Week 6 of Serialization: Where Does My Autistic Son Belong? Chapter 6

Kah Ying Choo
22 min readJan 12, 2021


In 2019, I published Where Does My Autistic Son Belong?. It chronicles my struggle with raising my adolescent autistic son, Sebastien, and my subsequent decision of setting a home for him in Bali. As part and parcel of A Mother’s Wish initiative to raise awareness about the need to learn treat autistic individuals with genuine respect and empathy, I am serializing the Book on Medium. Previous chapters can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/38MpavD

To purchase the book, please use this link.

Painting Sebastien made on November 18, 2015

Chapter 6


(October — December 2015)

It is often said that things happen for a reason. So if the following events had not occurred, it was most likely that the holiday programme of December 2015 would not have gone so horribly wrong. And I would have just trudged on in my endless struggle with Sebastien and coped with his occasional, but consistent, meltdowns. Instead, the series of events that preceded the fateful A Mother’s Wish programme would snowball and generate such an irresistible momentum to propel me across a life-transforming parenting threshold that I had thought I would never cross. At least not so soon…

* * * * *

For the past five years, since his entry into puberty, Sebastien had been spending three days a week, three hours per session, at a private centre. Ali and Asha, a married couple, had cultivated a community of 6–7 autistic learners ranging in age from 10 to 26 in a semi-detached home with a vegetable garden and small orchard. With 20 years of experience in special needs education, which included working with difficult autistic teens, Ali and Asha were game to take on Sebastien. I was immensely grateful that I could have some respite while ensuring that Sebastien would be in experienced hands.

During the first three years, Ali and Asha genuinely seemed like enlightened special needs educators who embraced their students. We had long telephone conversations in which Asha shared anecdotes about how she intervened to show the other students how to interact with Sebastien and not give in to his attempts to get them to do things for him. Ali even told me about how he would swim underwater during their outings to the swimming pool to make sure that Sebastien wasn’t pulling down his shorts in the water! At school, he introduced Sebastien to gardening tools by having him rake leaves and collecting them in a wheelbarrow for disposal.

Moreover, every time an incident occurred, Ali and Asha always graciously told me that it was a lesson that helped them to know Sebastien better. It was part and parcel of their work, they would say. Even when I offered to pay for anything that was broken, they would refuse readily.

However, in more recent years, my relationship with the centre owners began to be frayed by the rise in fees even as the hours at the centre decreased due to the route of the new school bus driver. Apparently, bus drivers were reluctant to pick up special needs kids and this driver was doing it as a special favour for the teachers. Despite the unfairness of the situation, I felt that there was little I could do about it. With Sebastien’s poor behaviour, he couldn’t go back to taking public transportation.

My increasingly infrequent conversations on the phone with the teachers became reduced to their complaints about Sebastien’s misbehaviour. They protested about Sebastien’s removal of the new bus driver’s road tax disc from the windscreen, his constant attempts to take off posters and stickers at the school, as well as his breakages of crayons because he coloured too hard. It was frustrating to hear them tell me about all the things that Sebastien was doing wrong, which I had no control over. What do they want me to do about it, when I am not there?

From the tone of their voice, I could sense that their patience towards Sebastien was wearing thin. Despite their former confidence in their ability to transform him when I first enrolled him in the school, I could sense that Ali and Asha too were at their wit’s end about Sebastien, though they would not admit it.

As a result of all these tensions, unspoken happiness hung over us. However, neither party was willing to jeopardise the status quo for the sake of Sebastien.

Then one day in late October 2015, I received a phone call from Ali. The school driver alleged that Sebastien had pushed the seat belt he was wearing into the “wrong” buckle during the bus ride home. As it was jammed, the school driver had to cut it to “free” Sebastien from the seat. Thus, I was asked to foot the full bill for replacing the seat belt.

I baulked at their request. From my perspective, the adults — the teachers who put him in the car and the driver should have made sure that Sebastien had put on his seat belt properly. Moreover, since Sebastien was unable to “defend” himself against these allegations, this could be a case of bullying. I did not want a precedent to be set in which Sebastien could be used as a “scapegoat” for anything that went wrong at school or on the school bus. Thus, I proposed that we shared in the costs of replacing the seat belt.

However, the teachers would not budge from their position. They insisted that Sebastien needed to learn how to take responsibility for what had happened. Although I would have loved for Sebastien to be a young man who could take responsibility for his behaviour, neither the teachers nor I had been successful in this endeavour. The bottom line was that Sebastien was a special needs person who could not be held accountable for his actions. And to the best of our ability, we the neurotypical caregivers in his life need to bear the responsibility.

In response, the teachers dredged up a history of having to tolerate Sebastien’s past behaviour of breaking markers and pulling off stickers. This about-turn in their attitude towards Sebastien was a huge shock for me. How could I trust that these special needs educators would treat Sebastien fairly when they are judging him by the standards of conventional society? When would another episode like this happen again?

Facing their intransigent position, I pulled Sebastien out of the school. It was a matter of principle. I was so tired of being held hostage in a situation by Sebastien’s needs. But it was a decision with repercussions that would lead to the rewriting of the narrative of our days ahead.

* * * * *

Pulling Sebastien out of this school in such an abrupt way was traumatic for Sebastien. The night after I informed Sebastien that there would be “no more school”, partially because of his behaviour, I returned home to find the lights turned on and his dinner left in the fridge untouched. I became alarmed: I immediately moved him to Jerome’s house so that we could make sure that he was not alone in the evenings in my flat.

While I sought in vain to find for an alternative replacement centre for him, I took over all the school hours by filling it up with activities and outings. In the process, I gave up all my “me-time” during the day, while both Jerome and I lost our evening respite. Our life at that point revolved exclusively around Sebastien’s well-being. Although it was exhausting, Sebastien seemed to be holding it together, which made all the sacrifices that we were making seemed worthwhile. Furthermore, by this point, Sebastien had also managed to clock four months of non-aggression. Thus, I was super-motivated to erect a protective shell around Sebastien in the hope that he would get through this challenging period largely unscathed.

However, this shell was tenuous and fragile, liable to break at any moment.

It shattered two weeks later, after the prospect of a replacement centre, where Sebastien had attended for a few days as a trial run, fell through. A few days later, I took Sebastien to a sprawling park for him to experience the outdoors. But suddenly, he took after a maintenance truck containing three bewildered workers who were just going about their responsibilities. As Sebastien sprinted, he was banging his head furiously, while unleashing animalistic screams that rang across the vast distance separating us. Even if I could have run as fast as Sebastien, I would still have stood by ultimately as a horrified, but helpless, witness. It would have been too dangerous and foolhardy for me to intervene and try to calm Sebastien down in the middle of his explosion. The distance between us actually served as a buffer that protected me from being swept into the wake of his sound and fury.

By the time I caught up to him, Sebastien might have banged his head at least 50 times. The 50 times was a cumulative total of an astonishing number of hits he delivered to himself from the initial outburst of fury to the gradual release of his frustration. He had starting banging his head so hard and fast that time was needed for the momentum to peter out.

Sebastien finally came to a halt next to an empty playground. There, he unleashed more of his pent-up frustration on the swing — flying through the air, propelled by his 18-year-old legs with all his might. The terrifying young man turned into a childlike boy within a matter of seconds.

I settled down at a nearby bench, not knowing whether playing on the swing would be sufficient to rid him of all the built-up angst that he had clearly been holding inside. Would I be the next target? What should my attitude be towards Sebastien’s explosion?

However, the moment Sebastien came up to me panting away, with his whole face glistening with sweat, I could sense that the storm had passed. He was all spent. In that instant, I knew that however much I wanted to convey the message that such behaviour, especially in public, was not acceptable, I felt more anguish than anger about it. The pain that he had inflicted on himself was more than sufficient punishment.

Despite my calm façade and the fact that nothing else happened that day, I was rattled by Sebastien’s sudden outburst. With this explosion in the park, I had the confirmation that everything I had done to keep the situation under control was not working to mitigate Sebastien’s sense of frustration.

* * * * *

After that episode, a sense of unease came over me. Days later, when ISIL, a jihadist terrorist group launched a coordinated series of suicide bombings and mass shootings in Paris, on November 13, 2015, my misgivings about life in general and Sebastien were further amplified. It didn’t matter that Sebastien and the incidents were unrelated in every way. Somehow, the dark feelings of fear and anxiety triggered by the Paris attacks filled me with a sense of foreboding that something terrible would take place in my life with Sebastien when I would least expect it…

One evening, just three days later, I came home earlier by myself from a dinner with Jerome and his friend visiting from out of town, leaving the two men to their shop talk. However, upon my return, I noticed that Sebastien had stripped off every single leaf from one of Jerome’s plants in our absence. A sad-looking twig stood in place of a plant that was once bursting with green foliage. Its “twin” had suffered the same fate in Sebastien’s hands only two weeks ago. I had been so relieved and delighted to see the tiny “baby” leaves that finally emerged from the bare stem. To me, it was like nature’s defiant assertion against Sebastien’s destructive act. At the same time, their tininess was a constant reminder of what Sebastien had done and their vulnerability in Sebastien’s vicinity. Back then, in yet another bid to avoid a confrontation, I had swallowed my disappointment and issued a warning to Sebastien: “Don’t do it again, or the next time, you would be punished.”

Now that he had flagrantly disregarded what I had said, I decided to make a stance. Otherwise, all the plants in Jerome’s nursery would be fair game. I didn’t want us to live in fear of what Sebastien might do to the plants every time Jerome and I went out without him. So I calmly informed Sebastien that I would be cancelling his outings for the next day. Sebastien returned into his room without saying a word. I stepped into the bedroom I shared with Jerome to sort out the painting boxes of Sebastien, without even closing the door.

In retrospect, I wondered why I didn’t think much about the ramifications of what I had told Sebastien. Perhaps, my little foray from the autism universe — the enjoyable dinner out at a restaurant with Jerome and his friend — led me to let my guard down. Or maybe I had assumed that Sebastien had let out all his frustration at the big park recently.

I was wrong: I should have locked the door after delivering the “bad news” to Sebastien. When Sebastien’s silhouette darkened the doorway, I knew that I had been too complacent. But it was too late.

Sebastien came rushing towards me. Trapped on the ground in a narrow area between the bed and a low wooden shelf, I couldn’t escape. It was a frenzied attack. Sebastien alternated between pounding his head and pummelling my face with his fists in unrestrained fury. In between, he whacked at my arms and shoulders. I was engulfed in a tsunami of Sebastien’s pent-up emotions.

Instead of fighting back, even in self-defence, I focused my attention on Sebastien: “Sebastien, calm down: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. It’s all right.” Based on what I had witnessed in the park, I knew that Sebastien would stop. I just didn’t know when or in what shape we would be in. But, in the adrenaline of the moment, I didn’t care about the blows landing on me. Ultimately, between banging his own head and battering at me, Sebastien settled down sufficiently for me to get up from the ground and lead him out to the living room.

At that point, I thought the worst was over. However, when Sebastien lunged towards my arms and shoulders again, I instinctively ran into the kitchen, quickly locking the door behind me. Sebastien wasn’t interested in pursuing me. He did not jiggle the doorknob or bang on the door to try to get me to come out. But I wasn’t taking any chances. I waited, unlocking the kitchen door only when I could hear nothing. Sebastien had apparently returned to the room. I quickly retrieved my phone, snuck back to the kitchen, and called Jerome who rushed home. For the rest of that evening, I stayed away from Sebastien, leaving him to Jerome’s care.

For several hours, I did not feel the sting of the pain and bruises; the adrenaline was still coursing through my veins. I was riding on the high of finally not responding in a mean or cowardly fashion. In the face of his onslaught, I had maintained my composure, neither hitting out at him nor fleeing from him. Thus, I was proud that this time around, I found the courage to stay in the eye of the storm so that I could help guide Sebastien through his meltdown. I even congratulated myself that had I not been there, Sebastien might have slammed his head 50 times.

However, once the adrenaline tapered off just moments before Jerome and I headed to bed, intermingling waves of fear, anger, and sadness swept over me. In the darkness of the night, I was struck with a terrible fear that I would die if Sebastien hit me like this over and over again. At the same time, I was furious and sad at the déjà vu of my conflict with Sebastien: however hard I tried, whatever I did, I could not make things better. Sebastien always resorted to aggression, even when it never got him what he wanted and he would still be punished. That night, I felt as though I had explored every point of the parenting strategy spectrum to no avail. In stark contrast to feeling gung-ho in the aftermath of the attack, I was crying and screaming inwardly. The refrain that rang repeatedly in my mind was: I don’t deserve this! Tossing and turning in bed, I could not close my eyes without seeing Sebastien’s face crazed with fury as he hit out at me and then giving way to a sense of panic.

In the end, it was my recollection of some of the inspiring Facebook posts that I had read in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, which gave me a lifeline out of my fear and panic. I was particularly moved by a devastatingly beautiful letter penned by a man to his two-year-old son. This man had lost his wife to the mass shooting. In defiance of the fear and terror that the terrorists sought to trigger in their victims, he invoked the power of courage, love, and joy as the ultimate antidote. So I reminded myself of my courage for staying to help Sebastien and acknowledged my endeavour as an act of love. With this reminder, I was once again able to conjure up Sebastien’s face without succumbing to the feeling of fear.

The next morning, I woke up in a sea of pain: the bruising, particularly on the left side of my face, was hard to ignore every time I opened my mouth, while the wounds from the scratches at the backs of my arms stung sharply. Although the amazing peace from the night impeded the onslaught of panic in the ensuing days, I still struggled to interact with Sebastien on a daily basis. The painful recovery process from the bruises on my face to the stinging sensation from the scratches every time I accidentally brushed against them was a constant reminder of the attack. It was hard to put it behind me.

Sebastien’s meltdown delivered a colossal blow to the confidence that I had been building up painstakingly over the previous four months of non-aggression. To me, his day-by-day accumulation of non-aggression had been as much a result of his effort as mine. I had been working hard on managing my own emotions in the here and now, not sweating the small stuff, and not giving in to the moodiness of premenstrual syndrome. Therefore, even when I was not in the mood, I sought to maintain my tone of equanimity through Sebastien’s obsessive-compulsive behaviours of removing stickers or pulling out threads from his clothes. His attack essentially exposed the fallacy of my self-belief that my calmness and composure would somehow protect me. The strategy that took so much effort was not foolproof. At the first sign of crisis, it cracked and disintegrated into hopeless pieces. Once again, in my frustrating parenting journey of Sebastien, the young man, I was all out of ideas. Worse still, I was all out of faith.

To emphasise the seriousness of his aggression, I cancelled Sebastien’s outings for the rest of the week. This time around, though the punishment was way more substantial, Sebastien accepted the punishment readily. During our week together, he would hug me tightly around my neck and my shoulder, as though he realised that he had to make it up to me.

At the same time, by squeezing me with a little extra pressure on my arms and not letting go immediately when I told him to, Sebastien’s “display affection” felt like a threat. But then he would smile in a winsome way and let go of me. From my perspective, his gestures seemed to be his way of reminding me that he could hurt me if he really wanted to. As I was still grappling with physical pain, I found his smiles aggravating and provoking.

Even though it was not my deliberate intent, I succumbed to self-pity, struggling to move on from the incident. In my mind, I was determined that it wasn’t written off as yet another episode. I wanted my pain and suffering to count: it would be worthwhile if it could serve as Sebastien’s wakeup call to the error of his ways. If Sebastien could truly change, then our relationship could genuinely be restored.

So in response to his playful and cavalier demeanour during our interactions, I would confront him: “Sebastien, you’ve done a lot of bad things over the last five years. You need to stop and make things right!”

He would laugh, wanting to shrug me off, but I would not let him: “No, Sebastien! You need to make things right, or you will go to prison or the crazy people hospital. Do you want to go to prison? Do you want to go to the hospital?”

“No, no.” His smile would disappear and he would stop laughing.

I would actually think that I was getting through to him: “Then you have to make things right.”

He would look away. But I would move my head to follow his gaze so that I would look him straight in the eyes and force him to register my seriousness: “Look at me.”

And he would raise his gaze and look at me.

“You have to make things right. ‘Make — things — right.’ Say it.”

“Ake thi-gs righ….” He would say it in an especially rapid and garbled fashion, running over the syllables quickly and skipping the sounds of the individual letters. I wouldn’t know whether he was doing it on purpose so that his words wouldn’t count.

“Make things right.”

“Mae things righ.” That would typically be as close as it got.

Over the subsequent days, I would latch onto this mantra, “Make things right.” Whenever we were sewing on the couch, I would remind Sebastien of the need for him to “make things right” because of the bad things he had done — his aggressive outbursts and the destruction of property. I sought to piece together the whole picture for him — the composite picture of all the havoc he had wreaked and all the heartbreak he had caused. Even though he had always been forgiven, time after time, for his transgressions, like a cat with a zillion lives, there was an “expiration date” for his licence to wreak havoc without consequences. One day he would chase away everyone who had ever cared about him by crossing a line of no return.

Of course, I could never be certain whether Sebastien understood the full implications of what I was saying. What it did manage to do was to stop Sebastien’s “playful” physical intrusions into my space. I could tell that he was uncomfortable. He wanted to just move on with life like nothing had happened and I was not letting him.

Unlike my tendency to come up with approaches to resolve issues with Sebastien, my “make things right” slogan was no strategy. Instead, it was a reflection of the fragility of the state of my mind. I wanted him to take away my burden — my fear and anxiety of not knowing whether, when, where, or how he would erupt again.

But it was unrealistic for Sebastien to take ownership of his emotional struggle. My “make-it-right” slogan that was meant to jump-start Sebastien’s transformation never had a chance to succeed. It had just been another crutch that I was using to prop myself up through the traumatic stress that I was experiencing after the attack. And on one of these occasions, I got so emotional about what I was saying that tears were just running down my face, exposing the fragility that I was suppressing within me behind my façade of firmness.

In fact, my campaign to “indoctrinate” Sebastien with my “make things right” slogan did not last beyond two weeks. I was blindsided by an unexpected event: Jerome got a lucrative consultancy assignment that would take him to Paris for 10 days. The location and the timing of this event unhinged me. The fact that he was heading to the very city that had just been reeling from a series of terrorist attacks was pure recklessness. In addition, the timing could not have been worse. I had barely recovered from Sebastien’s vicious attack on me. To top it off, the holiday programme that I organised and ran for autistic individuals during the school holidays, under A Mother’s Wish, a social enterprise I had set up for Sebastien, was about to begin.

Implementing the 10-day holiday programme over a 1–2 week period during the school holidays was no cake walk. As the organiser, I was responsible for recruiting volunteers who would be paired with autistic participants on a one-on-one basis. We would take public transport to diverse venues where paid service providers guided everyone in a wide range of activities including baking, yoga, dance, drama and movements, functional training exercises, and football. Each activity would end with corresponding cut-and-paste writing worksheets that were accompanied by vivid matching pictures. It was a subtle way to incorporate a modicum of academic learning into the programme while providing a visual chronicle of the day’s experience.

As a one-woman operation, I wore the hat of both organiser and mother of an autistic participant. I alone knew the ins and outs of every aspect of the holiday programme — its strengths and pitfalls — which had been accumulated over several experiences. Since every edition involved new groupings of autistic participants, both familiar and new, for diverse activities, as well as repeat and new volunteers recruited via schools and Facebook, many things could go astray. Autistic kids could be overwhelmed by disruptions to their usual routines, the jarring sensory stimuli of the environment including the public transport, the requirements of the tasks to be performed, and the presence of unfamiliar people around them. Inexperienced volunteers might not always be up to the challenge of handling the participants’ atypical behaviour. Thus, I had to be vigilant about the whole group, delegating responsibilities and making sure that the volunteers kept up with the autistic participants and took care of them.

Despite the toll that running the holiday programme exerted on me in my challenging life with Sebastien, it had all seemed worthwhile during the first two years. In mobilising the diverse groups of people whose paths would never have crossed otherwise for the sake of autistic participants, the holiday programme brought out humanity at its best. For the duration of these intense three hours, parents, helpers, and volunteers readily jumped in to help out with one another without complaint, taking care of the autistic kids as though they were their own. Some of the volunteers genuinely got into the spirit of things: they got on their hands and feet to match the odd poses of their autistic participants under their care, did their best to keep up with the participants who fled away from the activity, and dealt with occasional scratches and hits without protest. Whether they were helping out or not, parents and helpers enjoyed a measure of respite with additional helping hands and empathetic listeners for them to share their stories of caring for these autistic participants. Non-attending parents were often touched by the photographs of volunteers interacting with their children with big grins on their faces. They were deeply appreciative that volunteers were willing to take the time and effort to spend time with their autistic children.

And during the 1–2 weeks of the programme, I could almost believe that my original conception of A Mother’s Wish community could come true. Essentially, this holiday programme was meant to be a miniature version of a subsidised holistic community targeted at autistic youths and adults with challenging behaviours. Therefore, even if they could not get steady jobs, they could still engage in meaningful and purposeful activities to make their lives happy and fulfilling. This was the dream of A Mother’s Wish community to offer a “family” of sorts for our autistic children, long after parents like me have passed on.

My creation of A Mother’s Wish back in 2013 was my response to a question that fills most parents of special needs kids with dread and angst: “Who will care for my child when I am gone?” By the time, Sebastien entered the 18th year of his life — the age when most typical individuals transition towards young adulthood by heading towards university, I felt the impetus to act so that I would not languish in despair and helplessness. Instead of beating myself over my failure to accomplish the original objective of my homeschooling journey to raise a model autistic youth, I wanted to do something positive for Sebastien. A Mother’s Wish community that could help him to navigate through the remainder of his life would be my legacy for Sebastien.

At the same time, A Mother’s Wish also provided a platform for me to showcase Sebastien’s abstract watercolour paintings, which enabled him to earn his own income and captured the clashing portrait of Sebastien, the autistic artist. The intense sunshine and the darkness of Sebastien’s being, manifested in the vibrant hues leaping out from the canvas and the dynamism of his brush strokes, were also present in the violent thumping of his fists upon his head, his wild leaps into the air, and his wails of anguish. Through this conflicting portrait, I wanted to dispel the common, but naïve, perception that Sebastien’s talent ensured that he was set for life. People who lived beyond the borders of the autism universe had the luxury to entertain this thinking.

By revealing the truth about Sebastien, I got to tell our difficult story. And to my surprise, members of the public were not at all put off by Sebastien’s self-injurious and aggressive tendencies. Instead, it made them all the more appreciative of what he had managed to accomplish while grappling with his darkness. It never ceased to amaze me that these generous strangers, some of whom had never purchased a painting in their lives, would be so inspired by Sebastien’s narrative that they came forward to buy his paintings. It was with their purchases that we not only initiated some savings for Sebastien but also raised funds for A Mother’s Wish by allocating 30% of the proceeds from the sales of his paintings to it. This was how we started subsidising our holiday programmes.

Despite all these positives, what I had envisioned for A Mother’s Wish did not come to pass in many ways. For a start, the magic of connection between everyone involved would inevitably fizzle out in tandem with the last day of the programme. The flurry of excited and grateful messages would dissipate into the silence until the next round of holiday programme. Essentially, throughout the three years of its existence, no real momentum was generated with the start-and-stop rhythm of the holiday programme that took place every six months. My attempts to enlist other parents to help me to organise subsequent programmes so that it could expand beyond a “one-mother show” went no further than my transmission of a detailed description of the tasks involved. It only scared the mothers away from the undertaking.

Nonetheless, what truly sounded the death knell of this barely nascent community for me was the behaviour of Sebastien. Regardless of how engaged Sebastien had been during the programme, he would still be yanking out his eyebrows or banging his head. Everything positive that I had felt about AMW became increasingly overshadowed by the threat of Sebastien who was getting bigger and unhappier. And with each edition, Sebastien’s unhappiness began to encroach more and more into the holiday programme. During the football session, he abruptly banged his head when it started to rain and then charged towards me. The largely new group of volunteers stood by, looking in bewilderment. I was saved only by the fact that it was a large field and Sebastien gave up the chase after a few minutes. While such incidents were more the exception than the rule, the fact that Sebastien’s behaviour was deteriorating was unmistakable. Although Sebastien was not the only participant who was acting out, his physical size, capabilities, and age made him far more threatening than the others.

Therefore, my original premise for setting up A Mother’s Wish, i.e. engaging autistic individuals in meaningful and purposeful activities would make them happier and less likely to resort to self-injury or aggression, was fundamentally invalidated by Sebastien himself. And he was the very reason for why I had created A Mother’s Wish. Another parent whose child was also aggressive towards her stopped signing up for the activities.

The failure of the holiday programme to make a dint of difference to our quandary was profoundly discouraging. In the face of my continuous struggle with Sebastien, each holiday programme began to feel like it would be the last one. It felt too much like a struggle to keep up an operation that required so much effort from me with so little to show for it.

Thus, as this next A Mother’s Wish holiday programme loomed before us, in the wake of Sebastien’s vicious attack on me, I really didn’t know whether I had the emotional wherewithal to go through with it. Even though Jerome would not be running the programme with me, I had counted on him to just be there for whatever that might come up. But then this assignment came up, completely out of the blue. It convinced me that all the forces of the universe were dead set against me. Something terrible was going to happen.



Kah Ying Choo

Mother of an autistic young man, who has been my muse and my teacher, published author, educator, and learner, schooled by the University of Life