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Angel of Autism - Wang, Yu-Wen
【Getting Over Autism with painting and Creating an Imaginary World】
【Getting Over Autism with painting and Creating an Imaginary World】
She writes articles about the love of autistic patients towards the world, promotes the integration of autistic children into the society through action, and uses her own experience to allow the public to fully understand autism.
Now studying at 3rd grade in Miaoli County Wen Ying Junior High School, Wang,Yu-Wen was diagnosed with a disease where she is confined to her own body for life at the age of three - autism.
Autism has made Yu-Wen unable to use spoken language to communicate with people normally and her body cannot keep up with the thinking in her mind. So she tends to behave strangely and often been gesticulated by the outside world. Fortunately, she is fully dedicated by her parents, her principal teacher, and her kind and warm classmates, allowing her to face life difficulties with a strong and optimistic attitude, and overcome the problems of adapting to the environment, inconsistency of the mind and mouth to become an outstanding student.
In the future, Yu-Wen promises that she would use paintings to do charity work, speak out for children with autism, and promote the public to understand the plight of this group of autistic children to avoid them from being discriminated and bullied in schools and society, and free to learn and grow happily.
Wang,Yu-Wen has overcome autism by creating an imaginary world and overturning her life through painting. She deserves to be praised as the “Angel of Autism” and stood out among 2616 candidates of Loved Life Medal in the world and won the “21st Fervent Global Love of Lives Award” in 2018 from Chou, Ta-Kuan Foundation in Taiwan. The Foundation always welcomes recommendations for life warriors from all walks of life in the world who are hardworking, benevolent, courageous, and have made great accomplishments, etc. (Fervent Global Love of Lives Award recommendation hotline of Chou, Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation of Taiwan: 02-29178770, Fax: 02-29178768, Address: 3F, No. 52, Mingde Road, Xindian District, New Taipei City, Website: http://www.ta.org.tw, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Using tablet as a communication bridge to conquer disabilities
Now studying at 3rd grade in Miaoli County Wen Ying Junior High School, Yu-Wen was diagnosed with a disease where she is confined to her own body for life at the age of three – autism. Because of autism, she often cannot use spoken language to communicate with people.
Oral expression is the biggest nightmare for Yu-Wen. Whenever she hears other people say that: “Due to slow cognitive learning, Xiaowen has difficulty in understanding many cognitive concepts, so go back and ask your mother to strengthen your lessons.” This often makes her feel a strong sense of helplessness and very annoy that she cannot use spoken language to show her true self.
Until the second year in elementary school when Yu-Wen’s mother had undergone the ECTA courses, Yu-Wen has finally able to find a way to communicate with people. For her, it is just like a first light in darkness. She then began to type words with the help of the tablet’s keyboard.
Children with autism have always been in a state of inconsistency of the mind and mouth, and unable to integrate ideas into a single expression. Typing words through the tablet has finally helped other people to understand the world inside the small brain of Yu-Wen.
Inclusive and loving care during the junior high school life
After graduated from elementary school, Yu-Wen chose to enroll in Wen Ying Junior High School where his brother had attended before.
Fearing that autism would affect Yu-Wen from adapting herself to a new school and new environment, Wen Ying Junior High School’s Principal, Zhong Wan-Xuan who is as kind as Yu-Wen’s grandfather specially allowed Yu-Wen’s mother to accompany her in class to relieve the environmental adaptation stress that has brought to her. Meanwhile, her kind classmates, inclusive teachers, warm learning environment, and a place with ample knowledge have done an appeasing role to clear off the anxiety in Yu-Wen.
She anticipates to enjoy a rich school life during the three years in junior high school, and would work hard to be a happy girl there.
I don’t know you, but I thank you
People living in a community need to communicate and interact with each other.
For Yu-Wen who is a patient with autism, she is delicate and sensitive to people’s emotional interaction. She would endeavor throughout the day with encouragement from others, but would also give up and has no surviving willpower because of other people’s despised look.
When Yu-Wen was in elementary school, she would always hear someone gossiping behind her and saying that she is a madwoman. It was like stabbing pains in her heart. Being subjected to cruel bullying every day and unable to fight back, she gradually got used to it and no longer required any expectations from her classmates.
When preparing to enroll in Wen Ying Junior High School, Yu-Wen felt like a rabbit that got lost in the jungle full of dangers. Fearing that she would accidentally offend other people, or being regarded as an alien by her classmates, she held a determination to die and told herself that she would not mind a bit being alone. But unexpectedly, Wen Ying Junior High School has changed her destiny, and the Principal has even taken the initiative to help her host an art exhibition, allowing the school teachers and students to understand her rich life. When there is understanding, interaction and exchanges, nobody would gossip behind her back anymore, thereby allowing Yu-Wen to learn healthily, grow up happily, and absorb knowledge freely. It is absolutely a different world as compared with the elementary school she attended.
One of the words that Yu-Wen most wanted to say to all teachers and students in Wen Ying Junior High School is: “I don’t know you, but I thank you!”
"A disabled person with an active mind” is the life portrayal of Yu-Wen.
For a long time, Yu-Wen has been happily pursuing to attend school and absorbing knowledge seriously, but autism is like a demon that gives her a nervous and uncontrolled body.
The battle that Yu-Wen faces every day is to try very hard to gain control over her body, hoping that it can take orders from her own brain but it often ended in vain. The results are often disappointing and unsatisfactory, causing her to feel wordless towards her ill-fated life.
In the process of attending school, an adaptation to a new environment requires independent capabilities.
While in school, Yu-Wen often needs to meet the requirements of classmates and teachers, but one simple gesture would require thousands of communication and coordination between her body and mind before she could do the same as her classmates. This sadness can only be understood by people with autism.
Strong and beautiful mother is her invisible teaching assistant
Yu-Wen has a happy family, and her most grateful person is her strong and beautiful mother.
Since childhood, Yu-Wen’s mother has been struggling to accompany her in studying, reading, growing up, and painting. Even though Yu-Wen has difficulties with autism, but she does not feel sorry but faces her difficult life strongly and optimistically instead. She also thanks God to let her have a lifetime of invisible teaching assistant - her beautiful mother.
Although understanding reading is her personal business, but Yu-Wen is not as fortunate as others. Autism has caused her body to appear as if she has an invisible siren. When a slight disturbance is detected, the siren will be triggered and will not stop. She will begin to wave her hands and attempt to turn off the alarm. At such moment, she will easily scare other people. However, as long as her mother is with her, she can quickly comfort Yu-Wen’s feeling and make her feel at ease. So her mother is an indispensable invisible assistant thorough her course of study.
Yu-Wen can still remember on her first day in junior high school that she had cold hands and feet, walked unsteadily, and upset and worried that the school would refuse her mother - her private invisible assistant to accompany her in class.
In the end, Yu-Wen’s mother accompanied her to school wearing a pair of hot pants. This allowed her classmates to forget that she was her parent and directly promoted as the 25th class student. Yu-Wen immediately rest assured, and her mother got along with Yu-Wen’s classmates smoothly.
When the semester ended, Yu-Wen performed well in the school and had good interaction with the classmates and successfully adapting herself to the new environment in junior high school. What she most wanted to thank was the Principal Zhong Wan-Xuan who organized an art exhibition for her, thus enabling teachers and students in school to understand autism and need an invisible assistant teacher. They no longer gave a strange look on the mother and daughter.
Yu-Wen who loves English is also very grateful to her English teacher Xin Hui, allowing Yu-Wen’s English to progress considerably under her guidance. The teacher also held a press conference to allow everybody to understand the English learning milestone of special children. Teacher Xin Hui taught Yu-Wen that as long as one is interested, everyone has an equal opportunity to learn, regardless of what difficulty one has.
Living out with a different confession
A touching confession of Yu-Wen being shared by all teachers and students of Miaoli County Wen Ying Junior High School is as follow:
I’m a person with acute autistic speech problems. I love English since I was young. I love the melody of English which can emit an exciting sound wave. However, no one dares to teach me because my Chinese disability is known to everybody. I often hate God for misplacing me in a wrong country as I’m more familiar with English than Chinese.
The environment doesn’t permit me to learn English though, but I didn’t give up. This has moved mother to look around for teacher who is willing to help me and she finally met teacher Xin Hui. She is not afraid of difficulties and willing to allow me to try. I told myself that I only have only one chance. If I lost, I’ll regret for the rest of my life. Fearing that teacher Xin Hui might be scared by my strange behavior, I’ve grasped the skill to reduce uncontrollable shaking and show my superb memory. So learning English has become my superior ability.
What I want to say is that should there be no existence of teacher Xin Hui who is not afraid of difficulties, there would be no existence of me who can speak English better than Chinese.
In the future, I’ll continue to paint, write articles, work hard to overcome the obstacles that autism has brought me, live in peace with it, and let people in the community to understand about children with autism. I call on the public to be kind to us, and I hope my experience can motivate and inspire other children like me.
Painting is another outlet for life
The persevering mother has helped Yu-Wen to find another outlet in her life - painting. She then started to show the beauty of her inner world. After finish painting, she would also type a footnote with the tablet to write down her own feelings and express her own ideas.
Painting is a window for Yu-Wen to express her own thoughts, and painting seems to be the only way to allow her to express her emotions through the brush strokes that cannot be expressed in spoken language.
Despite the fact that she cannot control her body shaking problem that looks sort of bizarre and often cannot speak properly, but her heart is actually enthusiastic and her head filled with all kinds of fancy ideas. Now she has finally let everybody know through painting and writing.
Yu-Wen said: “Whenever I see paintings filled with lively and vivid colors, it would allow me to express my emotions and also enable the community people to learn more about the disease of autism and pay more attention to this special group of children who suffered from autism like myself.”
Using paintings for charity purposes and speaking for children with autism
In the future, Yu-Wen wants to continue developing in the direction of painting, and hopes that her example will inspire other children who share the same background with her to face the autistic dilemmas. She also hopes to encourage all people and their families who are deeply troubled by autism through painting, face the obstacles bravely, and get over with autism with painting and live resiliently.
Thorough the eight years since she learned how to paint, Yu-Wen has enjoyed herself and full of gratitude in painting. She paints with her feelings and life. She never imagined that her paintings could actually be used in charity purposes.
For three consecutive years, Yu-Wen has donated her paintings to the Autism Association of Miaoli County to make into table calendars. The incomes collected from charity sales are given back to the Association. She feels glorious and a sense of accomplishment. Now she is devoting herself to charity to help others and pay back to society.
After doing a lot of charity activities, Yu-Wen has set up her own life expectation: She wants to get over autism forever with painting, paint to accomplish hopes and love, and act to promote the integration of children with autism. She says it personally that: Please leave a space and give the people with disabilities a chance.
Before graduating from the elementary school, Yu-Wen presented a touching graduating poem to her teachers and classmates as follow:
While changing my destiny in the course of time,
a small kid has become a grown up girl.
I would always hear the whispering voices from my unforgettable mentors:
“Have no fear in autism and grow up stronger to fight anxiety.”
The teachers’ intimate teaching methods have turned a disabled child into a talented girl,
and the loving care from classmates has helped me live in happiness.
Learning along with classmates in junior high school has allowed me to display my actual capabilities.
My alma mater has allowed an autistic girl to gain fruitful knowledge.
How fortunate I am for being able to sing and laugh in my alma mater.