Through my window
During his younger days, Barny would often run out of class. He has a short attention span. Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at two, Barny was confirmed autistic by a child psychiatrist from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia when he was three. Two years later, his mother Grace resigned from her job as a public health sister and tutor for community nurse trainees. Grace home schooled Barny until he was seven. Personal and dedicated attention helped Barny acquire many skills.
His understanding is primary; he can read and loves Scrabble. Completing a 5000 piece puzzle over three days is a norm. Barny barely talks but with his iPad games, he can give you a run for your money!
Autism spectrum disorder is an enigma. Limitations with communication and social interaction skills mean the autistic lack the tools to understand and be understood. To quote:
“I think in pictures. Words are like a second language to me. I translate both spoken and written words into full-colour movies, complete with sound, which runs like a VCR tape in my head. When somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures. Language-based thinkers often find this phenomenon difficult to understand, but in my job as an equipment designer for the livestock industry, visual thinking is a tremendous advantage.” Temple Grandin, Thinking In Pictures: My Life with Autism
Despite overwhelming setbacks, Barny has a passion for drawing. He has blossomed into a dedicated artist. Once he starts on a drawing, Barny will complete it within a day. This is a great improvement from his early years.
At the Amazing Colours Art Exhibition organised by Kuching Autistic Association from 2nd – 4th October 2015 at The Spring, Kuching, Barny exhibited and sold many of his art pieces. One of his art pieces was enlarged over a fire door at the venue. His art is bright, striking and vibrant. His work is an expression of himself and non-verbal communication to us; admirable and inspiring.
Barny is an active contributor to Kuching Autistic Association. His art is featured in greeting cards. He is a shining example that the autistic can learn and excel as well. Barny has surmounted countless obstacles for 36 years to where he is today. Stopping is not in his vocabulary.