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  • Writer's picturestraitsheritagelab

Reflection 2

Recently, during one of my regular conversations with Ms. Lam about how Hao Wen is doing, she brought up something that struck a chord with me. She asked if I knew anything about social media merchandizing. This simple question brought me back to reality, reminding me of the everyday struggles faced by the wonderful individuals we aim to support at Straits Heritage Labs (SHL).


It made me pause and think deeply about our mission and the genuine impact we wish to make in the lives of these precious children and their families. How can we talk about visions and missions, hopes and dreams, when the most basic needs of some of them are not yet met? How can we empower them if they still struggle to put food on the table or access the specialized education and support they need? It felt like an "aha" moment, as if I was seeing things from a new perspective – what I now refer to as my "anthropological gaze."


I found myself questioning our true intentions. Are we really making a difference in their lives, or have we unknowingly treated them as mere subjects for our own self-righteousness? It's essential that we take a step back and honestly ask ourselves if we have thoroughly considered the impact we hope to create since the beginning of SHL.


We must delve into the nitty-gritty details that often go unnoticed – the important questions that demand answers. What are the exact proportions of autistic kids in Malaysia, particularly in Melaka? Who are the current educational providers for these children? How do caregivers and support communities communicate and share medical information? These are the vital pieces of the puzzle that we need to understand to truly make a positive difference.


Admittedly, it seems that we may have overlooked some crucial aspects, and for that, I am deeply sorry. It's time for us to introspect and humbly recognize our own shortcomings. We need to embrace a more compassionate and thorough approach moving forward.


I want to express my genuine concern that I haven't been as connected as I'd like to be with all the kids SHL is supporting, except for Hao Wen and Ms. Lam. It's vital that we build strong connections and relationships with each child and their caregivers, as it is through these bonds that we can truly understand their needs and aspirations.


In light of this revelation, we are committed to making a change. We want to engage with you, our compassionate readers, and together, explore ways to forge a more impactful and meaningful path ahead. We know that real change takes time and effort, but with your support and our collective determination, we can make a genuine difference in the lives of these extraordinary children and their caregivers.


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[Resource] Articles on Autism Acceptance

https://www.sapiens.org/culture/nurturing-autism-acceptance-in-indonesia/ "This wider conversation is amplifying the power of personal experience and revealing the importance of syncretic, culturally

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