PUTRAJAYA: Parents of autistic children should not be shy of their children’s condition but support and help them achieve their best according to their strength.
The Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor said that even though autistic children might have weaknesses compared to normal ones, they usually have amazing talent in certain areas.
She said this during a meeting with Malaysia’s first savant autistic artist, Delwin Cheah Wien Loong, eight, who has been recognised as the World’s Youngest Savant Autistic Artist To Hold A Solo Art Exhibition by Record Setter USA.
The solo exhibition in Penang last year featured over 70 original pieces, and was also recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records.
Also present at the meeting were Delwin’s father Lawrence Cheah Guan Keong, mother Erina Law Mei Sun and sister Delwina Cheah Kah Yan.
Rosmah, who is also the patron for the Permata programme, said families could also assist in creating awareness about autism and sharing their experiences through the Permata Kurnia programme, specially designed for autistic children.
She said it included speaking at the International Autism Conference, which will be held in April, as some parents have a difficult time raising autistic children and the sharing of experiences might help them.
Delwin was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of five, and had difficulty in communicating during his younger years.
Despite this problem, he scored 114 on his non-verbal IQ test, has a special ability of memorising almost all the animals and started to draw at the age of three.
He was discovered as a savant autistic artist, a prodigious or genius savant.
Fewer than 50 such people are still living in the world today, and he is the youngest savant in the team of Strokes of Genius USA. — Bernama