Aaqil Aimar Fazly did not respond when his parents called out to him endearingly. Neither did he make eye contact with the eager, loving eyes of his parents. At the age of three, Aaqil was still unable to speak, but only pointing to the things he wanted and using only one or two words to communicate.
His parents were not certain what was going on, and had thought that it was normal for boys to develop speech skills later. It was not until a developmental check-up at KK Hospital’s Department of Child Development that he was diagnosed with autism. He was three years old then and was recommended to join an early intervention programme, where he started classes at Rainbow Centre just one month after, attending their full-day childcare programme and two-hour classes four days a week.
Before attending the classes, Aaqil preferred to play by himself and was resistant to participating in group activities. But within just three months, Aaqil’s parents saw improvements in his behaviour and after two years, he is now able to sit down and join his peers in arts and craft and would even initiate play with them. At the age of 6 in 2016, Aaqil now has knowledge of alphabets and small numbers, and is able to complete worksheets with core key instruction words.
To learn how to help their child, Aaqil’s parents also often took time to attend ‘Signposts’ workshops to learn behavioural management strategies. They also regularly attend parents’ training, workshops and school activities to learn and to give and render support among the parents.
Aaqil has graduated from Rainbow Centre - Margaret Drive School and is now pursuing his studies at Pathlight School, the first autism-focused school in Singapore offering Singapore's mainstream academic curriculum together with life readiness skills.
Aaqil’s parents hope that he will be able to function independently like other children. Working hand in hand with special education schools and interacting with other parents allows Aaqil’s parents to know what is best for Aaqil. Today, Aaqil is learning well and playing well with others, and his family is also able to cope better. Your contributions and support will help children and youth with special needs, like Aaqil, get the quality education they need to develop their potential.
Find out more about other children with special needs and youth-at-risk, and beneficiaries that we support.