I have spent six weeks as an intern at EIP Autism Sdn. Bhd. My interest in helping children has been the biggest motivator to choose this organization. I take this internship as an opportunity to learn more about development psychology, to obtain real life experiences and to apply knowledge that I have learnt.

During the internship, I was given various responsibilities, such as assisting the therapists, teaching the children, doing research on their education syllabus, writing worksheets and some housekeeping tasks. Every therapist has distinctive styles in treating the children. Given the opportunity to assist them in different therapies allows me to learn the assessment and intervention method they use.

The most satisfying moments in the internship are the experiences with the children and things that I learnt from them. I could not apply a lot of what I have learnt in Psychology during the internship because I did not have sufficient knowledge on autistic children upon serving as an intern. But the therapists generously shared their knowlegde and experiences with me. They also suggested me to read the abundance of books in the center. Slowly, I realize that the children have diffent levels of functionality, some better than others. Apart from that, although they are impaired in certain functions, they have individual savant skills that actually surprise us all. This center also uses a lot of behavior modification, mainly the “carrots and stick” approach. Interestingly enough, each children has something that they truly like and fear about. For example, one of the child likes Thomas the Train but is afraid of Bob the Builder, famous cartoon characters among the children. The teachers and therapists hardly have to use the cane punishment.

I have learned a lot from a particular child during this internship. He is very fragile and is afraid of another boy that screams all the time. He will cry whenever the other child hurts himself or throws tantrums. We all thought that he is afraid of the boy, but one day, I asked him if he is afraid of the other child and prompt him to think of why that boy hurts himself. He just kept quiet but he hardly cries after that whenever the other child is having a tantrum. I was truly impressed, when one day, he finally speaks for the other child, like he knows what the other child is thinking about but unable to express himself. I was truly touched by his empathy towards the other child…

This internship is a valuable experience for me and I am grateful that I have gained some precious memories from the internship.

I hesitated a bit when naming this post.
My Dream Home
Creative Minds
Bad Sense of Direction
There were too many things that I can ponder about for a day out.
I went to IKEA with mum today. It was my second visit, but it felt like first, because my grandma tagged along last time. I had to look after her, walk slower than every other person, trying to be in front of others so that she could take a rest when the others are looking at the showroom… In short, I did not really get to see a thing. Yea…grumble grumble grumble…

Anyway, today was my “first” time at IKEA and I was enjoying myself looking at each showroom, investigating the uniqueness of the furniture, enjoying the feeling of home, luxurious yet cozy home. Mum said that coming to these places are definitely good motivators for me to study harder and work harder for a better life.

Apart from the tables-and-chairs, I really like the inventions that are solutions for storage problems, making the home tidy and spacious. These inventions are as simple as a rack made up of a few wires or a cylinder shaped plastic tube which can be placed vertically or horizontally and electrical appliances can be placed accordingly in the cupboard. These are smart people with creative minds. People come across a lot of problems in our everyday live but these inventors are making dollars out of the hassles they are going through. So, the gift of creativeness is nothing when there’s no willingness to take the opportunities and make a difference.

Sigh…I always had this problem. We parked at Tesco today and walked to IKEA through The Curve. Guess how many times we got loss? 3… Once in each place, even when there are arrows on the floors in IKEA. Is there anything I can do to compensate this weakness or better still cure this “disease”?
I’m struggling with ESSENTIAL statistics for behavioral sciences... What on earth can I do to improve? I’ve been trying exceptionally hard to understand each and every concept. It is very important because I’ll be using it for my researches in 2nd and 3rd year. I don’t want to imagine what life would be like when I do my research if I still couldn’t understand these ESSENTIAL statistics...

Why has it got to be so hard for me to understand these things? Can’t my critical and analytical thinking help me to understand? What kind of special abilities do I need to possess to compute them?

Argh... I’ll crawl till the end no matter what. I’m going to master statistics. It’s ESSENTIAL.

Last Saturday, on the 1st of November 2008. I’ve participated in an inspiring event, where it sparked a thought into my head to dedicate a new blog for the children in the whole world. It was the 4th National NGO Forum themed “A World Fit for Children”.

Mainly students and NGOs attended the forum but there were quite a number of people. Truthfully speaking, if it wasn’t for my lecturer I wouldn’t be there in the first place. I was suppose to attend the forum and write a report about it but it turned out to change my point of view, widened my thinking perspectives, led me into the reality and motivated me to empower the vulnerable yet precious children’s lives.

I would give the forum a 5/5 rating if it wasn’t for the hypnotizing opening speeches. I could barely gather my thoughts and concentrate on what the people were talking about. In the opening speech, we were “briefed” about their past efforts and current progress, but I’m 100% sure that nothing got registered even in my short-term memory. However, things started getting better as soon as we got into our groups for discussions about the assigned topics.

I went into a studio room where there were only about 20 people. From that instance, I knew that I had to take off my hat, put on my thinking cap and take on the role as a child rights advocate. We are in the Child Rights Advocacy and the Media discussion room. Dr. Kiranjit Kaur was the first to speak and she presented on the functions of the media and how it can be used for child advocacy. Be it the print media or the electronic media, they were very profit-minded. Everything that goes in or comes out have to, in the end turned into $$$. All news, articles, messages or advertisements were weighed with $$$, a unit that we never have had learnt in mathematics that it is used for weight.

That is the reality and that is also why we, all the participants couldn’t answer her question when we were prompted in the discussion. What have we come across in the media that tells us about children? We could hardly recall anything in the TV that “speaks” for a child, not to mention letting a child speak. I for one could only think of how children are used in advertisements. She explained about media framing and how has it been in Malaysia. Either it is a Malaysian attitude to be less sensitive to a certain issue when it cools down after awhile, or just because nobody is discussing about it anymore (currency of a topic), or we are just plain forgetful! Everything just seems temporary. Let me illustrate that in an actual example. When Nur Ain or Sharlinie went missing, there are very intense efforts and sizzling discussions in the country. Everyone was alarmed-for awhile. Eventually, these “trends” never last.

Out of sight, out of hearing, therefore out of mind? Helen Keller would have called that socially deaf and blind.

Haven’t the public realize how serious these problems are and that preventive measures has to be taken at all times? It struck me during the discussion, all those elements that makes up news values, impact, timeliness, currency etc., I wonder how they were defined when it comes to fighting for rights and supporting causes. Aren’t these supposed to be evergreen issues? If there weren’t such big impact to our lives, why are there so many NGOs and movements trying so hard on raising awareness and focusing everyone’s attention to a certain issue? Why their ongoing efforts get buried under scandals and entertainment news? From that point, I knew that I had to do something; I’m a new media user. I’m part of the media, I can make a difference. The internet is where I shall begin with.

We had another speaker in our session. She’s the writer for the Child Wise column in Sunday Star, Ruth Liew. Her speech further assured us that every one of us can do something and make a difference as an individual. Her inspiring experiences and efforts left us no room for excuses as she had walked through tough times to be who she is today, a child advocate in the media.

The brainstorming sessions began after we were split into 3 groups using the “Titanic” game. Each group came up with a good few of key recommendations on how we can change the media’s roles in child rights advocacy and which each presented well. We were well-informed about the problems that we have today such as the over-emphasis on academic achievement which led to major problems in children today such as stress, depression, various other mood disorders and suicide. The culture here that we have very high acceptance or I should say we have been educated this way-to accept everything others say. This has led the children today and even some adults to be reacting passively even to the matters which concern them. Most importantly, many of us do not know what are the rights of a child. There was little exposure via family teachings, school education, community discussions or even the media.

We later gathered with all the other sessions such as the Child Protection, Technology and Its Risk, Education, Drugs and Vice, and Juvenile Justice where each session sent a representative to present on the points as presented their respective discussions. It was very pleasing to see proactive people voicing up their thoughts, comments and questions during the Q & A session. This shows that the crowd has been critical and analytical towards what had been presented.

The forum came to an end in the evening and I went home as a satisfied, inspired and with a vision to be part of a child advocate.
I finally had a chance to visit an orphanage. Along with 10 others including Ms. Debbie, we went to El-Shaddai Shelter Home on the 2nd of November 2008. We wanted to get the children's Christmas wishes so that we can have a Christmas Wish Donation Drive for them and buy them the Christmas presents they wished for.

We, I mean Circle K'ers (I'm no longer in the club anymore due to various personal reasons), are supposed to launch the Christmas Tree Project today. We had borrowed a Christmas tree from the Department of Student Affairs to be set up at Lower Foyer, Main Block, HELP University College from 3rd of November till 3rd of December 2008. The Christmas tree will be decorated with the children's wishes. We believe that HELP has a very generous community who are always enthusiastic with helping the needy and wholehearted about community service. Therefore, we are looking forward to the donations of everyone to make the little children's dreams come true.

We arrived at the orphanage which is situated at Old Klang Road quite early at 10.30am and the children were all ready to welcome us. Although everyone seem quite awkward with each other at first; the children looking at us, and we looked at the children, we were able to start off by introducing ourselves by the “HI-game” and name train (I suggested that to train our memory) so lets see if it works.

Children: Jonathan, Raymond, Simon, John, Kelvin, Muthu, Peter, Pricilla, Rebecca, Rachel, Ruts, Elizabeth, Cynthia and Pristilla.

Circle K'ers and others: Jia Min, Jeffrey, Joyce, Yin Tong, Yvonne, Boon Chin, Gym(me), Megan, Carmen and Amy!

It works! Oh and Ms. Debbie, our faculty advisor, Mr. Anthony, the person in charge in the home and Mr. Mano, the friendly uncle that sent us there.

For the first time, I find it difficult to apply my communication skills to these children after taking all those classes. Most of them are in kindergarten, only a few in primary school and one very young girl, Rebecca who hardly understand us because she's too young and she's also a bit mentally challenged. Nonetheless, all of them are cute and adorable in everyway (to me). I don't mind children being a bit annoying and I gain satisfaction through getting them paying attention, listen or attracted to me without having to scold them.

The game was quite confusing and honestly speaking didn't really go well. It's a game called Two Truths and A Lie. Everyone has to write down 3 statements about themselves, 2 of which are true and 1 which is false. Yvonne had modified the game a little since our purpose of the visit is to get the children's Christmas wishes but we want to give them a surprise. As a result, the children were given specific instructions of what to write, i.e. their hobby, the Christmas gift they want, and a person they like. It wasn't really so difficult but we had a tough time explaining, looking, controlling all of them. Those little boys are hyperactive... Rebecca too. She didn't really get to participate in the activity since she was too young to understand. She can't even write words. All she did on the three pieces of paper was drawing pictures that only she can understand-four crotchet-like bean sprout, some kind of abstract art chicken or vegetable (I really don't know) and a few dots. She ended up sitting on my lap, while I draw a few flowers and butterflies for her and playing with my glasses. Thank god, it's still in good shape.
We were finally over and done with the game at 12.00 noon and its lunch time! Children, those are watermelons not papayas...

After lunch was when everything's a bit more serious, our big project-paint the banner! Newspaper? Check. Cloth? Check. Color? Check. Here we go!

Some of the members started painting the predesigned pictures done by Zoe while the others help the children to paint their hands and print it on the banner. We had so many designs and everybody is definitely having fun while Yvonne is looking after the children. We were so mean. We can actually hear her scolding the children now and then when they misbehave. I believe that she's a teacher now. Eventually, I took after her job after awhile so that she can take part in drawing the banner. I manage to keep the children busy with the coloring books that I've brought, while teaching Rebecca the animals in each page.

Uncle Mano came at 2 something, but we weren't done yet. We suggested the children to play the Eagle and Lil' Chicks game where the mother hen will look after her lil' chicks from being snatched by the eagle. They had so much fun where they screamed and screamed. That was when we started getting closer. Rebecca was so attached to me that she was clinging to me when we had to leave.

The journey back to college was short, but I had a lot of time thinking about the children at the home and many other things that I would like to do with them.
I wish I could help the all the unfortunate children. Tell them that they can still be the best. I can see from the shine in their eyes, that one day, they'll be a superstar.

With Love~
This has been one of the principles that I've held since I started making friends. I truly believe that, as a friend we should offer our help when it is needed. People knew me knows that I would just agree to help anybody if they come to me no matter how hard it is to accomplish the task, how complicated the problem it was to be solved, how troublesome and how time consuming it would be for me. I'll promise to help and I'll never break my promises. This is me; I'm a true advocate for the line "a friend in need is a friend indeed".

Often times, some of my closer friends tell me that, I shouldn't be too nice, that I should have had priorities on myself over others. One friend even left me a comment on Friendster saying that, "She is a truly helpful person, if you have any problems can find her, she will definitely have a way to solve it for you, but do not manipulate her."

You can probably call this altruism but I don't really think so. Although I do not get anything in return from the friend I helped, I harvest satisfaction from helping others. I feel happy when the people I've helped are relieved from their problems and I do not see their troubled face anymore.

I have been a happy soul until recently. A few incidents happened which makes me feel so exploited and manipulated. For the first time in my life, I felt so irritated for helping a friend.

Incident 1:
This particular friend was in a club and he was having an activity in half an hour and his members weren't there yet. I happened to be studying nearby. His phone is almost out of credit and he wanted to call his member. I lend him my phone and he made the call. Meanwhile, he asked for my help to sort some things out. No problem. He was getting frustrated when his members when they haven't arrive yet but the activity time was drawing close. Probably because of that, he sounded more demanding when he wanted to use my phone and call the person again. Probably he didn't realize but I was getting agitated. Later on, he borrowed my phone again and again for about another 10 times or so to call his members... Worst part of all is hearing him say that he didn't feel so guilty since mine is a post-paid. Their activity came across a few obstacles, I told him, the leader, and the solutions because I'm very active in extra-curricular activities as well and those were just some of the common problems that I usually come across. Ridiculously, he's expecting me to do it? I felt so dumb to be sitting there so long that day, allowing myself to be manipulated.

Incident 2, 3 and 4:
These incidents were closely related to each other and weren't so much of helping a friend. They had to do with birthday gifts. In my opinions, gifts are for appreciation, to family and friends that are close to us, been through good and bad times with us, and people we cared for. I'm very sensitive with birthdays, family's and friend's, I seldom forget people's birthday and I use to buy them gifts or at least send them wishes. I love to send people midnight birthday wishes because I want to be the first to wish them happy birthday. But lately, a few of my not-so-close friends came to me and "invited" me to share birthday gift for a few not-so-close friends, just because the gifts that they wanted to buy are too expensive. We don't even talk to each other often. I'm supposed to be included when its time to buy gifts when I'm not invited to have lunch together, not invited to study together? And I'm a friend in need!

I am still wondering if I should be laughing at myself or to be angry with myself because I feel very stupid now for being a friend in need. I really despise people that misuse the quotation I love most.
I couldn’t get any Mother’s Day present neither in KLCC nor Berjaya Times Square. What a bothering thought. As I was busy doing my house chores as usual on Friday night, the a-ha moment came…

I quickly rushed to my brother’s room and ask him how to fold roses using origami style. It’s one of the most complicated origami I’ve ever came across, but due to the pressure, I managed to roughly get the idea and structure in 10 minutes. I can’t bother him any longer since he is having exams now.

I’ve made 10 roses and my sister made 3, but at the ended up using 9 of them only since the vase is a bit small. I’ve also made a card for my mum with a lil doggerel.

In the process of making all the stuff I remember how I use to make presents for my mum. And what tickle my bones are the facts that, I always take her stuff to make into presents for her. For instance, when I was around 9, I took her pearl-looking beads, thread, and hooks for necklace DIY and made a necklace for her. I also took a box from her drawer somewhere, slightly wrap it again and put the necklace in and gave it to her. It’s kinda funny when I recall what I’ve done in the past. I bet she must be somewhat happy with a tinge of frustration when I took her stuff to make it a present for her. Furthermore, I couldn’t do a good piece of work at that age. Things are a bit loose here and there, so she never wore that. But I’m pleased when I know; she still keeps it with her till today.

My mum may scold me and punish me all the time, but I always try to understand and empathize her situation. Nevertheless, punishments are to stop a certain undesirable behavior. So I think she must be doing that for my own good. I feel fortunate to have a mum that can scold me and correct my mistake because I knew that I would not have done so without her. In another words, if you like who I am now, it’s all her contribution. I’m thankful that she shaped me so well.

I love you, mum. Happy Mother’s Day.

I decided not to reflect on myself today. Instead, I’ll learn from what I experience today – the nuisance that my ELDER sister created. Since there’s a saying which goes, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that’s not easy.
The Nicomachean Ethics

Due to the level of difficulty of anger, people came out with another meaningful phrase. “Anger is only one letter short of danger.”

Okay. Story time. My sister came home after work and said she wanted to use the computer to access the internet before she even had her dinner. Fine, no one is using the computer then. But she went on watching TV but never came upstairs. So I used the computer to type some documents. She came upstairs and saw me using the computer and said she wanted to use it. I was like okay, since she always hijacks the computer when I use it anyway. Furthermore, I was using the computer while waiting for her. Yet, she put her stuff on her table and went into my mum’s room and watched TV again…

I was sure that she’ll only come out around half an hour time so I accessed the internet to send a e-mail to my lecturer and a couple of other stuffs.

Suddenly, the door flung open and SHE came out insisting on using the computer. I just wanted to wrap up what I was doing but being the eldest, she gave me that demanding tone and my dad was there too. I asked her what she wanted to do, because usually I help her to download the fund price everyday and during normal “hijack” routine, she will tell me what she wants so that I can help her type in the search engine while I finish my last bit.

Alas, she scolded me for being such a busy body and accused me for poking my nose into her business. I was horrified and she left me dumb-founded. Mum was there and told her that I was just asking to know whether she urgently needs to use the computer. And she for one, when she can’t or I should say she usually can’t refute arguments constructively, she’ll divert the topic and said that she had already told me a number of times that she wanted to use the computer. Oh come on, since when I said that I wouldn’t let you use the computer?

She started making a big fuss out of it and my dad got irritated and started scolding everyone. Great, look what you have done?

She stormed into the room and let out her temper by stomping, banging the wall, the door. All sorts of natural disaster happened in 15 minutes. I didn’t really care because she always does that ever since she was a kid. I just remembered how she throws my toys onto the floor when she was 9 and how she sweeps all the stuff on my table to the floor when she was 15. Well she was right for one point; she can’t hurt me physically, so all she can do is make me sad by spoiling my things. I never thought that all those would happen even almost 10 years later. When the disaster was over, I went into the room to check out the aftermath. I was right; my spectacle case was in odd form. It’s kind of remarkable that she gave me the excuse that she sat on it because my spectacle case is an original case which comes with me spectacles and it is very tough. I have tried sitting on it and even sleeping on it for the whole night and it is still in shape. Why didn’t she try another more logical excuse, like “I lied down on the bed and there’s something stuck on my back, I was so pissed off then so I didn’t really care what it was and I took it up and threw it against the wall.” At least that makes much more sense to me.

She was being so immature. And obviously she doesn’t learn her lesson. She kept behaving like a kid and acting like a baby over and over again. When will she learn? When will she think and act her age? Hasn’t the society shape her mind yet? Or was she too stubborn to gain any insight from all the things that had happened?

To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Make sure that you don’t have to regret after you have take the actions. So, think before you act. And please, Act Your Age.

Whenever you're called to make up your mind,
And you're hampered by not having any,
The simplest way to solve the dilemma you'll find,
Is simply by flipping a penny.
NO, not so that chance shall decide the affair,
As you're passively standing there mopping.
But as soon as the penny is up in the air,
You'll suddenly know what you're hopping.
Source: Bits and Pieces, EP International

Being a perceiver, I like to take my time making decisions and taking action. If possible, I'll gather all the information and facts. It's true that I'm always the first to start assignments and research on topics before hand until I think I have got enough information. As a matter or fact, I always get more than what I need and more than what I'm able to process. In the end, I'll be spending a lot of time browsing through my reading material and be among the last to complete my assignments. To make things worst, I may even stay up all night to do so.

When it comes to making decisions, I will always keep my options open and I prefer to mull over a decision from different perspectives before coming to a conclusion. Hence, I always take time to form opinion of others because I take everybody's welfare into serious account. Often, when I'm too far in the perceiving end, I might postpone making decision until it is too late to make a conscious choice, based on the rationale that I've always made, causing decision to be made by indecision-by default. How terrible…

Due to the fact that I'm such an indecisive person, I do not like to be pushed into making a quick decision. I seriously won't be happy.

Knowing that I'm such a person, I'm in the process of improving myself in becoming a less strong perceiver because I still enjoy being a perceiver and I don't want to go to the other end, which is the judger. I still want to be who I really am, taking care of others' needs and being free from restriction.
Everything has to be moderated in our life. "Just Right"- not too much, not too less. It applies to almost every single aspect in our life from nutrition to morally righteous actions.

Minerals may be good for our body, but too much of any of those will cause side effect and may seriously harm our body. Hmm? Ironic, isn't it?

Here is a typical example I found interesting and I would like to quote from a American Columnist, ASHLEY COOPER.

The Seven Deadly Sins
Truth, if it becomes a weapon against persons.
Beauty, if it becomes vanity.
Love, if it becomes possessive.
Loyalty, if it becomes blind, careless trust.
Tolerance, if it becomes indifference.
Self-confidence, if it becomes arrogance.
Faith, if it becomes self-righteous.

Therefore, be modest, be moderate.