Today, I handed over the part proceeds from the anakbrunei charity calendar to SMARTER Brunei. I was glad to be able to help an organisation which is always “just under the radar” of the RELEVANT authorities due to ignorance and apathy in my opinion. Thankfully the online community is helping build awareness on autism issues. Check out Pablo’s post.
I could sense the frustration in the words of the president when he spoke about how the bureaucratic system makes you jump through hoops in order to receive assistance. I think a constant sum of say $5,000.00 per month is a mere pittance for our national coffers but it would go a long way to sustaining the center.
When I spoke to him about how we could use ICT to help their kids, he was keen but made the point that SMARTER was not a dumping ground for used or discarded equipment. This is something I will certainly bear in mind for an upcoming project…
The president also told me the story of Amanda Baggs, part of a new generation of adults with autism. Amanda Baggs has severe autism. She didn’t cry when she was born. She had to be taught how to nurse. As a little girl, she rocked her head back and forth but could speak. As she grew, she would go longer and longer without speaking, until her spoken language disappeared altogether.
Below is a video of her “speaking” in her language. Watch it to the end and it will open your eyes to the “world” of an autistic person.