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Breaking through Autism - Kit Chiang
Breaking through Autism - Kit Chiang
Kit Chiang (Right) & Mrs Chiang (Left)
Kit Chiang (Right) & Mrs Chiang (Left)
Event Assistant of JC A-Connect School Support Unit (Right) & JC A-Connect Family Support – Member of a Parent Concern Group for Employment (Left)

People may share similar experiences, but rarely do two people tread the same path. Having traversed one hurdle after another, Mrs Chiang and her autistic son Kit Chiang have shown us how motherly love can conquer all.

Ever since childhood, autism has been a constant challenge for 25-year-old Kit and his family. It was with the help of of a support programme for families with autism children funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and the unwavering guidance of Mrs Chiang, who imbued in Kit a positive outlook on life, that Kit became equipped with what he needs to overcome the challenges of autism, face reality, and be part of society.

Autism is like an endless hurdle race; yet with seemingly limitless stamina, Mrs Chiang has blazed through one obstacle after another, looking only to give Kit a chance to care for himself. She has helped Kit overcome his fears for the future and has given him confidence despite his condition.

Kit and Mrs Chiang have joined JC A-Connect, a Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust-funded programme that offers holistic support for autistic children studying in mainstream schools, and their families.
Conquering disability through strength of mind

Even as an infant, Kit was different from the others – he would neither sleep, talk no respond to the outside world. As he grew up, he became even more obstinate, obsessing with opening certain pages of a magazine; screaming when he saw the same TV commercial; taking only the same seat on every bus; and even hurting himself – such awkward episodes were numerous. Mrs Chiang was therefore not overly surprised when Kit was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, though every time she thought about how her son would be doomed to living in a world of his own, she would be overcome with heartache. “All these years, it was like I had to face it on my own,” she shared.

Twenty years ago, social understanding, support and acceptance of autism were limited, and Mrs Chiang lamented over how she had to “find her way in the dark with no one to guide her”. Such is the everyday life of an autistic child and his parent – a cage fight with no audience. Finally, hope emerged in the form of the Trust-funded Comprehensive Intervention Programme for Autistic Children which gave Mrs Chiang the chance to exchange with and obtain support from other parents of autistic children. “It was not until I joined the programme that I saw a ray of hope.”

Twenty years ago, social understanding, support and acceptance of autism was lacking, and only after joining a Trust-funded autism family support programme did Mrs Chiang see a ray of hope.
Having broken free from the shackles of autism, Kit hopes to make more friends and expand his social circle.
Building a social network outside of oneself

Through perseverance and backing from his family, Kit managed to complete Secondary 5 in a mainstream school. Though his results did not qualify him to enrol in university, Mrs Chiang was not disappointed, but instead comforted him. She encouraged Kit to seek other avenues of self-development and enrolled him in a baking class. Little did she expect to uncover more of Kit’s untapped potential.

In 2015, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust initiated the JC A-Connect: Jockey Club Autism Support Network (JC A-Connect) with the aim to foster social inclusion by offering holistic support for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder attending mainstream schools, and their families. Kit was hired as an activity assistant of the programme upon his graduation. Now three years on the job, Kit’s daily work includes delivering mail and organising teaching materials; at times, he applies his talent to making delicious green tea cakes for his colleagues. Whenever Kit stumbles, his mother is the first to come to his rescue, and Kit understands the toil and tears his mother has given to bringing him up, which is why he vows to return the love, and care for her in the future.

Having broken free from the shackles of autism, Kit hopes to make more friends and expand his social circle. He has no reservations letting his supervisor know of his ambitions: “My goal is to find a better job and earn more money.” Hearing this, both his supervisor and his mother break into heartfelt laughter.

Kit understands the toil and tears his mother has given to bringing him up, which is why he vows to return the favour and care for her in the future.

Autism may be incurable, but it is certainly not insurmountable. For Kit and Mrs Chiang, it even became the catalyst for mother-son bonding. “Whatever the difficulties, I will talk to my family and I will not give up.” For Kit, family is an inexhaustible source of courage, and his mother is the strongest warrior on his side: “With a positive frame of mind, there is no difficulty too great to overcome.”

JC A-Connect: Jockey Club Autism Support Network
Phone: 3917 1224
Email: aconnect@hku.hk
Website: http://www.jca-connect.hk

Through the heartwarming stories, we salute remarkable individuals and inspire the community with their positive values.

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