[Testimony] After 13 years, he initiated a conversation.


My son was diagnosed with autism when he was about 3 years old. We travelled frequently to Kuala Lumpur from Sibu to seek help for him.  He went through numerous therapy sessions with established speech therapist, occupational therapist, music therapist, psychologist and others. We eventually moved to Kuala Lumpur as we found that there were more therapists here compared with Sibu. When my son was 12 years old, he started having mood swings. When he was angry, he would “attack” us, especially the maid. He would pull our hair, squeeze and scratch us.

My mum then told us about the Breakthru Enrichment Station (BEST Centre). I was at first sceptical about enrolling my son there considering the distance from our home.  In August last year, I finally checked it out.  My son, then 14 years old, joined the afternoon cooking session. Within a month, he was able to join the full-session of  Learning Breakthru and Homeschool Guidance Programme. Within six months, he started eating vegetables and other food/fruits, instead of fried stuff. He was calmer and a lot less angry. We noticed an amazing change in him. My daughter, who is studying in Singapore, also noticed much improvement in her brother. For the first time, he initiated a conversation with her by saying “How to play?” when he wanted her to show him how to play a piano gadget on her i-phone. Another occasion was when my son asked “New car?” when he saw our new car. Even, he is able to remember the Car’s registration number. Also, he always requested: “I want to play computer game”

We are so thrilled that he is making an effort to communicate with us. We are happy  that we found BEST Centre. It is well worth the time spent travelling daily from Seri Kembangan to Danau Kota, Setapak for the sessions.

Hereby, we wish to express our sincere thanks to M/s Phoebe Long & all Teachers for your utmost teaching & learning programmes in your BEST Centre. God Bless you all.

Mr. & Mrs. Chiew


[Testimony] Our relatives noticed a lot of changes in her


My husband and I learned that our daughter has mild autism when she was 3 years old. Now she is 10 years old. When she was seven years old, we noticed that she was deteriorating in her lessons and had developed behavioural problems.

We sought help from Phoebe of Breakthru Kids.  In three months, my daughter showed improvement. When Phoebe started BEST Centre last year, our daughter continued with her Breakthru learning and home school guidance.

I also attended the Brain Gym (R) 101 International Certificate Course.  I’m calmer and more positive in my outlook now. Brain Gym is a useful course for me and others, too.

During the Chinese New Year last year, our relatives were impressed by my daughter’s ability to read and spell difficult words. They noticed a lot of changes in her.  This Chinese New Year, my daughter again impressed our relatives. She helped with our Penang reunion dinner preparations by cutting the vegetables.  Even when everyone had finished and it was late into the night, she was still eager to do more. She also wrote down a list of things that she would like to do. My mother-in-law was so touched that she saved the list. I see light in my daughter’s future better now.

– Joanne

Does Asperger’s make you a better software coder?

source ZDNet.

Aspiritech, a non-profit software testing firm hires people with Asperger’s syndrome exclusively, then trains and employs them as software testers. Though a non-profit, Aspiritech performs for-profit work for Websites, software developers and application designers. The company performs compatibility testing, functional testing, regression testing and test-case & test-script development.

Aspritech founder Brenda Weitzberg, told ERE’s Todd Raphael that employees with Asperger’s syndrome are the perfect software testers.

The proof of concept came from Danish company and recent research from Harvard Business School and others showed that the strengths of people with Aspergers and high-functioning autism actually make them superior at software testing. They’re ability to focus, good memory, their high intelligence, their strong technical skills, their ability to detect details and also to stay focused over lengthy periods, really makes them ideal for software testing work. People w/ Aspergers can become ideal software testers.

That’s not news. Researchers have speculated that some of the qualities and behaviors associated with Asperger’s syndrome can be benefits to have as a software developer. High intelligence, a strong memory, attention to detail and extreme focus are good traits to possess in the trade. And characteristics of a life studying and working in technology are appealing to those with Asperger’s. From a 2008 ComputerWorld article:

Why do Asperger’s individuals gravitate to technology? “Adults with Asperger’s have a social naiveté that prevents them from understanding how people relate. What draws them in is not parties and social interaction, but work that allows them to feel safe, to feel in control,” explains Steve Becker, a developmental disabilities therapist at Becker & Associates, a private practice in the Seattle suburb of Des Moines, Wash., that conducts ongoing small group sessions for adults with AS, among other services.

“What’s better for that than a video game or a software program?” Becker asks. “When you’re designing a software program, there are rules and protocols to be followed. In life, there is no manual.”

Rumors often fly about the high occurrence of Asperger’s among the children of Silicon Valley and even some of it’s greatest stars are rumored to be afflicted.

But other behaviors like an inability to multi-task or read non-verbal cues were seen as unfit for the workplace and unwelcome on a job interview, Weitzberg told ERE.

It’s illegal to ask an applicant about a medical condition including mental health conditions, hiring managers are attuned to behavior during the interview. While many may be turned off by what they see while interviewing someone with Apserger’s, if the job is in software, the interviewer should think again, said Barbara Bissonnette in the same ERE Podcast.

From a recruiter’s perspective, people w/ Asperger’s really are the specialists and technicians in the workplace. There are lots of jobs where you need skills methodical detail, oriented in their work. We’re predicting a real shortage in the next decade of skilled workers. Here we have a talent pool that is underutilized of people who can be filling in some of the gaps in the right kind of jobs with the right kind of support.