By: Nazialita Geynna Maharan
Photo By: Dinie Mohd
SCRATCHES and wounds are normal for any kids when they were growing up.
Well, not when it is self-inflicted and the kid is doing it at the tender age of two.
Unlike most toddlers, Megat Mohd Fahry Izzudin, 4, is a kid that is a patient of autism, a disorder that affects certain kids, be it in their behavioural and learning skills.
He is hyper active most of the time, and often tried to find a way to hurt himself, hence bruises on the young child is a common sight.
When he was not wounding his body, he would run uncontrollably, presumably “at play” by himself.
Tantrum & Rage
Realising her son was different, his mother, Izzetty Raiha Yahaya, 33, knew it was time to seek help.
That was then when she decided to send her precious second son to the Ipoh’s branch of National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) to guide and ensure Megat’s growth and development.
“Most of the time, parents have no idea on what is happening to their kids and assumption is the habit that would fail to identify their children’s need.
“Hence, it is important not to blame nor deny the presence of autistic traits in any child because it is our responsibility to give them the best life could offer, with some exclusive guidance and proper care,” she said to Suara Perak recently.
Suara Perak met this wonderful parent to an autistic child during a mural-painting event for those with autism and members of the media as part of the Media & Penerangan Perak Grafiti Negaraku.
The programme was organized by Jabatan Penerangan Negeri Perak with participation and cooperation from local media in conjunction with the Negaraku Campaign.
Among its objectives are to spread the nationalism values and brighten up the space at NASOM Ipoh with colorful mural and graffiti painted by the journalists, photographers and cameramen.
Stigma & Taboo
Izzetty explained, the sacrifices she faced to care for Megat is more than just quitting her secured job as a bank officer and dealing with the society’s stigma and taboo.
“After confirming with a child expert on my son’s condition, I proceeded to take a bold step to move to Ipoh and that is only a small decision, honestly.
“Megat has to be look after with twice the attention and care, as he is always down with tantrums and rage,” she explained.
It was the call to make for Izzetty, after seeing the look on her dazzled son after he broke his left arm and felt the pain whenever Megat wounds his forehead from hitting it on the wall without any reason.
She said, Megat was scanned with a 2 in 1 package, Mild Autism and Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD) and the challenges did not weaken her spirit.
Fortunately, most of the tantrum and rage come down to a halt when Megat was sent to NASOM Ipoh and was treated with love and tender care.
“I am glad and relieved to say that I am not afraid to give a pencil to Megat now, thanks to NASOM, and he now knows the way to wash his hand and to take orders easily, which was impossible two years ago,” she said.
The mother of three kids aged five to two said that she did plenty of research and internet browsing as well as talking to the fellow mothers’ of autistic child around Ipoh for moral support and experience sharing.
Avoid Negative Judgment
Izzetty also have her personal message, to all parents and society.
Izzetty admitted that, she had had a difficult time trying to adjust to her surrounding as it not an easy task in trying to explain to public about her son’s hyper behaviour.
Luckily, NASOM has taught her the ways to communicate and to deal with her autistic son in his daily lives.
“Autistic children is a gift for all parents, though Megat is trapped in his own world, somehow disconnected and oblivious to people and his surroundings, he gave me the most nurturing values of a mom, acceptance, patience and unconditional love,” she added.
Megat, who is four years old now, is able to function properly at home. His social skills have improved by leaps and bounds, and he is more focused, able to sit quietly when asked to and makes lots of friends.
“Back then, and until now, society will always judge on their first glance of how naughty Megat is, glaring eyes and cynical comments is my usual encounter.
“However, let me tell you, only when one understand what autism is can you connect the world of an autistic child to ours.
“After all, autism is not a disease, it is only a test from Allah,” she said.