A business administrations undergraduate with Asperger's syndrome has launched his YouTube channel to share his life narratives as a differently-abled person.
Kuala Lumpur-based Vigneshwaran Loganathan, 28, created his channel, Vignesh's Adventures, last December. Through his videos, he hopes to raise more awareness on autism.
"On my YouTube channel, I want to show viewers my capabilities in handling daily activities. They include cooking, helping with household chores like washing the dishes and ironing, and accompanying my father to buy fresh produce from the market. These are some of my 'adventures' as a differently-abled person," said Vigneshwaran during a phone interview.
To date, he has uploaded 17 videos, through which he shares his personal experiences as an adult with Asperger's syndrome. He talks about his diagnosis, challenges, support from his family members, as well as share his thoughts on the lack of awareness on autism among the community.
People with Asperger's syndrome have difficulties with social interaction, and have average or above-average language and intelligence levels.
Vigneshwaran is currently pursuing his second year undergraduate studies at a private college in Kuala Lumpur. He travels independently using public transport.
Vigneshwaran's parents, retiree Loganathan Sithambaram, 62, and homemaker Ally Rani Sevanthinathan, 55, and his Seattle-based engineer brother Sivaneshwaran Loganathan, 27, have been instrumental in encouraging him to set up the YouTube channel.
"I enjoy watching YouTube videos on cooking, baking and currency exchange. With so much interest in watching videos, my family members felt I should start my own channel, focusing on Asperger's disorder," he said.
Last year, Vigneshwaran signed up for a YouTube workshop in KL to learn how to set up his channel, content strategy and video production.
The videos are recorded by Vigneshwaran's parents and the family's helper, Angeline Negrido, 34, while Sivaneshwaran helps with the video editing.
Vigneshwaran uploads one video each week. His parents help him to decide on the topics. The duration of his videos is between 15 seconds and eight minutes each.
The recipes that Vigneshwaran shares on his YouTube channel aren't extraordinary. Still, it has certainly developed a sense of pride and accomplishment in his abilities as a person with special needs.
Mum Ally is incredibly proud of her son's achievements. She hopes the channel can create more awareness about differently-abled people. In the long run, she hopes society will have greater acceptance of people with special needs.
"Don't label people with Asperger's syndrome as disabled. They are different because they have developmental disorders that affect their social interaction and communication. Hopefully with these videos, people will accept their condition with compassion and understanding."
Vigneshwaran's video Workout Session With My Trainer was well-received, with over 1,000 views. In his video Mo Workouts Mo Adventures, Kwok Yi Lee commented: "Awesome video man! I need to get my workout on – thanks for the inspiration." The Necktie also received positive response. Michael Ulmen said: "I like your choice of tie and knot! Four-In-Hand, like James Bond!"