Hope: How Your Struggles Can Bring Hope To Others

in Silver Bloggers4 months ago (edited)

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Introduction

Back in 1995 when my wife and I discovered that my son, Jonathan was autistic, we were devastated. At that time, Jonathan was 5 years old and was diagnosed as having late-onset of autism. Thus from the ages of 1 to 4, Jonathan’s development was normal. We felt that we had lost our son although he was still physically with us. Back in 1995, autism was still an unknown subject, and facilities in Sarawak for people with autism were virtually non-existence. We were then desperately looking for help and guidance but could not find any. It was during this time, that a sense of hopelessness engulfed us. There seems to be no hope and we felt that Jonathan’s future was bleak.

What is Hope?

The concept of hope can be different for different people. When people talk about hope in a spiritual setting, they may be referring to the belief that good things will happen as a result of their faith in a higher force. They may pray and direct their hopes outward.

Others may see this as constantly looking on the bright side of things and viewing problems as opportunities. To put it another way, you're always "hoping for the best." The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hope as “To cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true,”.

Whatever the specifics, hope entails a strong wish for things to improve and a strong yearning for that better scenario.

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Why Is Hope So Important?

To have hope is to wish for a positive outcome that will improve your life in some way. It can not only make a difficult present situation more tolerable, but it can also enhance our lives in the long run since imagining a better future drives you to take the measures necessary to make it a reality.
Hope is a part of everyone's life, whether we realize it or not. Everyone has a wish list. It's part of what it is to be human. Hope is an element of the self-narrative about our lives that we all have going through our heads, and it helps us determine what we desire for our futures.

Giving Hope To Others

Having experience hopelessness at the beginning of my journey with my son’s autism, I felt that my experience and sharing can bring a glimmer of hope for other parents in similar situations. This is also what drives me to blog now that I have more time since I am retired.

To cut the long story short, our desire to build a better future for Jonathan spurred my wife and me to set up the Sarawak Autistic Association in 1998. My wife Roselind was the founding President and I was the founding Vice-President and we roped in two other families as committee members. We practically started off from scratch with Jonathan’s former kindergarten teacher Mina being recruited as the pioneer teacher. The three families shared the expenses to send Mina to the National Autistic Association of Malaysia (NASOM) which was located in Kuala Lumpur for training. After her training, Mina started teaching 3 students at one of the parent’s house.

From such a humble beginning, the Sarawak Autistic Association (later renamed as Kuching Autistic Association) has grown by leaps and bounds. The Association now has its own buildings and more than 100 students are currently receiving various types of therapies and assistance there. When we first started the Association, we were not able to imagine that the Association would be able to build its own building and be able to help so many people. What Roselind and I had started in an act of desperation in our darkest moments with just a glimmer hope had developed into an institution that now offers hopes of a brighter future for people with autism and their families.

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The premise of Kuching Autistic Association. Please do visit the Association's website to learn more about their activities and how you may be able to assist.

I like to encourage members of the silver bloggers' community to share their rich stories and experiences. You all undergone the ups and downs of life and your writings too can bring hope especially for the younger generation. I like to end my blog post with my original poem “My Name Is Hope”.

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My Poem : My Name Is Hope

My Name Is Hope
Hope is a word of encouragement
To motivate the weary and heavy-laden
To move on with a smile

My Name Is Hope
Hope is a listening ear
That understands our woes and sorrows
For there is a better tomorrow

My Name Is Hope
Hope is a guiding light
To show us the way
Leading us from our darkest moments

My Name Is Hope
Hope is an act of kindness
Shown to perfect strangers
Without expecting anything in return

My Name Is Hope
Hope is happiness returned to sender
For we reap
What we sow

Follow me and stay positive.

Do check out my previous posts.

Ancient Angkor Wat: Exploring The World’s Largest Religious Monument

Accept And Embrace Change

Hello Silver Bloggers’ Community: Just Retired And Ready To Blog

Spreading positivity one post at a time.
Charles

If you like my writing please up-vote, share and comment. Please help me to spread the message of positivity and support on Hive by reblogging this post.

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I know this will resonate for @lizelle. Her nephew is on the spectrum. Friends of ours moved to Scotland to ensure their child will get the proper care when they are too old. Interestingly, we have a few families in our village who have high functioning adult children who have moved to the village because it's a kinder and safer space for their children.

Hats off - and that's not intended flippantly - to you, your family and team for what you have achieved.

 4 months ago  

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I hope that @lizelle will get to read this. Parents of autistic children are willing to sacrifice for their children.

 4 months ago  

I reiterate what Fiona has said, >hats off to you and your team!

I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for you and your wife.
My cousin now is in his 40s, can function socially, can read and write despite what the psychologists told them back in the day and he has some really special skills. He likely has Aspergers syndrome although not diagnosed as such back in the day.
I've shared some of his work here on Hive, the latest blog can be seen HERE, I'm sure you will enjoy reading it.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us!

 4 months ago  

Thank you. It was very tough especially for the initial 1 year when my wife and I went to see specialist after specialist to find out what's wrong with Jonathan. His autism diagnosis was obtained only 1 year later. In that 1 year period, Jonathan went from being able to talk to just chanting nonsense. It was an agonizing experience that my wife and I hope that other parents do not have to go through.
Most of the credit actually goes to my wife who as the President put in the most work.

You always have such uplifting posts. I love the poem. Blessigs.

 4 months ago  

Thank you for the kind words my friend

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 4 months ago  

Thank you so much.