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Autism no match for relentless mother and gifted son


Autism no match for relentless mother and gifted son

Autism no match for relentless mother and gifted son

Thu Vân

HÀ NỘI — On his first day of elementary school back in  二00 九, Đinh Vũ Tùng Lâm was sent home after biting a friend on the ear. 

Autism no match for relentless mother and gifted son

As a result, his teacher said that he could not attend regular school.

Last week, however, that same boy, now in the  一 二th grade, won a silver medal at the  六 二nd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)  二0 二 一.

Lâm said the medal should have been given to his mother, who has supported him for the past eighteen years.

“She is my mum, my friend, my protector. She is the reason I have achieved what I have today,” Lâm said.

But Lâm’s mother, Hải Yến, said any mother would do the same.

Autism no match for relentless mother and gifted son

“I want to tell other parents who have kids with autism like me that anything is possible as long as you try, and have faith. Your children can and will grow up and be successful just like any other child,” Yến said.

Their journey

When Lâm was three years old, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For Yến and her husband, this was a daunting prospect. A parents' love for their child, however, can overcome any obstacle.

“He was non-verbal until the age of four, he would scream and attack anyone including me on a daily basis. He would fly into a rage very often,” Yến said.

“But he was particularly interested in numbers,” said Lâm's father, Đinh Quang Ngọc.

Ngọc says he remembers many times when Lâm would recall the numbers that he had seen on the street that day.

But Lâm’s gift was often overshadowed by his autism.

Yến tried to register Lâm at a number of schools but was knocked back again and again. She would not, however, give up.

At Lê Quý Đôn Elementary school in Hà Nội, Yến finally found a place for Lâm. 

This was, however, conditional: Yến had to make a co妹妹itment to the school’s board that she would support Lâm in class.

This, however, at times, was for Yến heartbreaking.

“I couldn’t help shedding tears when seeing Lâm try to join his classmates in games and then get rejected. One day he held a tree and just cried and cried,” she said.

Yến decided she had to go beyond academic support and would need to also help Lâm to socialise and make friends. She would often invite his classmates over to their house and cook for them. She also offered to collect other children from school for the other mums and take them home after class. Sometimes she would take them to the cinema and stay and watch movies with them.

“Lâm began to make friends, really good friends, who have stayed with him ever since,” Yến said.



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