Monday, October 29, 2012

Words from a parent currently in the ASD Parent Training & Support Series

The words below are from a mother who is currently half-way into the Sept-Dec 2012 intake of the parent training series offered by ANDI Initiative.She has allowed me to share her thoughts. Can you sense how empowered she feels? An empowered parent is a healthy parent. A healthy parent can better hold the family together. Happy Reading!


I personally feel he has improved in social skills. He's not exactly talking yet, but he mingles more and is not as shy as before. He even initiates to play with other people when he's bored. Previously he's contented with playing alone, him and his trains, daydreaming, self babbling.  He still babbles now, but half of the time he is looking at one's face as if he wants to communicate, only words not coming out.

He surprised me sometimes with his abilities to do certain activities, and he is more compliant now. He enjoys the feeling of accomplishments when he does things right (eg. counting is really tough for him at the moment, but if he gets it right, he did the king kong chest thumping proudly. I haven't the faintest idea where he learnt that from).

He enjoys his sessions with me. Every night after dinner, he willingly walks upstairs to start his 
sessions. He is looking forward to do activities other than watching TV. That, to me, is improvement!

In my husband's own words "At least now he knows he should sit down when we expect him to do so, and he knows he should be learning/studying stuff during table time. Better concentration."

I am now more aware of my son's potential.  I  am feeling closer to him, and him to me. I don't think my husband and me have thoroughly passed the denial stage yet, but seeing him improving daily, gives us hope, instead of worrying like mad and feeling hopeless.

We know now we can and we must help him to speed up his learning, and not rely solely on supplements and professionals. We are doing things at his pace, not forcing him to do activities that are not up to his level. We have better directions, all thanks to you Intan!!

Having joined this parent training made me realized there are a lot more parents out there who were struggling as much and even more than me, and we understand each other difficulties in dealing with our special kid. I’m bad, but knowing that I'm not alone in this situation, provides some comfort specially during down times.

No regrets in joining this training, In fact I should have joined in earlier!! (self kick!!!)

Participant, ASD Parent Training & Support Series Sept-Dec 2012 Intake
Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Georgetown Street Art Suggested Walking Route for those with Whine-itis, Small Bladders & Assorted Ouch-ies

So this is the guide I wish I had. I didn't relish constantly looking at the map on my phone. I'd rather have concentrated on the awesome street art, beautiful architecture, and not falling into potholes nor getting hit by traffic.

This is not an "ultimate" guide, nor a comprehensive one. This is a guide suitable for a motley crew of 10 like ours: consisting someone with gout, someone who always seemed to be honked by traffic, someone with knee trouble, someone with a severe case of "Mom-we've-been-walking-forever-itis", and someone with the smallest bladder EVER.

Eight-tenths of our motley crew

Right, here we go.

Start at City Bayview Hotel Lobby on Lebuh Farquahar. (Well, you don't have to, but we did because that's where we stayed.)

Walk to the right around the corner. Cross the street (carefully, watch for cars from your left) onto Lebuh Leith. Right away you should in front of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion on Lebuh Leith

 Walk down Lebuh Leith, and you'll get to your first treat, the "Jimmy Choo" Sculpture.

On Lebuh Leith

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Take a left on Lebuh Chulia.

It's always a toss- up whether to make the family walk on the road, or along the 5-foot-way. Adam, my son, who is now 5 ft 9 inches tall, hit his head on a low overhang along the 5-foot-way (and here I thought 5-foot way refered to the WIDTH, not the height!). It was concrete, so quite painful for Adam, poor guy. Lebuh Chulia had not as much to offer, art-wise, although I did appreciate Yeng Keng Hotel's architecture.

Part of Yeng Keng Hotel

(Suggested detour: Take a quick left into Lebuh Muntri to see the "Win-Win" Steel Sculpture. Then come back to Lebuh Chulia.)

Adam saw stars for a while, but we made it to Love Lane.

Take a left onto Love Lane.

Immediately you will see another lovely piece of art, "Cheating Husbands" steel-rod sculpture.

At the Love Lane - Lebuh Chulia intersection

I like some of the building facades along Love Lane, like the one below.

Further down Love Lane, watch out for the intersection with Lebuh Mentri (Muntri Street). On the left at that corner, you should see another lovely piece of steel-rod art, "One Leg Kicks All".

(Suggested detour: Go left onto Muntri for a bit to see the "Little Girl in Blue" mural. Come back to Love Lane after.)

(Suggested detour number 2 - and my BIGGEST regret for getting geographically confused, and therefore missing some REALLY good art, is... 
Halfway down Love Lane on the way back to Chulia, MAKE SURE you turn left onto Lorong Stewart. You will see "Narrowest Five Foot Way Sculpture", which is actually a series of  5 stand-alone sculptures. Waahh! My major regret missing that. After enjoying, do come back to Love Lane.)

At this point, turn around and retrace the length of Love Lane until you come back to Lebuh Chulia. Take a left and walk down Chulia. If you cross the street on Chulia, you will soon reach a lovely surprise at the intersection with Lorong Seek Chuan called "Ting Ting Thong". Another awesome piece!

Sometimes I just don't understand my spouse

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Continue on Lebuh Chulia until the intersection with Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. You'll know you're there as there's a Eu Yan Sang apothecary at the corner across the street on your left.

Take a right onto Jalan Masjid. There's a nice mosque there.

Mosque on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

Take a left onto Lebuh Ah Quee (be careful crossing the street!). Half way down Ah Quee, there's a dark surprise.

Continue along Lebuh Ah Quee. Almost at the end of Ah Quee, look to your left at the wall. "Boy on a Bike" and "Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur" are here!

At the end of Ah Quee, turn right and then another right, and you are now on Lebuh Armenian. Immediate surprise:  "Kids on Bicycle"!

Continue along Armenian. Cheah Kongsi is on your right halfway down, and a nice detour.

Our group still going strong

Continue on Armenian and on your right will be another couple of steel-rod gems.

"Too Narrow" Sculpture: At the corner of Soo Hong Lane and Armenian

"Procession" Sculpture: Could never get a full shot of this one. Darn red car was parked there both days!

On Armenian

 An "extra" is the Cop on Motorbike with (what looks to be) Starbucks Coffee.

Continue walking on Armenian (it's a short road) till you reach the intersection with Lebuh Cannon (Yap Temple is there).

Yap Temple (and my mom)

Turn left onto Lebuh Cannon and a few steps down is another of my favourite works of art "Reaching Up".

All right, so what's all the fuss about? says Andi

Retrace your steps back to the Yap Temple.

Here our group of 10 stopped for a short rest, drink, ice-cream, bathroom break and to wait out the rain at China Joes Tea Salon and Shop.

Walk away from Lebuh Cannon, it is now Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.

Take a left on Pesara Claimant and walk past the Police Station.

(Suggested detour: I am told there's excellent cendol on Jalan Kimberley on the other side of the police station, but we didn't have the opportunity to detour. Do go if you can. I imagine the cendol stop will be refreshing, and I hear there are a couple of street art pieces on Kimberley.)

Turn right onto Jalan Pintal Tali, and then left on Campbell. A bit of a dry spell here - artwise - but bear with me, there's a final surprise coming up!

Go along Campbell until Penang Road (Jalan Penang). Take a right and walk along Penang Road on the right side of the street. You know you're on the right track if you see Kayu Nasi Kandar across the street, and later Odeon Theatre and Catholic Info Services (all across the street from you).

When you see Town House Hotel across the street, aaah, you're getting close.

Look on your side of the street, you should be at a clear area called Genius Parking. If you are at Genius Parking, turn around and look up.

My guys posing at Genius Parking, just for you!

Honey, I shrunk Adam and Uncle Richard!

Ok, from here, we just continued walking a bit, then turned right onto Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. We crossed the street at the crosswalk, and walked along Jalan Sultan Ahamd Shah (not far at all) until we reached our starting point, which was City Bayview Hotel!!!

The walking route above is not comprehensive, and I wish we had seen more street art, like the ones in my "suggested detours" above, and  the street art on Victoria Street and Chew Jetty. But it's sufficient for a group with whine-itis, small bladders, and an assortment of ouch-ies :-)

For more detailed info on Georgetown Street Art and the artists involved, click HERE.

If you DO find this Suggested Walking Route to Penang Street Art useful, please share it with your friends who love travel and art. This article is parked in an autism/special needs blog (for lack of a home), so a bit of exposure for that wouldn't hurt either :-)

Happy Trails!

Intan Miranti
October 2012


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Be a volunteer!

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