Awakening Minds, Raw Art & A Mother's Wish

My name is Choo Kah Ying. I am a writer/educator, recovered sufferer of manic-depression, and homeschooler of Jean-Sebastien Choo. Sebastien is moderately autistic with significant delays in language.  Both of these conditions have inspired me to create Awakening Minds. Its aim is to raise awareness on autism and mood disorders through my books, articles, learning materials, talks, workshops, and consultations.

Despite all the progress that Sebastien and I have made during the eight years of our homeschooling life, he is unlikely to achieve independent functioning in mainstream society. Therefore, before I pass on, it is my dream to offer Sebastien and others like him a strong and loving community that will engage them with a well-rounded programme on a daily basis. This is why I have started A Mother’s Wish that has been principally funded by sales of Sebastien’s water colour paintings — Raw Art.


Check out my books, articles, learning materials, talks, workshops and consultations on mental wellness, autism, and special education.


Sebastien, my son with moderate autism, has been donating 30% of the sales of his paintings to “A Mother’s Wish” Fund.

Prices for these affordable paintings vary from $100 to $800, and the sizes from 9"x12" to A1 size.


Social enterprise providing subsidised activities for autistic individuals.

- Blog Musings about A Mother's Wish and raising Sebastien


As 2014 draws to a close, we are pleased to have conducted our third “A Mother’s Wish” (AMW) Holiday Programme for individuals with moderate to severe autism! The holiday programme constitutes our baby steps towards the vision of creating a community that provides affordable quality programmes all-year-round.

This time around, our participants took part in eight activities—two baking sessions; football & functional training; building a miniature garden; drama and embodied movement; and assembling a household item. We are most grateful to our service providers, assistants, volunteers, and families for their involvement and support. They embody AMW’s model of collective caregiving — spreading the responsibility of caring for individuals with autism across the community.

To ensure that the AMW holiday programme activities are affordable for families, the costs of the programme are subsidised by the AMW fund. So if you are looking for some unique Christmas gifts, please check out AMW’s product offerings). They include Sebastien’s original paintings, his unique hand-crafted collage, and merchandise inspired by his artwork. This year, we also collaborated with MDIS School of Fashion and Design students to develop designs for a T-shirt, tote bag, and other products, inspired by Sebastien, his artwork, and AMW.

Please contact Kah Ying at for more information and purchases.


I am excited to announce our third “A Mother’s Wish” (AMW) Holiday Programme for individuals with moderate to severe autism. The AMW fund (comes from 30% of the sales of the paintings of Sebastien, my autistic son) and the families of the participants will share in the costs.

The holiday programme concept constitutes our baby steps towards the ultimate vision of creating a community that provides affordable quality programmes for youths and adults with moderate to severe autism all-year-round.

Through the holiday programmes, we hope to offer an experience of AMW’s model of collective caregiving that spreads the responsibility of caring for individuals with autism across the community.

Concise Overview of Holiday Programme, December 2014

Programme Outline:

Friday, November 28th Fitness — Football
Monday, December 1st Lifeskills — Baking I
Tuesday, December 2nd Fitness — Functional Training
Wednesday, December 3rd Life Skills and Creative Arts—Building a Miniature Garden
Thursday, December 4th Creative Arts — Drama and Movement
Monday, December 8th Lifeskill — Baking II
Tuesday, December 9th Creative Arts — Embodied Movement
Thursday, December 11th Lifeskills — Assembling an IKEA item and colouring

To read more about the individual activity and enrol your child, please click here.

To learn more about the service providers, please click here.

Cost: $40 per day

Deadline: Only activities with 6 participants will run.


With the awesome support of almost new groups of participants with autism (aged 6–20), families & their helpers, service providers, and volunteers, we completed our second “A Mother’s Wish” holiday programme! Our participants took part in the following activities:

Baking I (June 9) baking healthy blueberry and cranberry cupcakes
Art (June 10) making fragrant spice cards and spice pegs
Fitness (June 11) engaging in repetitive movements with weights, medicine ball, and ropes
Baking II (June 16) baking chocolate brownies
Music (June 19) playing African drums and handbells
Drama (June 20) putting up performances with music, movement, and props.

This time around, our challenge was amplified in the following ways:

These changes are part and parcel of our endeavour to improve the holiday programme format and reach out to more families, SPs, and volunteers.

Despite the slight changes in our holiday programme format, the spirit of A Mother’s Wish continues to be affirmed:

With diverse members of the community sharing in the
collective caregiving of our participants with autism,
we can provide them with a meaningful life of dignity and
 support their families.

Check out the brief summary of the holiday program and the photos here.

Support A Mother’s Wish Holiday Programme!

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