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.
DECEMBER 2014 UPDATE *NEW*
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and purchases.
OCTOBER 2014 UPDATE
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
- Eight activities (November 28th – December 11th)
- Only activities with six participants will run. Targeted participants — individuals with moderate to severe autism, aged 6 and above.
Priority will be given to participants who sign up for three or more activities.
- Duration: 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m, unless otherwise stated [approx. 2 hours programming & 1-hour travel time].
- Public transport component: Participants will travel by public transport, under supervision (1 assistant/volunteer: 1 participant), to participate in ONE activity on each day of the holiday programme.
- A fun review worksheet will be provided to each participant at the end of the activity. From previous experience, we have found that this is a more “fun” way to get the participants to practise academic learning skills.
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.
- To reserve a spot, please contact us [link to contact us] for a registration form. Please return the completed form AND make payment no later than November 7th, preferably beforehand.
A receipt will be issued to you. Should there be any cancellations, due to unforeseen circumstances or a lack of participants, payment will be refunded to you promptly.
Contact: email@example.com or 8163-4509.
AUGUST 2014 UPDATE
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:
This time around, our challenge was amplified in the following ways:
- Guiding different groupings of six participants for each of the six activities;
- Organising six, instead of five, activities; and
- Coordinating a higher number of parents/helpers, volunteers, and new service providers (SPs).
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.
Support A Mother’s Wish Holiday Programme!
- The costs of this holiday programme are partially covered by “A Mother’s Wish” fund. Sebastien, my son with autism, is a key contributor to this fund through his donations of 30% of the sales of his affordable original paintings to this fund and 90% of the sales of merchandise/corporate gifts featuring his artwork.
We would also like to contribute to your fundraising effort!
- Learn more about A Mother’s Wish: We would love to reach out to families with autistic children and members of the community to be part of A Mother’s Wish experience!