because of the Hummingbird or the Horse; and
  3. General donations, particularly the contribution from MediaCorps Corporation (Channel 8) related to our appearance in Episode 8 of “Joy Truck".

Thanks to the sales of a few of Sebastien’s paintings and our first sale of corporate gifts featuring reprints of Sebastien’s paintings (see below) in the last two months, the fund stands at $15,120.23, after covering the costs of the holiday programme.