The Independent Me - We all have limitations. But we find courage to move forward because of people who cheer us on.
Shahidir was diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum at a young age but found comfort and love from his family and teachers. Under their guidance, he learnt to take care of himself and cope with difficult situations.
At 24, Shahidir aspires to show others that people on the autism spectrum can work independently and earn a livelihood. He was trained in food packing and concocting drinks while in school. Subsequently, he was placed in a specialised employability centre for a structured office position that provided Shahidir the routine he enjoys. He’s been employed for more than five years now, and is working full-time as a Data Entry Assistant.
Shahidir’s journey towards employment was a challenging one. He struggled during his early childhood years and his then teacher advised Shahidir’s mother to visit a specialist at the National University Hospital. Having known his diagnosis and receiving help from a special school and specialised employability centre, Shahidir was able to develop skills necessary for work. He was then given the opportunity to train for employment.
Shahidir’s determination to be independent proves that his disability does not hinder his passion for life. He loves to do things that excite him every day, such as eating his favourite western food with his family, and watching live music sessions on his mobile phone. It is fitting then, that his advice to people who struggle with limitations is to just “have fun!”
Indeed, he lives this principle by heart. He hopes to see more people coming together to pledge for inclusivity.
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