Story of Silas
Jacob and I have two sons, Stephen (22) and Silas (19). Silas was diagnosed with borderline intellectual disability (slow learner) at age 10 plus. His ability/development in all areas was 4 to 5 years behind his age. Around age 13 he developed ‘autistic’ like features.
At age 14 plus, he was on medication to treat his psychotic challenges and obsessive disorder (O.C.D.). He was under UKMMC before we changed him to UMMC early last year. Two months before he turned 18, his new psychiatrist gave him 2 types of medication which were more effective on him. His condition is now more stable but he still faces his psychotic and O.C.D. challenges (milder now) and sleeping problem.
Since 5th January 2017, Silas and I have been going to Breakthru Enrichment Station (B.E.ST) centre every Monday and Thursday from 10:30am to 4:30pm. I work as an Assistant while Silas goes through Apprenticeship Training Programme supervised by Mdm. Phoebe Long.
We have to travel one and a half hours from Bandar Kinrara, Puchong to B.E.ST centre, Setapak by 2 L.R.T. trains, a taxi and walking and another 1½ hours back to home. Let me answer some of the questions people usually ask me.
Why do you go to B.E.ST centre which is so far away?
I choose B.E.ST centre for Silas’ intervention because:
I believe “P.L.A.Y. Strategy (which includes movements: MBL, RMT & Brain Gym.) + Independence, Confidence & Interaction = Breakthrough” which the centre adopts, works.
Mdm. Phoebe trains and coaches parents to use the same method to handle their children for I believe parents’ involvement is important for their children’s breakthrough.
What progress do you see in Silas?
He is able to initiate conversation with people and talk about things that have happened and what he does instead of only talking about the things he is obsessed.
He is independent to go to familiar places by himself.
He is also able to write about what he does in B.E.ST centre everyday Monday and Thursday and how he feels in his report to Aunty Phoebe. Last time when he related an incident, he could not do it because he got mixed up with actual, past and imaginary things.
What are you grateful for in B.E.ST centre?
I am grateful for the many lessons I am learning. B.E.ST centre emphasises on: Basic living skills at the centre, Silas learns to cook in the kitchen. He sweeps and mops the floor, wipes the shelves, tables and chairs and throws rubbish in the library; and washes the dish cloth.
Respecting the child and let him/her make choices.
Every Monday I put into practice by letting Silas choose the restaurant and food for lunch and also letting him pay for the food.
Using the right language to talk to our children.
I am able to solve the problems better when I use the right language.
Movements to help both parents and children to relax and to integrate reflexes which lay at the foundations of development, posture, learning, emotions and behaviour.
After Silas and I do movements on ourselves, we feel relax and are able to think, do things and handle our emotions better.
In what way can B.E.ST centre help Silas?
B.E.ST centre can help Silas:
- to be independent,
- to be able to communicate,
- to prepare Silas to earn a living and
- to reduce his medication or to be independent of medication which has side effects.