Friday, October 15, 2010

Another opportunity to help

Having a child (no matter what number it may be!) is an experience any normal parent would be joyful for.  To watch a sleeping baby, to let it grasp your finger, to slowly pat its back waiting for the big burp, to cheer as it is able to turn, sit and finally walk are all the delights of child raising. Each milestone is applauded as it rewards you a sense of happiness only another parent can understand.  

Yet there are people who begin to get puzzled when their children (normally around the age of 2) show slow development and/or strange behaviours, compared to other children.  The most common disturbing symptoms of all are the lack of eye contact and the inability to socialize.  When friends, parents and relatives are consulted, they often brush it off as 'normal' and recommend giving it a little bit more time. Surely, a very healthy child who, in most cases, seem bright too, just has minor problems with socialising? Unfortunately, even GPs sometimes fail to recognise these slight symptoms and dismiss them as entirely normal. 

Not many parents therefore take the extra mile to read and do more research on the possibilities of their child's strange or peculiar behaviour.  Call it parental instinct, but some do find the issue intriguing and insist that they get to the bottom of the matter.  That was how Ezlika felt when her second child, Imaan, was still crawling when children of his age had begun to walk.  Imaan finally walked at 18 months.  After a series of check-ups he was later diagnosed as autistic.

Ezlika and Adam are both PhD students at the University of Warwick.  Being academicians, they have researched the topic of autism and are trying their best to help their son.  Their thorough research has also brought them to the discovery of the Son-Rise programme which is perhaps the only programme which believes that autism can be cured!


I know that there are so many opinions out there.  In fact, some condone attempts to 'cure' autism as they believe that the act is often against the child's will and nature.  However, a parent should not be discouraged to believe that his/her child can develop and be as independent as any other individual.   With proper techniques, why not? I am fascinated at their approach and am merely sharing this piece of information for parents who may be looking for something for their autistic child.

Four months into the programme, Imaan (4) has developed his vocabulary from merely nothing to 100+.  He can now utter several complete sentences.  However, the programme which requires a lot of one-to-one tutoring and facilitating is rather expensive (click here for detailed costs).  One way of dealing with this is by employing volunteers who will be trained by Adam and Ezlika to help facilitate Imaan.  You can visit their blog here and watch the video sessions with one of  Imaan's facilitators.  In other words, it is vital that funds need to be raised.  That is why Ezlika's sister, Ezura (Eju) is running a marathon in Wimbledon this Sunday (17th October 2010).  I have just been informed how much Eju has raised so far and I felt an anchor weighing my heart down.  

Last Wednesday, in less than 24 hours, friends managed to gather unwanted things and set up a stall at the university, to raise for the Help Imaan to talk project.  £285.87 were raised! Thank you to charismatic Hayati Ismail and husband, Faizam who initiated the drive.  Now, that amount cannot be compared to the amount Eju has raised; it is less than half of the amount raised by Hayati!  

I am therefore trying my best, as a friend, Muslim and human being, to spread out the word to friends and readers of my blog.  Let's Help Imaan to Talk.  If you recall, some time ago, I wrote about Adam's research on blogging and pleaded for help here (Adam is Imaan's father).  Adam came back to me saying that most of his respondents came from my blog and thus, I began to realise the power of the blogosphere and how kind my blog friends are.  

Let's do it again.  Details of Eju's marathons are as follows, but if you want to donate, you'd have to click here.

1) Wimbledon Audi 10K

Event Date: Sunday 17th Oct 2010, 9:00am
Location: Wimbledon Rugby Club, Beverley Meads, Barham Road, Copse Hill, Wimbledon, SW20 0ET
Race Details: 10km

2) The 10k Mo Run


Event Date : Sat, 13th Nov, 2010, 10:00am
Location : Greenwich Park, London
Race Details: 10km
Race website: http://www.thefixevents.com/content/movember-10k-run-greenwich-park/


Lastly, I extend my appreciation to all of you in advance.  May Allah reward you with an abundance of wealth today and in the hereafter...

4 comments:

Prima said...

hi khadijah.. the video is truly inspiring and i hope you dont mind me sharing the info with some friends who have autistic chldren too.. maybe their children too can benefit from the Son-Rise program, insya allah..

thanks :)

regards, tuna

Adam said...

Thanks so much for the buzz. We really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing D, thanks

AM

Anonymous said...

salam,

I can't help 2 share my litle knowledge I have about autism. I'm at Colorado State University, US and there is a professor in animal science school, Temple Grandin who is autism. please google her name 2know more.. TQ