I am a mother of two children, a seven-year-old boy, and a three-and-a-half-year-old girl. My son was born in Vietnam. During the time he was in Vietnam until he immigrated to the US at three-and-a-half, I noticed something different in him. Compared to other kids, he started talking really late and had little imagination. At that age, he still could not say a sentence properly, and whenever he wanted something, he would just hold my hands and point. He never asked or questioned things around him like other kids.
However, he still played and ate well like normal kids. He actually enjoyed playing with others rather than playing by himself. Thus, my families and I thought that he was okay, or maybe he was just slow at talking, and he would talk more when he gets older. Not until my son came to the US and started pre-school, his teachers and the site supervisor always complained about him. His teachers said he did not follow rules, often cried, could not express his emotions, and fought with his peers. The site supervisor referred me to some organizations to have my son evaluated.
Thankfully, I met Mimi Thuong. She was very kind and enthusiastic helping my son get better. Miss Thuong and other healthcare professionals in her team did some tests for my son. He had a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder- mild. Miss Thuong started to come provide therapy for my son. In addition, Miss Thuong also connecting me to different social agencies to receive extra support.
My son always looked forward to seeing Miss Thuong every week to play with him, teach him, read to him. Gradually, my son got adjusted to the US lifestyle. Thanks to Miss Thuong, he was able recognize things around him and started say more completed sentences. I was really surprised witnessing that and could not believe how much he improved.
I did some research and learned that the first 3 years of life are the golden time for all children, especially children with special needs. I was disappointed that I had missed that golden time. However, I was lucky enough that my son only has mild autism. I felt even luckier that we met Miss Mimi Thuong and her extraordinary enthusiasm.
Through my story, I hope parents could pay close attention to your child. Also, parents should reach out to organizations to get help for your child the right way. This will help your child grow and play well with their peers at school.
(Ms. Phuong, a mother of a special needs child)